The final day of the annual conference began with the laity address from Conference Lay Leader, Holly Neal, followed by two learning sessions led by Rev. Scott Chrostek, author of The Misfit Mission and pastor of the downtown campus of Church of the Resurrection (Resurrection Downtown) in Kansas.
The learning sessions were interactive with those in the pews given the opportunity and tools to apply and discuss Chrostek’s points with one another.
Chrostek emphasized that the church is not something just for people to go to. “The church’s mission is to go and do! The work of the church happens most often outside of church walls.” He shared five principles that guide the mission and ministry at Resurrection Downtown, based on the acronym FOCUS:
Focus on always intentionally looking at the world around us.
Own it: our circles of influence and comfortable places.
Create a culture of invitation.
Use all available media by connecting with as many people as possible and going where people are.
Stay open to interruptions.
During the Business Sessions, additional reports were presented: United Methodist Endorsing Agency, Pacto, the Nominations and Episcopacy committees.
Also, annual conference members presented opinions for and against several items that were considered for votes. These included Standing Rules revisions, Council on Finance & Administration recommendations and apportioned budget, Conference Resolutions, and Cabinet Resolutions. All but one of these proposed recommendations and resolutions were approved.
Conference Secretary Monica Mowdy then presented constitution changes proposed by the United Methodist General Conference. Questions were answered and statements for and against were presented. A secret ballot vote was taken. The results will not be publicized until all United Methodist conferences have voted.
The late afternoon session included a heartfelt presentation by Bishop McAlilly about the Commission on the Way Forward and what lies ahead for us in the United Methodist Church.
This session ended with everyone remembering their baptism with the waters from the rivers in our new districts. District superintendents and lay leaders from the new districts: Caney Fork River District, Cumberland River District, Harpeth River District, Red River District, and Stones River District brought forth containers of water that were mixed together, then poured into bowls by Rev. Melinda Britt, director of connectional ministries, who invited those present to come to the waters before leaving the session.
Photos by Ed Batsel and Amy Hurd.