As we reported earlier this week, after several hours/days of prayerful consideration and as many as 16 rounds of votes, the body of the Central Texas Annual Conference has named its delegates to next year’s General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Of those selected, 12 folks from across the conference (six laity and six clergy) were selected to attend the 2012 General Conference as official delegates. However, this did not shut the door on the opportunity to represent us put the radical hospitality and extravagant generosity of the Central Texas Conference (CTC) on display for all the Methodist-world to see. Approximately 150 volunteers are needed to make General Conference run smoothly, and the (online) lines are now open for you to throw your hat in the ring to be marshals and pages. Marshals serve to assist visitors and special guests and check credentials for proper authorization, while pages assist delegates, secretarial staff, Bishops, members of the Judicial Council and official visitors, distribute approved materials and deliver printed information. Those wishing to volunteer should be aware that you will be responsible for your own travel and expenses.
Anyone who worked so well to make the 2008 General Conference a success will remember that this large meeting is like none other and takes a lot of people to make it happen. Besides serving as the top policy making body for the United Methodist Church, General Conference is a gathering of diversity and culture with United Methodists from coming from as far away as Nigeria, the Sudan, Ukraine, Macedonia and pretty much all over the world. The 2012 meeting will be in Tampa, Fla. from April 24 – May 4 and will serve the United Methodist body in discussing and revising church laws, adopting resolutions on current issues today and approving plans and budgets.
As Bishop Lowry reminded during Annual Conference, part of building a strong community of Christian believers is stepping out of one’s comfort zone in order to intentionally develop faith and passionately worship with others. Those who choose to offer their time not only get that opportunity but also have the unique chance to engage in fellowship and cross-culture networking, establishing life-long relationships with those gathered.
Please consider volunteering and/or encouraging members of your own congregation to partake in this important event and show what it means to practice radical hospitality and extravagant generosity Central Texan-style. Those interested should submit their online application at www.umcevents.org/gc2012marshalpage by Aug. 31. Applicants will be notified of their status by Nov. 30.