Hello--it's Sarah the page again!
Today I'm enjoying the opportunity to serve the GC Legislative Committee on Conferences. The committee is broken into three subcommittees to discuss the petitions and resolutions that have been submitted in the Conferences category. The subcommittees cover these three areas: General Conference, Annual and Jurisdictional Conferences, and Global Conference Issues (those may not be their exact names, but those are the topics covered). I was closest to the General and Global subcommittees, and it was very interesting to see how they worked. Since the General Conference subcommittee dealt first with several petitions/resolutions that were relatively simple, they were able to go accept or reject about five of them in the hour and a half that they had before lunch.
The Global Conference subcommittee, however, has to deal with the petitions that talk about whether the international UM conferences should have equal influence to the UMC in the US. This is one of the weightiest issues at General Conference this year, and it needs much discussion. I was happy to see that there were several members of this subcommittee from conferences in Africa, and there were a couple from the Phillippines, too, I believe. Members of all types took the opportunity to share their opinions, and so I was able to see a couple of the translators in action. I am so impressed by their ability to be the bridge between languages and cultures!
This evening, I will be able to spend more time with this committee, so we'll see if anything exciting happens while I'm there!
On another topic, tomorrow morning, the entire General Conference will celebrate together the value of ministry and churches in rural areas and small towns. This holds a special place in my heart, since Eric and I both grew up in small rural churches. I will be carrying a banner to represent Henderson Settlement, and Eric will be carrying a pole covered with paper butterflies (each butterfly represents a rural church--25,000 in all!). If you're interested, you can try and find us on the streaming video from GC (the link on the right). The service starts around 9:30am.
As Eric mentioned earlier, we would be happy to try our best to answer any questions you might have about General Conference, so feel free to leave them as comments.