Call to Annual Conference (An excerpt of a message from Bishop Jeremiah Park)

May 28, 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of
our Brokenness, and Hope of the World!

We will gather for the Seventh Session of the Susquehanna
Annual Conference from June 9 thru June 11 at Messiah College.


For many of us this yearly gathering of God's people called United
Methodists is very familiar. We have been to numerous annual
conferences, and we know the routine and how to navigate the
college campus. For others, this year's annual conference will be
their first experience and everything will be new and unfamiliar.
Whether this conference is your first or your fiftieth one, it is good
to remember the purpose of the annual conference.


According to paragraph 601 of the 2012 Book of Discipline: "The
purpose of the annual conference is to make disciples of Jesus
Christ for the transformation of the world by equipping its local
churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry
beyond the local church; all to the glory of God." Whether we
are in a business session, a worship service, Bible study or in
fellowship, it is important for us to remember that purpose
statement. In all that we do as an annual conference we need to
have the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ and
transforming the world in mind.


The theme of this year's conference is: Alive in Christ
Together...Creating New Places for New People. Our adaptive
challenge is: How will we be partners together in birthing a new
and exciting, as well as faithful and fruitful, way to reach more
people for Jesus Christ? To be a church that creates new
opportunities to connect with new people in our communities is
not an option for such a time as this.


Among those who will lead us: the Rev. Lori Steffensen, State
College District Superintendent, will be the preacher for the
Memorial Service. Mr. Joe Castillo, a world-renowned Sand Story
artist who appeared on the show America's Got Talent, will be the
presenter for the Celebration of Ministry Service. He will also lead
the Bible study. Bishop Ernest Lyght, who served the New York
and the West Virginia Conferences, will be the preacher at the
Ordination Service.


Each annual conference is unique and special. This year we will
have a service of repentance led by the Commission on Native
American Ministries. We will also hear from the delegates for the
General Conference. Please pray that we might discern God's
voice amid of all of the other voices in the world so that we
continue to be ever more faithful in our witness . . .


With You In Christ's Ministry,
Jeremiah J. Park
(To follow what’s happening at Annual Conference, go to

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