“In God we live, move, and exist.” Acts 17:28a CEB
As we begin the summer months, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the events that will be a part of the mission and ministry of our Church during the month of June.
The first week of summer break (June 8-12) arrives with two volunteer opportunities for our church. The first of these is a joint ministry with other churches in our county to be in service to our community through the Summer Feeding Program. The Ministerial Alliance has made several changes to the program this year in an effort to stabilize and increase its effectiveness in reaching hungry children in Grant County. Mike Carpenter, the Summer Feeding Program Coordinator, has supplied information in this newsletter about how you can help to make this program a success this summer.
The second volunteer opportunity is Vacation Bible School. VBS is an opportunity for us a congregation to help our children learn what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ, in a concentrated week long effort. This year’s theme “G-Force” will be an opportunity for our children to learn the stories of Moses, Solomon, Bartimaeus and others. As they learn these stories they will consider what it means to Move, Act, Care, Follow, and Share our faith with the world! VBS is always an exciting time for our Church, and I hope that you will find some way to participate or to pray for our children as they learn about Christ.
June will also bring with it the 2015 Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. This year’s conference will be held in Hot Springs, and will be attended by several of our members who will serve as delegates including Zoe Hines who will represent our Church, and Dee Ann Daniel who will represent the Southeast District. This year’s Annual Conference will be considering some major changes to our structure, and shared ministry. One of these possible changes is a new Apportionment Formula that will consider our shared ministry based on revenue instead of expenses. A second possible change involves the Clergy Health Insurance program and a possible way to help churches and clergy to save money on insurance premiums.
Also, at this year’s Annual Conference we will be electing delegates for the 2016 General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference. This year’s Annual Conference will elect 4 clergy and 4 lay delegates to represent Arkansas. This is a smaller number than the last few General Conferences. In an effort to save money at General Conference the 2012 Conference decided to cut the number of delegates who would attend. So every Annual Conference will be sending fewer delegates. As Annual Conference approaches I would ask that you be in prayer for the work of the Conference, the important decisions that we will make together, and for those who will be elected to serve and represent us to the upcoming General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
June’s a busy month, and it’s all possible because we live, move, and exist in God!
Rev. John Embrey