Monday, December 31, 2007

United Methodists

This year at Annual Conference, the yearly (ha ha) gathering of United Methodists, I decided that I would risk something that I have always wanted to try. That is, I ran for General Conference (the every-four-year gathering of United Methodists from around the world). Each Annual Conference has delegates to General Conference where they Book of Discipline is put together for another four years.

After some prayer and speculation, and mostly at the urging of my wife, I decided to run. It is an election and that is what is distasteful for me. I'm not much of a politician. My wife says that when I run for something I say: "You wouldn't want to vote for me, would you?"

I don't know why I feel this way really. I have served the United Methodist Church for over 30 years in full-time pastoral ministry. I have been a United Methodist all my life. My heart and head are there. I guess I just didn't want anybody to think I wanted their vote.

Well, this year my wife printed up 1000 campaign buttons- each saying "Why not Dave?" and listing my number. I used them and laughed about it and passed them out. I actually asked for support. And, I got it. It is reassuring to know that you still have friends.

After all, I was a District Superintendent for six years and some people don't like you for that. Well, I didn't make the first tier of delegates to General Conference, but I was elected to Jurisdictional Conference which meets at Lake Junaluska, since I am in the Southeastern Jurisdiction, S.C. Conference. Jurisdictional Conference elects bishops.

I am delighted to represent my colleagues at Jurisdictional Conference and to be a part of that body of people who elect our next bishops. However, I was a bit disappointed not to be elected to General Conference. My frustration there is that the same old people are still in the lead. And, the United Methodist Church is still in denial about its decline (mostly).

I pray for and love the United Methodist Church. I am honored to serve this great church.
Dave Nichols
Brother Dave's Blog

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