By Christina Dillabough, Director of Communications
The Upper Room is currently working with the UMC Commission on the General Conference and the Council of Bishops to reshape the 40 Days of Prayer for General Conference resource, UMCPrays.org, to better support the work of the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis, MN, May 5-15.
News Services Available
Subscribe at www.dscumc.org/subscribe and select Conference News.
Resources like the chart of proposed plans about the structure of The United Methodist Church are an example of the comprehensive and digestible resources curated for Desert Southwest Conference subscribers. General Conference 2020 news from a Western Jurisdiction perspective such as details about what our delegates will support is also included in the monthly news via email.
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In addition to finding Desert Southwest Conference news items on the DSCUMC Facebook Page, you will also find denominational news and relevant local shares from the Western Jurisdiction and General Church Agencies. For more specific topic-related news, join one of the many DSCUMC Facebook Groups which are linked below.
- Anti-Human Trafficking
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Visit www.dscumc.org/general-conference often
General Conference news and resources are available for you to use or reference. Find out who our delegates are and access the various plans to be presented, pre-conference briefing news, the ADCA, and a direct link to subscribe now for the daily wrap up newsletter from the Western Jurisdiction Communicators about General Conference.
Participate in town halls and conversations with your Bishop and General Conference Delegations.
Soon subscribers of the Desert Southwest Conference newsletter will receive an invitation in the monthly newsletter about upcoming town hall meetings to hear “Just the Facts” and responses to pre-submitted questions about General Conference.
The following tips were previously published by Scott Hughes | Discipleship Ministries
Build trust in your congregation
Now is not the time to be making decisions about the future of your local congregation’s denominational connection. No one can predict the outcome(s) of General Conference. Take this time to foster and deepen relationships with congregation members. Find intentional activities to foster dialogue across ideological perspectives. Possible discussion topics include: “Why are you United Methodists?” “When have you been proud to be United Methodists?” (Possible answers might include certain local ministries, UMCOR, Imagine No Malaria, connectionalism with the UMC in other parts of the globe). With church leaders or as a congregation, do a book study on The Anatomy of Peace or The Righteous Mind.
The North Georgia Conference has produced a six-week resource based on the teachings of Rev. Dr. Gary Mason whose work has included guiding individuals and communities to find healing and reconciliation in his home country of Ireland.
For additional suggestions, download and lead your congregation through Courageous Conversations. These tools help your congregation structure dialogues for learning instead of debating.
Maintain a focus on discipleship
Help your congregation be aware that regardless of what happens (or doesn’t) at General Conference, the ministry of making disciples and following God’s call for mission and ministry continues. (Resource: Developing an Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations.)
Urge congregational giving to continue
Ministry and needs within the community will be ongoing long past General Conference. It is always good to remind our congregation that giving is directed to God and to ministry needs locally and globally. Our connectional responsibilities to the church across the globe depend on your ongoing gifts. The surrounding community in which your church is engaged is going to need your church. (Resource: Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People.)