Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tuesday at Annual Conference

Tuesday was a good day. We had two lectures by Gil Rendle who talked about the current cultural situation and the church’s response to that. I will talk more about that later. We spent much of the morning recognizing the Pastors who were retiring at this Annual Conference. Over 30 Pastors retired, among them was our own Rev. Harry Hays, who served Bethel here from 1998-2006. Each pastor and spouse was brought forward and congratulated by the Bishop. When they were all recognized, a video presentation was given in which each Pastor gave an answer to some questions. They all told of some significant or humorous moment in their ministry. They all were asked to give advice to young Pastors who are just starting out. And, all of them said they were grateful for the United Methodist Church and their opportunity to serve. We gave them a standing ovation. They represented many years of service. The Retired Pastors and Spouses were then taken to a huge banquet. This Retirement Service is always an important time at Annual Conference. It always is a time filled with mixed feelings. In one way, the call of God does not leave any of the retirees. They all continue to be servants of Christ, just in another capacity. We wish them God’s best and we hope to see some of Larry and Sally here, maybe. The afternoon started with the second of Gil Rendle’s lectures. Then, business was conducted and remarkably, we finished the business of the Annual Conference by dinner time. The budget was passed and nominations were made. In my more than 30 years of ministry, I cannot remember when things have gone as smoothly or peaceably. One moment on Tuesday stood out for me when Rev. Roger Gramling made a speech about the merging of the African American Conference and the Majority Conference in 1972. I was at that Annual Conference to see the merger take place. How much richer have been our relationships and friendships since we merged. Why did it take us until 1972 to finally come together? Blessings! Dave Nichols

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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.

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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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