GC 2019 is Almost Here: Resources to Help Your Church

Date Posted: 2/14/2019


Images by United Methodist Communications.
 
Purveyors of Truth and Calmness
The TAC Communications Department has put together a variety of resources for the conference churches as the denomination moves closer to the Special Session of General Conference 2019 (GC2019). “These resources are designed to help pastors and lay leaders understand what is happening prior to GC2019,” said Shannon W. Martin, Director of Communications for the Texas Annual Conference. “As pastors and leaders in our church, Bishop Jones has been sharing with all of us how important it is for us to be a calm presence and to continue living out our mission to make more disciples,” she said.
 
The Special Session of General Conference will meet on February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis. During this worldwide legislative conference, 864 delegates will vote on our church’s stance on the definition of marriage, whether self-avowed practicing homosexual persons may be ordained and whether churches are permitted to conduct same gender wedding ceremonies. This is the culmination of decades of discussion within the United Methodist Church.
 
“We encourage your leadership to be purveyors of truth and calmness emphasizing that we are to be in mission together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Bishop Scott J. Jones said. “We have to keep the main thing the main thing. As your Bishop, I want to emphasize to you that I remain hopeful about our future, not because I am in denial, but because God gives me hope and He alone controls our future.”
 
Communications Resources
General Conference 2019 communications resources include a prayer guide, Q&A, bulletin inserts, newspaper and social media ads, and a video on how to talk to the media.  These resources can be found at txcumc.org/gcchurchresources.
 
The Movement Continues
As seen in the series of social media and newspaper ads, “The Movement Continues,” we are reminded of how we as a church are “Moved to Pray, Heal, Share, Serve, Praise, Build, Connect, Grow, Study, Worship and Teach.” This series, produced by United Methodist Communications (UMCOM) is free and downloadable to each church in the Texas Annual Conference.
 
 
Images by United Methodist Communications.

The resources are careful, however, to recognize our diversity within all we hold in common. “Moved to study,” for example, is illustrated with a picture of children studying a schoolbook in one resource, while another shows an older adult studying. “Moved to serve” is depicted with people serving food in one, with a health clinic in another, and a foot washing in a third.
The campaign also draws upon our rich heritage as United Methodists. The language of movement is used because we have always been a people on the move. Methodism began as a movement in England decades before we became a church in the United States in 1784. John Wesley and others shared the good news of Jesus Christ in fields, markets, homes, and wherever people gathered. Many of our first pastors were “circuit riders,” preachers who traveled from place to place. Soon after becoming a church, we began to travel the globe to share the love of Jesus.

Today we build churches, health clinics, and schools around the world. We bring help and healing to people suffering after natural disasters. We share physical and spiritual nutrition with those in our communities.

Our response to God’s call continues
Throughout our rich history and continuing today, United Methodists’ goal has been to help one another live and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ (see our Book of Discipline). Our new resources urge us to continue in this work.
 
These resources are perfect for sharing on social media. Image by United Methodist Communications.
The foundation of The United Methodist Church has always been to follow God’s call of making disciples of Jesus Christ. We do that in many ways and many places. Yesterday. Today. Forever.
We may not be able to predict the future of The United Methodist Church, but we can be certain that God continues to call us in our disciple-making work. So let’s celebrate how God is moving us to grow together as disciples of Jesus Christ.
 
Practical, Shareable Tools
Please use the resources at www.txcumc.org/gc2019  Post your favorite to your social media feeds. Use one as a wallpaper for your phone. Share them with members of your choir, church committee, Sunday School class, small group, Bible study and others. Tell your pastor about them and see if there are ways your church could add them to their newsletter, bulletin, website or worship slideshow.

While there are plenty of things about United Methodists that vary, like language, culture, and traditions, what we share is greater. As Scripture reminds us:
You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.
Ephesians 4:4-6 CEB