Bishop's Convocation: A Reason to Rejoice


 By Tamica Smith-Jeuitt, Sr. Communications Specialist 

Attention: Last opportunity to register for Bishop's Convocation next week, September 30-October 2, Crossgates UMC, Brandon. Over 130 clergy already registered! Click hereto register!


Mississippi United Methodists take note that some clergy may not be immediately available during September 30 through October 2 while they attend the Bishop's Convocation.  Director of communications and connectional ministries for the Mississippi Annual Conference, the Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton shares why congregations ought to rejoice for clergy who have registered for the convocation. "When pastors take time away for learning and strengthening relationships, pastors return to their faith communities with deeper faith, viable preaching and clarity of commitment to serve," she said. 


Having been present for these meetings in the past, Shelton also explains what the time has meant for her. "Every time I gather with my clergy sisters and brothers, my faith is strengthened. When we gather in a room, sing, pray and reflect, the time together becomes a means of grace for the journey. We belong to one another. We weep together. We celebrate together."  


Dr. Jason Vickers 
Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., said that one primary responsibility of the annual conference is to provide effective and productive leadership to the local churches. He is extending the 
 invitation for all pastors to in-depth consideration of the connections between God's holiness, one's own holiness and the renewal of the church. Dr. Jason Vickers has explored these relationships in his 2011 book "Minding the Good Ground: A Theology of Church Renewal."  Vickers will guide participants through the following four phrases of reflection on the theme: Contemplating God's Holiness (Exodus 15:11 and Hosea 11:9), Encountering God's Holiness (Exodus 19:23, Deuteronomy 4:12 and Isaiah 6:5), Becoming Holy (Leviticus 11:45 and Numbers 16:46) and Finding Freedom in Holiness (II Corinthians 3:17). 

"I am sure that every local congregation desires that their pastor be exposed to learning opportunities that would aid them in becoming the best pastors that they can become. The laity should desire to see growth in their pastors because as the pastor experiences growth, the people should grow," said Swanson.  


The Mississippi Conference office of ministerial services, led by director, Jimmy Carr, is urging clergy to participate stating that the convocation "will add significant training experience for clergy."  Those who attend the event will earn one continuing education credit (CEU).  "Whenever our clergy improve themselves through continuing education, the local church is supported and improved.  Lay members of the churches should encourage their clergy to attend events like the Bishop's Convocation," said Carr.


To date, over 130 of the 801 Mississippi clergy signed-up for the convocation that will take place at Crossgates United Methodist Church, in Brandon, Mississippi. It is sponsored by the office of thebishop and the office of communications and connectional ministries of the Mississippi Annual Conference UMC, coordinated by the Center for Ministry.


For more details and to register click here.