Taylor Focuses on Difficult, but Necessary Change
“Change can not only come from the top down," Leah Taylor noted during her final address as Texas Conference Lay Leader during Annual Conference on Tuesday. “Yes, General Conference could have embraced change, but unless you and I and the rest of United Methodists around the world make that change our own, it will just be a program.”
Taylor spoke of changes in her personal life and transitioned into how her disappointment at General Conference affected her. She added that after she had a chance to recover and process all that happened, she was as convinced of the need for change as she was before leaving for Tampa.
As she reflected on the changes she has witnessed in our Annual Conference since she stepped into the role in 2005, she recounted unexpected blessings of serving and said “Spiritually, I feel I have grown and matured as a Christian. Surprisingly, I’ve found a voice deep inside me that I didn’t know was there.”
Taylor added that “the movement to do God’s work will only spread when we walk it, talk it and live it... When we become outwardly focused and answer the call to serve our mission fields… When we take the church to places to serve new people in new ways…” When these happen, she said, “we will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit filling us, surrounding us, and lifting up each and every one of us.”
Taylor referenced Bishop Huie talking about turning our denominational structure upside down and said the districts, conferences, boards and agencies “only exist because of local churches and people like you and me living in the world every day, working to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Without us looking for ways to be hands and feet of Christ, there would be no reason to have rules, structures and regulations.”
“Its time for us to let go of our disappointments, because we believe in a risen savior. We are resurrection people,” she continued. “And if we grasp that - If we let that joy infuse every aspect of our lives, we will not just lead change, we will become change.”
“Please always remember this.” Taylor concluded. “You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your God in Heaven.”