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“Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace.”  

–Ephesians 4:3

We are moving into a season in which we will have the General Conference April 23-May 4 in Charlotte NC to make decisions for The United Methodist Church, the North Central Jurisdictional Conference July 9-12 in Sioux Falls, SD to assign Bishops, and our Wisconsin Annual Conference June 7-9 in Green Bay to make decision for our Conference and ordain pastors.

At each of these conferences, there is an effort and hope to share in what John Wesley, our founder of Methodism, called Holy Conferencing.  Wesley knew that when his people called Methodists got together to make decisions, we would have strong thoughts about many issues and would not all think alike, but we could still extend love in such a way as to be unified in the Spirit and in peace.

John Wesley was known to have said, “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?  May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?  Without all doubt, we may.  Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.”

Holy Conferencing is a way of meeting and sharing thoughts, opinions and conversation that has some specific parameters.  In Holy Conferencing, we believe every person is a child of God and we will treat them that way.  We listen before we speak; strive to understand from another’s point of view; strive to accurately reflect the views of others; speak about issues, without defaming people; disagree without being disagreeable; pray before decisions are made; and let prayer interrupt our busyness as needed.

Thank you for your prayers for those who will be part of the General, Jurisdictional and Annual conferences in the coming months and for work and faithfulness of The United Methodist Church.