General Conference is the quadrennial (every 4 years) meeting the ruling legislative body of the United Methodist Church. This coming April 24th the General Conference will open in Tampa Bay, Florida. For two weeks an equal number of lay and clergy delegates will engage in holy conversation and legislative decision making on the ministry and future of the United Methodist Church. I will be there as the resident Bishop of the Central Texas Conference/The Fort Worth Episcopal Area. (Bishops preside but do not have vote at General Conference.) As we prepare for General Conference I ask for your prayers for the church and for our faithfulness in ministry and service to Christ and for the world our Lord came to save. The Upper Room Ministries (a part of the General Board of Discipleship) has prepared a devotional and prayer guide which I commend to you. “The 50 Days of Prayer Before and During the General Conference is available on the Internet at this site: http://50daysofprayer.upperroom.org. In addition you will be able to “sign up for a free daily email version and the meditation will be sent to you each day” in a download version. Print versions are available through the United Methodist Reporter. (Individual copies are $4.95 postpaid and the cost for bulk mailing to groups and congregations is reduced; they can be secured through http://bit.ly/Print50DaysURM or by calling 1-855-469-3386.) Another exciting way to prepare in thought and prayer for General Conference is by reading a special blog entitled Remember the Future written by Bishop Robert Schnase (author of The Five Practices for Fruitful Congregations). The purpose of Remember the Future is to deepen understanding and further conversation about the key issues that shape the mission and future of the Church. Daily meditations will be posted beginning March 26 at www.ministrymatters.com/30Days. The great time of preparation in prayer begins this Friday. I will be using the prayer booklet as a part of own devotionals and hope you will join me. I will be writing more about Remember the Future at a later date.