Read Mark 1:14-20

Today is the beginning of General Conference for The United Methodist Church.  It was in a small town United Methodist Church that I first heard my call to ministry.  I have continued to be called, and I have been taken on some amazing adventures.  The latest version of my call has me working full-time at a community college and serving two small membership churches.  The next adventure is in the works.

A couple of resources that I have been using for the past month or so both had the same topic this morning.  One comes from an Episcopal resource, the other from my Bishop, the United Methodist, in WNCC.  Both are very appropriate for the beginning of this Conference.

From the SSJE:


Being called by God is no easy thing. But knowing that you have been called, and knowing what God is calling you to, is even more difficult.

-Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

From 50 Days of Prayer:

“Now is the time!” With those words, we gather today in Tampa to begin General Conference. “Now is the time!” Will we hear the call of Jesus to catch a glimpse of and join what God is already up to in the world, or will we refuse to hear and be content with the status quo?

On this day, we too have come to the edge of a body of water and to the edge of our future. From that first call issued along the waters of the Sea of Galilee to the renewed call by the waters of Tampa Bay, we are invited to turn our attention and energy toward the vision of a transformed world. When God’s reign of love, mercy, and grace arrives, everything about our life, our world, and our church must be reconfigured because at that point our business cannot go on as usual.

Meditate on “time”: this time, our time, the next ten days of time; in silence, listen for the call of Jesus and respond to this kairos moment.

—Larry Goodpaster
Bishop, WNCC of The UMC

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