I just attended Annual Conference in Athens, GA with 3,000 other Methodists. This year’s theme “Bound for Greater Things”, is based on John 14: 12-14. For 150 years, Methodists in GA have gathered as an Annual Conference, to proclaim the name of Christ. June 7th, was a day of highlights, including a powerful message from guest preacher Bishop Bill McAlily of the Nashville Episcopal Area, excellent music from Ralph Freeman and a report from our General Conference Delegation, which was not much. The day ended with the licensing, commissioning and ordination of new clergy. Bishop Watson is retiring and the new Bishop is yet to be announced. So we will be getting a new Bishop, New DS John Pinson and a new preacher Jay Hughes. The 44 retirees were recognized, as the newly ordained stood on stage with them, symbolically passing the mantle, marking the beautiful continuum of ministry in our church. The retirees shared touching stories from their collective 1,268 years of ministry. There are more than 4,000 students worshiping weekly in Methodist colleges and universities in GA. The president of Action Ministries noted that GA has the second highest rate of homelessness for children and veterans in the nation. North GA Methodists have given approximately $800,000 to the work to eradicate malaria, 68.5 million has been raised across the denomination. There are 8 churches closing. There is an overall decline in the average weekly attendance in Sunday School and worship. There were 700 churches that paid 100% of their apportionment for 2015.
So, we need to get busy being disciple’s for Christ and grow our church.