Save the Date: Big Tent Event

A Special Note from Rev. Stan Copeland

Greetings! 

These certainly have been challenging days in which to be a pastor. From the pandemic to the financial challenges of this economy, as well as facing the divisions in our nation and church, it is easy to become discouraged.

Several of us have been talking about getting together to encourage one another and to prayerfully consider where God is leading our churches in the future, and we would like to include you in that gathering. 

You are invited to join us on Wednesday, November 16, at Lovers Lane UMC in Dallas, Texas. 

This invitation is going to be circulated among the Annual Conferences in Texas and throughout the South Central Jurisdiction.  The event is for all clergy -- ordained and local pastors, church staff and lay leaders are welcome as well.  We hope to have a good showing from our town and country churches, urban churches of all sizes, and young clergy in all of these settings. There are three aims of this gathering:

  • Spend time conversing with colleagues to discuss where we are in our local settings and glean ideas from one another
  • Explore the future of the United Methodist Church with the challenges that lie ahead and the possibilities for even greater impact and effectiveness in our outreach focus  
  • Talk about what it means to lead in times of division and share our hopes for the UMC, our Annual Conferences and local churches--what you believe needs to change going forward and what you want to ensure remains strong will be an important contribution on your part

 I realize that some of you may be serving churches that are considering disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church, but it seems there would be some real value in talking about the future together.   In a connection such as we have in the UMC, what we do in our local settings and where we stand in our convictions, influences others.  A strong showing of colleagueship can be a real gift to others who are struggling to stay on course in our common mission. 

I am pleased that we will be joined by the Rev. Michael Slaughter, Pastor Emeritus and World Ambassador at Ginghamsburg UMC in Tipp City, Ohio.  Many of us have admired Mike's leadership from a traditional theological heart with a true to the "Revolutionary Jesus" others orientation that has influenced countless United Methodists throughout the globe.  His witness through preaching and writing has made a difference and continues to impact United Methodists worldwide.  I have been particularly moved by Mike's passion for leadership and mentoring with our young clergy members. 

The event will be held at Lovers Lane UMC on Wednesday, November 16, from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm.  Lunch will be provided.  The Perkins School of Theology Fall Convocation is November 15th

For those who would like to make it an overnight and take advantage of both events, we will have some hotel suggestions. You can go on the Perkins website to find out more about the convocation.

This is a save-the-date notice. We’ll send follow-up in a couple of weeks with additional details and a reservation link. 

For now, we simply wanted to get the date to you so you could make plans to be with us. Hope to see you soon!

Grace and peace,
Stan Copeland

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