By Rev. Van Stinson, Baton Rouge District Superintendent
In September, Bishop Harvey and the Cabinet made the second stop on their tour of the Annual Conference in the capital city of Baton Rouge. The Cabinet met Sept. 17-18 with a variety of issues on their agenda, including ongoing appointive issues, continuing conversations and updates on The LaFon Home, and a new approach and agenda for next year’s Annual Conference. Central to their gathering was a meeting with representatives from the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and a full review of current Residents in Ministry, those who are in provisional process in preparation for ordination and appointment in the Annual Conference. The Cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry are committed to working together more closely in hopes of recruiting, credentialing and deploying the most effective clergy for service to the Church and in our Annual Conference.
On Tuesday evening, more than 180 laity and clergy from across the Baton Rouge District gathered in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, Denham Springs, for a time of sharing with Bishop Harvey, who once again facilitated a discussion around core values, our common vision and our shared mission as an Annual Conference. She challenged the clergy and laity of the district to commit themselves to leading others into abundant life in Christ, to connect and engage with their surrounding communities both locally and globally, to learn, live and tell the Gospel story to the nations and strive to create vibrant communities of faith and justice that reach out and draw in people from all walks of life. Many responded with personal stories of how their congregations are leading others to abundant life in Christ and practicing risk-taking mission and service. David Tidwell, our local Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant, based in Baton Rouge, was present with a selection of books and resources available for local congregations. David will join the Bishop and Cabinet at each of the remaining district gatherings around the Conference.
The next stop on the tour will be in the Acadiana District on October 21 – 22, with a gathering hosted by Louisiana Memorial United Methodist Church, Opelousas, on Monday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m.