Bishop: Lawson Bryan
Bd. of Laity: Jeff Barker
Cabinet: Rick Lanford, Doreen Smalls
Chancellors: Warren Plowden, Cater Thompson
Compass: Nita Crump, Jay Hanson, Derek McAleer, Kelly Roberson
Delegation: Jim Cowart, Bill Hatcher, Jay Hanson, Allison Lindsey, Doreen Smalls
SEJ Episcopacy: Don Adams, Bill Hatcher
Trustees: Julia Magda
Under 40: Ben Gosden
Admin. Asst: Bobbi Googe
Facilitator: Anne Bosarge
How are we in South Georgia going to keep track of all the hopeful conversations going on around the global United Methodist connection? The Leadership Forum Task Force, that’s how!
When I formed this group last year we named it the “Foundations for the Future of South Georgia Task Force.” The members of the group represent the boards and agencies of our conference that oversee property matters, money, pensions and benefits, laity, the Cabinet, the General Conference delegation … lots of major entities.
Being at the table together gave South Georgia a working group that did scenario planning around each of the plans that we knew would be voted on at General Conference 2019. This Task Force designed and led the annual conference information session that was held immediately after General Conference 2019. And then the Leadership Forum asked this Task Force to continue for a year to keep the Conference updated on developments related to General Conference 2020, which will be held May 5-15 in Minneapolis.
Since those involved have agreed to continue serving, I can now refer to this as the Leadership Forum Task Force. They will report to the Leadership Forum and to the annual conference from time to time. Here are some takeaways from our most recent Leadership Forum Task Force meeting (Aug. 22):
Question: A year from now, if the task force has done a fantastic job, what will it have done?
Answer: It will have inspired CONFIDENCE in South Georgia through COMMUNICATION and CURIOSITY.
Question: What do we mean by confidence?
Answer: In the South Georgia Conference, we live in the CONFIDENCE, based on our experience since 1736, that God’s purpose is going to be fulfilled, and is even now unfolding among us, so that we commit ourselves to remain connected to each other to give space for God to move in us and through us.
Communication is an umbrella term for how we talk about the future of the South Georgia Conference and The UMC leading up to General Conference 2020 and beyond; the goal is to promote relationships of trust within South Georgia by providing clarity and a sense of connectedness. To keep the conference up to date on conversations going on around The UMC, the Task Force will communicate via the conference website, social media, video reports, specific outreach to laity and clergy, and by encouraging informed conversations within already established relational groups (such as cluster groups).
Curiosity is an umbrella term for helping local churches ask key questions of whatever comes out of GC2020; the goal is to unite us in a process designed for us to discern a future in which we can continue to be Alive Together in Christ in South Georgia.
Through scenario planning, the Task Force will identify key questions for local churches to use in reflecting on whatever comes from GC2020. This “key questions process” will be made available to all local churches so that all may be involved in discerning God’s future for us.
The Task Force’s next meeting is Sept. 30 and will be devoted to developing key questions about various plans that we know about that were filed by the Sept. 18 GC2020 submission deadline.
Please let the Task Force members know how grateful you are for their service. And please join them daily in praying the Task Force prayer:
O God, by whom we are guided in judgment, and who raises up for us light in the
darkness: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you
would have us to do; that your Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and
in your straight path we may not stumble; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Stay Calm. Stay Connected. Stay the Course.
Alive Together in Witness,
R. Lawson Bryan