This year’s Annual Conference will be a critical time for us to gather as the faithful people called Louisiana United Methodists.
Last year we introduced a three-fold theme “Making Disciples, Transforming the World...Together....In Love...Day after Day after Day.”
Our first stop was “Making Disciples...Together
This year we make our second stop “Making Disciples...In Love
We will imagine a church that does all things out of our great love for one another based on Romans 13:8-10 “all the commandments are summed up in one word: You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
The scriptures say a lot about love.
Here are just a few:
- Love is patient, love is kind......(1 Corinthians 13)
- Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
- Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love... (Psalm 143:8)
- And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:14)
- And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16)
- Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
- We love because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
- And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
- Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
- This is my commandment: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
- Love should be shown without pretending. (Romans 12:9)
- Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10) 3
- No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)
- Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
- Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:4)
In these chaotic times in the life of the church and world it is important to remember that all of scripture and all of life hinges on love; God’s great love for us in Christ Jesus and our love in return.
Love is the greatest gift we receive and the greatest gift we give.
We will gather to share the gift of love in a new place – the Shreveport Convention Center located adjacent to the Hilton Hotel.
This should provide for ease of movement and allow us more time to spend together celebrating the sacraments, engaging in the proclamation of the gospel and singing the great hymns of the church.
This year we will meet June 9-12, 2019 – Sunday to Wednesday. Dr. Gil Rendle will be our presenter beginning with the laity and clergy sessions on Sunday afternoon, followed by plenary time on Monday and Tuesday.
The highlight of each Annual Conference is the licensing, commissioning and ordination of our newest pastors.
The historic First United Methodist Church will once again host this year’s ordination service on Monday night.
Another important facet of this year’s Annual Conference will be the election of delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences of 2020.
Wednesday has been set aside for voting for delegates.
Because it is a voting year there will be new procedures for credentialing and registering so be sure and read the details closely.
Each day will be filled with challenging, thought-provoking work around tables as we live into our call to love one another as Christ first loved us.
We began preparing for this Annual Conference minutes after the conclusion of the 2018 Conference.
Much has happened since we were last together so please join me in prayer for this year’s Conference.
May it be filled with extravagant love for one another and grateful hearts for the One who calls to make disciples that transform the world in LOVE