Charge Conference: A Spirit-filled Process


By Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton, Director of Communications and Connectional Ministries for the Mississippi Annual Conference

How is the power of the Holy Spirit moving in your

The Revs. Keith Gaughf and Tony Proctor are credited with creating the new system for receiving charge conference forms.
congregation and what are your next steps to join God's mission in the world? Congregations, clusters and districts wrestled with this question across Mississippi over the last four months through charge conferences. Stories of the power of the Holy Spirit's work permeate our annual conference. The Rev. John Moore, superintendent of the New Albany District said, "The ground swell in the charge conference sessions was so evident as church after church reported the significance of shifting the theme from us to the 
work of the Holy Spirit within us. The use of the Core Values teaching reinforced and gave credence to the source of power outside of us, yet at work within us." 


The goal of charge conference is discernment. Charge conference is an intentional gathering for reflection-open and authentic holy conferencing evidencing our Core Values of love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship. 

Also, charge conference forms were different this year. We used an online system. System change is hard work. Very few people like change. Yet, a willingness to change creates space for God to transform and make all things new.


Two brilliant visionaries created the new system for receiving charge conference forms. The Revs. Keith Gaughf and Tony Proctor were the master minds and implementers of the online system. They spent hundreds of hours volunteering their time to help us move into this new system of data compilation. New connectional ministries' staff person, Cat Foster was a huge contributor to the data import as well. District secretaries continue to be strong advocates and faithful stewards of the data and our systems.   

The Mississippi Annual Conference is reflecting on what went well and what needs improvement for next year. Thank you for being a conference embodying courage and vision as we move toward God's transformation among us and within us. How is the power of the Holy Spirit moving in your congregation and what are your next steps to join God's mission in the world?