Connectional Table to Meet in Chicago April 27-30

April 28, 2014

Christian Conferencing Event to be Broadcast Online

Chicago, Ill.: Members of the Connectional Table are converging in Chicago, Ill. April 27-30 for the semi-annual meeting of the 59-member body, which is responsible for guiding the vision, missions and ministries of The United Methodist Church.
The meeting began Sunday, April 27 with committee meetings on evaluation and accountability and the worldwide nature of The United Methodist Church. The full group will meet all day on Monday and Tuesday, followed by a meeting of the Four Areas of Focus group on Wednesday. Major items for discussion on the agenda include progress on efforts to increase the number of vital congregations, support for the Four Areas of Focus missional priorities, and continuing work on the worldwide nature of the church.

"We are midway through the 2013-2016 quadrennium. Our collaborative efforts across the church in the areas of vital congregations, the four areas of missional focus and the worldwide nature of the church are beginning to bear very positive fruit,” said Bishop Bruce Ough, chair of the Connectional Table. We are moving toward clarity in the signature objectives that will leverage the denomination toward greater missional impact."

On Tuesday morning from 9– 11:15 a.m. CDT, the Connectional Table will stream live online a conversation on human sexuality, our mission and United Methodist church law. The event will begin with Bible study led by Bishop James Dorff, followed by a panel of United Methodist leaders and theologians who will discuss how we witness to Christ’s love to the world in relationship to our doctrine.

The panel includes Bishop Daniel Arichea, Jr. (retired), Dr. Mark Teasdale of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Dr. Pamela Lightsey of Boston University School of Theology.

The event is the first in a series of three the Connectional Table will host over the next year to foster ongoing dialogue – both to provide an opportunity for Connectional Table members to listen and consider varying theological perspectives, as well as to create an ongoing conversation in the wider church.

“Unity is God's gift to the church. We participate in that unity when we listen well and speak wisely to one another. It is our prayer that the live-stream forum and conversation on April 29 will be a means of grace to us,” said Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, who chairs the Connectional Table’s Human Sexuality Task Force.

The Connectional Table invites anyone who is interested in the topic to participate online. Listeners can submit questions via Twitter by using the hashtag #CTtalks. Registration information is available here.

The meeting location will be in the Chicago area. For more information, please contact the Connectional Table office at

About the Connectional Table

The Connectional Table oversees the coordination of mission, ministries and resources across the denomination. Created at the 2004 General Conference, the Connectional Table was formed to serve as both the visioning body of the church and the steward of resources to carry out the vision of the denomination worldwide.

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