|General Conference host issues call to prayer|
Tauyna Malone prays in the prayer room during the
United Methodist Church's 2004 General Conference in Pittsburgh. The
Central Texas Annual Conference, host for the 2008 General Conference,
is calling for daily prayers for the legislative assembly, which will
convene next April in Fort Worth, Texas. A UMNS file photo by Rasul
By United Methodist News Service
June 4, 2007
United Methodists around the world are asked to pray for God's
guidance for the church in the time leading up to and during the
denomination's 2008 legislative assembly.
The Central Texas Annual (regional) Conference host committee, which
is preparing for the assembly next spring in Fort Worth, has issued a "A
Call to Prayer for General Conference 2008."
"Just as prayer is as essential to the Christian life as breath, so
prayer is essential to our shared life together as we prepare for
General Conference 2008," the committee said in its call.
"We on the General Conference Hosting Committee Prayer Ministries
Team invite you to pray daily for General Conference 2008 and for all
the preparations and deliberations leading up to it so that in all that
we do we are 'rooted and grounded in love,'" the committee said.
Nearly 1,000 delegates from around the world will meet April 23-May 2 in Fort Worth to revise The United Methodist Church's Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions,
approve a budget for general ministries, speak to issues of the day,
worship and celebrate the church's work. General Conference meets every
feel that the prayers of all United Methodists are crucial as we
approach General Conference," said Judy Tutt, co-chairperson of the
Prayer and Discernment Ministries Team. "If we are to discern God's will
for our denomination, it is important for every member to be informed
about and to pray about the issues that will come before the conference.
That's why we are trying to disseminate the Call to Prayer to as many
United Methodist publications and Web sites worldwide as we possibly
Tutt's co-chairperson, Len Delony, wrote the prayer contained within the committee's call to prayer statement.
"People might pray this particular prayer or they might be led to
pray for General Conference in another way," Tutt said. "They might be
led to Ephesians 3:14-21, or other portions of Scripture may speak to
them more clearly. Our hope is that more and more United Methodists will
lift up General Conference during all of their regular prayer time and
Bible study in the coming months."
"We encourage everyone in their prayer time to be silently open and
available to God," Delony said. "There are so many competing agendas in
this fast-paced world of ours, we must be more intentional about taking a
second breath and letting go of our agenda. Only when we do that are we
able to hear the depth of God's call in the moment," he said.
The committee is planning several types of prayer spaces at General
Conference, including "Second Breath" prayer tents near the convention
floor, Delony said. The prayer spaces are designed to help the church
experience General Conference as a time of "holy conferencing," he said.
"Prayer reminds us of our connectedness to God and to one another," Tutt
said. "In the midst of conflicting viewpoints and different
understandings of God's will and purpose for us, we all stand humbly
before God as brothers and sister when we pray. If we let prayer shape
all of our plans for General Conference, our time together to plan for
The United Methodist Church will be shaped not merely by our human
capabilities and perspectives, which are always limited, but also by the
transforming work of the Holy Spirit, which knows no limits."
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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