Thursday, June 9, 2011

SC Annual Conference - Day 2

Today, started with Holy Communion. At one time, communion was held each morning in a chapel apart from the meeting area. Now, we start the day in the same place where we do other business with a service of worship and Holy Communion. A pastor is assigned the task and leads us. This is a wholy appropriate and wonderful way to begin our work. It is, of course, where we meet Christ at table, in bread and juice. It reminds us that all our work, be it business and discussions about money, or mission, is the Father's business, a holy task.

In addition to celebrating Africa University, our United Methodist University built by and with the whole church, specifically South Carolina Methodists, we talked about a lot of things. Did you know that most of the growth in the United Methodist Church is in Africa? On that troubled continent, in the midst of all kinds of horrors, is our great university. Every church contributes to its support.

We also celebrated our Spartanburg Methodist College, a place rich in history and alive with its modern ministry to students.

We worked on pension and insurance issues for Conference employees and pastors. The church, like all institutions is facing the challenge of rising health costs. With some minor tweaking, we were able to keep premiums the same for 2012.

We also worked on some structural changes. We Methodists like to tinker with structure. But, the trend is toward moving more and more toward the ministry of the local church, where ministry action takes place. We are trying to better connect our churches to resources to enhance their ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ.

We had another lecture on leadership, and more ballots to elect delegates for General Conference.

Tonight we had a rousing worship experience with an African American Choir and preacher. It was a good experience and a celebration of some of the diversity in our Annual Conference. An offering was taken for the mission to rid Africa of malaria.

We had another full and blessed day of doing God's work together.
Blessings!
Dave Nichols

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Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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