Methodists to Reveal Journey of Faith in 'We Are More' Campaign

5/3/2016

With the United Methodist church's General Conference just days away, the denomination's South Central Jurisdiction, including Texas, is launching a two-pronged "We Are More" campaign wherein church members can share the story of their faith journeys with fellow believers via the Internet.

Six of the jurisdiction's regional conferences will create professionally produced four-minute segments for the project, and ordinary church members will be invited to post shorter "selfies" to the Web site, www.wearemore.faith.

The Houston-based Texas Annual Conference will be among those contributing a professionally shot video to the project. The Houston segment will feature Rice University senior Lisa Sampson telling of her religious life in the church.

Texas Annual Conference spokeswoman Paula Arnold called the effort "an open forum where people can talk about how the church has impacted them." While the project targets Methodists, those of other faiths also may post to the site, provided that they abstain from proselytizing, she said.

"We're really trying to get the message out of what church and faith can mean in someone's life," Arnold said. The site, she said, is expected to remain active throughout the summer. "Nobody has really talked about when it will end," Arnold said.

The South Central Jurisdiction includes regional conferences in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

In announcing the project, Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase noted that "people seem to be anxiously bracing themselves" for the General Conference, which will consider such issues as sanctioning same-sex marriage.

"Some people hope for change, others fear division and most feel uncertain about what may happen," he said. "Instead, we wanted to inspire people to remember that discipleship in Jesus Christ is more than buildings and structures, more than those in worship, more than the United Methodist Church, even more than the issues that divide us..

"Regardless of what happens at the General Conference, United Methodists will continue to be called by God to ministries that transform lives."

The General Conference, held every four years, will convene in Portland, Ore., on May 10.

Originally published at: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Methodists-to-reveal-journey-of-faith-in-We-Are-7387886.php