FROM THE BISHOP
R. LAWSON BRYAN
In the continuing effort to keep South Georgia updated on developments related to the postponed 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences, I share the following items for your study and reflection.
First, the new dates for the postponed 2020 General Conference have been announced: Aug. 29-Sept. 6, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minn.
See full announcement here
Second, the Council of Bishops is calling a Special Session of the General Conference to be held online on May 8, 2021. The purpose is to approve the use of paper ballots to allow delegates to vote on certain legislation which will enable the church to continue functioning in this interim period leading up to the 2022 meeting of General Conference.
See full announcement here
Third, plans are being made for Special Sessions of the Jurisdictional Conferences to be held virtually in July 2021 for the purpose of retiring bishops, announcing coverage of areas, and determining if or how many bishops will be elected in each Jurisdiction. Actual election of bishops will be held during regular in-person sessions of the Jurisdictional Conferences to be held in fall 2022, following the 2022 session of General Conference.
Please keep the South Georgia Conference delegation in your prayers as they now give focused attention to their role in the General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
With the announcement of this timeline, I have been considering the question: what should laity and clergy be doing now?
If I were serving a local church today I would be collaborating with my church members to ask and answer these questions:
A. Why have so many different kinds of people found a spiritual home in this local church?
In our local churches we have a variety of ages, backgrounds, economic conditions, education levels, and political leanings (Democrat, Republican, independent, and others). How can this be? Why has this local church been attractive to such a diversity of people?
There may be as many answers to this question as there are people in the congregation. That’s okay; it is important to identify and itemize the factors that cause a wide range of people to claim this church as their spiritual home.
B. As we reflect upon the reasons this is a spiritual home for so many, what might God be saying to us about God’s dream for this local church?
C. What are the areas where you see this dream being lived out currently? Where do you see yourself involved with this dream? Where would you like to be involved in some aspect of this dream? What other persons would you like to collaborate with in pursuing this dream?
D. What next steps might we take to live into this dream? How will we know when we get there? What will people be doing, saying, thinking?
We have work to do, and asking ourselves these questions will keep us moving forward to do that work. The hurting people in our communities are not concerned about when denominational conferences are held; they need help and hope now. God has uniquely equipped us to provide that help and that hope.
I am glad that we are Alive Together at the Table for such a time as this.
R. Lawson Bryan