United Methodism

Tensions in Holiness Series

Part I

Holy Conferencing
Jesus taught, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35). But, how do we know what God wants? More importantly, how do we know together? United Methodist theology begins with trusting that God desires to be known. Then we ask, what process does a large, diverse group of people employ to learn what God wants of us in a particular circumstance? We United Methodists, when we come together for Annual or General Conferences employ a hybrid that attempts to navigate the tension between locating the discernment of God’s will through the voices of our leaders and in the voice of the community as a whole.

We grant our leaders a certain level of trust to engage complexities and the work of discernment on our behalf, and we require that they work transparently and open themselves to accountability. This means that we take time to hear their reports, pray together, and vote to approve, amend, or reject their recommended actions. We also provide space for the Spirit to move through the body outside of the expected structure. Individuals may address the conference, and make motions for the body to wrestle with during the business portion of our Annual Conference.

Each delegate to Annual Conference is expected to use their voice and vote to express their best understanding of the what God is asking us to do as a church. The hope is that together we will make decisions that are in alignment with the will of God.

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