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February 17 – General Administration Fund (Focus: Special General Conference, February 23–26)
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A MOMENT FOR MISSION

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord.…They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.” —Jeremiah 17:7-8, NRSV

Looking toward the special United Methodist General Conference, we recall John Wesley’s words: “Where are even the Christians who ‘love one another as he hath given us commandment’? How many hindrances lie in the way! The two grand, general hindrances are, first, that they cannot all think alike and, in consequence of this, secondly, they cannot all walk alike; but in several smaller points their practice must differ in proportion to the difference of their sentiments.”

As United Methodists from around the world assemble in St. Louis and connect in worship, prayer, Communion, and fellowship—and the legislative work that shapes our shared lives—we pray for Christ like understanding.  

The special session will focus on the issue of human sexuality and church unity with the goals of ending distracting and mission-compromising disagreement about how to be in ministry with LGBTQI people. The hope is that decisions made will allow the 2020 General Conference to focus on mission and the next steps for the church’s unified global witness.

Wesley added, “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may.”

Thanks to your congregation’s support of the General Administration Fund, our church leaders have the opportunity to gather and determine critical next steps for The United Methodist Church. Thank you!

OFFERTORY PRAYER
Loving God, help us to trust in you. Give us wisdom to listen before we speak and, then, to speak always in love. Guide us in our decision making. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany — God of the least, the last, and the lost: Jesus reminded us as he preached the Sermon on the Mount how much you pour your love down on the ones who are the poor, the meek, the heartbroken, the despised. In his words, we are convicted for ways we have clung so tightly to money and possessions, seeking the comforts, status, and control that they seem to provide. As we bring our gifts to your altar this morning, may your love soak into us in a way that it loosens our grip of the things of this world that do not last, so we may cling instead to your love and redeeming grace, which endures eternally. In Christ’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Luke 6:17-26) 

NEWSLETTER NUGGET
Without the General Administration Fund, we might not have General Conference. Thanks to your congregation’s support of this very important fund, delegates—elected by each annual conference—discuss and vote on proposals for resourcing and regulating the life and work of The United Methodist Church.

General Conference sets rules and establishes procedures for virtually every aspect of the church’s life. It also communicates the denomination’s official position on a variety of issues and cultural challenges. General Conference makes binding decisions related to the connectional and missional life of The United Methodist Church. It is the only body authorized to speak for or as The United Methodist Church.

As United Methodists gather February 23–26 for a special General Conference, we pray for the wisdom conveyed in Wesley’s words: “But although a difference in opinions or modes of worship may prevent an entire external union, yet need it prevent our union in affection?” May the love of Jesus Christ prevail.

—Adapted from “Catholic Spirit: A Sermon by John Wesley”

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