The mornings are beginning to cool down, children are back in school, and the first day of autumn is in a few weeks. This is the time that churches are getting back into the swing of regular programming, choirs are returning from the summer, Sunday School classes, and small groups are meeting again. With autumn also comes Church Conference season. I am looking forward to visiting each of the West District churches and learning about how God has been working through your congregation. Through the Church Conferences, I hope to hear about your ministries and mission, your health and vitality, your challenges and obstacles. I would like it to be a time to celebrate what happened last year and to be a time to be inspired and invigorated to give Christ our best in the coming year. There are some things we need to accomplish. As a pastor, I would sometimes look at this work as a chore; I am realizing though that these reports are indicators of the health of church. They can be gauges that warn us of potential problems or reassure us that things are going well.

The Church Conference instructions including a sample agenda and handout, all the forms and checklist are available at the Desert Southwest Conference website at https://dscumc.org/church-forms/. I have invited pastors to use the sample agenda or to create their own. The date of your Church Conference is on my calendar and I hope it is on yours. God be with you ‘til we meet then!

Grace and peace,

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