Let's meet for effective ministry


Peace and joy to you in this new year as the light of Christ shines upon us.

I look forward to engaging the lay and clergy members of the Mississippi Annual Conference in regional gatherings very soon. The purpose of the gatherings will be the strengthening of our unity, mutual understanding and missional energy as we move into the 2008-2012 quadrennium.

In the fall clergy gatherings in each district, we explored ways to open space for the movement of the Holy Spirit. The regional gatherings in the new year will be an opportunity for laity and clergy together to consider our strengths and challenges and to configure our life together in ways that will increase our effectiveness in evangelism, discipleship and mission.

I have sent lay and clergy members of the conference two resources for their prayerful reading and reflection: Three Simple Rules by Bishop Reuben Job and “Ten Provocative Questions” by Dr. Lovett Weems. I hope they use these gifts well, allowing them to inform their hearts and minds and speak to their spirit.

Members of the Annual Con-ference are invited to attend the most convenient session. These are the projected places and dates and the anticipated district participation:

• Jan. 20 — 3: p.m.; Alta Woods UMC, East Jackson, West Jackson and Brookhaven districts.

• Jan. 27 — 2 p.m.; First UMC, Batesville, Senatobia and Greenwood districts.

• Feb. 10 — 2 p.m.; First UMC, Wiggins; Seashore and Hattiesburg districts.

• Feb. 17 — 3 p.m.; Baldwyn UMC; New Albany and Tupelo districts.

• March 2 — 3 p.m.; Louisville UMC; Starkville and Meridian districts.

We are grateful for the service of all members of the annual conference and look forward to sensing God’s presence and guidance in these gatherings.