A few weeks ago I threw my name into the hat to be elected to be a delegate for General Conference. At the time, I figured it was worth a shot. All it took was a 100-word essay and a picture. It was simple enough. All I thought was, why not? But now it is almost time to start voting, and I’m thinking that I’d better put a little more thought into it.
Why do I want to be a General Conference delegate?
This comes down a simple statement – I love the United Methodist Church. I want to be a part of the largest and most important body of United Methodist Christians. I want to enjoy that kind of fellowship of kindred spirits. I want to be a part of the legacy that started at the Christmas Conference over 200 years ago.
I know the United Methodist Church is not perfect. I have seen it at its ugliest. I have seen it fail to live up to the calling of Jesus Christ. Yet the United Methodist Church is the place where I have found grace. It is the Church that has nurtured me from birth. It is the Church that has shown me what it means to be a Christian, a servant, and a disciple.
How will I vote?
I probably sound like a politician here, but I honestly do not know how I would vote for controversial issues at General Conference. there are many issues that face the Church I love, and I want to do what is right for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can say this: I believe that the slogan of the United Methodist Church: “Open minds, open hearts, open doors,” resonates with me. I also believe that the word “open” that is repeated in that slogan needs to be understood as a verb, not as an adjective.
It is my sincerest hope and prayer that none of the controversies that the church faces will create widespread schism. I believe that the things that hold us together – the mission of Jesus Christ and the loving grace that is offered to all – are stronger than any of the controversies that would tear us apart.
What will you get if you vote for me?
You will get a pastor that is dedicated to doing what is best for the United Methodist Church. I was ordained in 2010, and am still considered “young clergy.” This is my first chance to be a delegate, and I believe that General Conference needs as many new people involved as possible to continue to breath life into the church.
I will go with great joy. I will worship with great passion. I will vote with my whole heart, mind and spirit. I will bathe myself in prayer, always seeking the Holy Spirit to guide my decisions. I will seek to be guided by Scripture, tradition, reason and experience.