Proclaiming the gospel at Pentecost

A mid-session report on General Conference 2016

Dear Friends,

We are one week into General Conference. And in this timely season of Pentecost  we gather to celebrate and advance our ministry, speaking one faith in many languages with sisters and brothers from around the world.

I give thanks for all the prayer support from the Eastern PA Conference.   Our delegation feels surrounded in prayer.  I also know many of you have been live-streaming with us daily.  Below is a brief update on Week 1:

During the first week of General Conference, the delegates were divided among legislative committees,  which considered each petition and resolution submitted to the General Conference.  The work of our last legislative committee concluded Saturday night at 9:30 PM.  Sunday was a day of Sabbath.

Petitions that were approved by a majority with 10 or fewer votes cast against them in committees are placed on the General Conference consent calendar.  Each delegate is required to check the consent calendar prior to voting.  Petitions can be taken off the consent calendar for discussion if 20 or more delegates elect to do so.

One of the petitions supported by the General Conference on Saturday was to implement and affirm a full communion relationship with the Moravian church. This affirmation is good news for the church and for our ecumenical relationships that unite us in ministry and worship.

Worship has been central to our days here, ushering us into the start of each morning. During the lunch- break period, a Communion service is offered.  On Thursday at noon, our bishop, Peggy Johnson, presided at the Communion table, signing the words of institution.

Bishop Peggy Johnson serving mid-day Communion

Our days end with worship in our committees, offering a reminder of why we have come to this place.  On Pentecost Sunday, I attended First UMC of Portland where six youth were confirmed.  Worship reminds us who we are called to be as disciples of Jesus Christ.  We are the ones who are called to make disciples for the transformation of the world.

Our delegation gathers prior to each morning’s plenary session to greet and debrief with one another. We have been blessed to work side-by-side with each other, and we pray for each other daily.

Many petitions will be coming to the floor for debates and voting this week. I invite you to live-stream the General Conference and watch the legislative work of the church being done.  I also ask for your prayers, not only for our delegation, but for all of our brothers and sisters in this global denomination.

On the day of Pentecost, the disciples went from hiding in fear to openly, bravely proclaiming the Gospel.  On the day of Pentecost, those who didn’t understand each other suddenly found understanding.  Come, Holy Spirit, come.  Renew us; refresh us; resurrect us, that we may be the people you have called us to be.

Together in Ministry,

The Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm
Eastern PA Conference Delegation