To the Clergy and Lay Members of the Alabama-West Florida Conference:
As we embark on a new conference year, I want to inform you of the status of the Commission on the Way Forward and Council of Bishops’ Report that was to be made public on July 8th. I have communicated this date to you months ago and at our recent Annual Conference Session. Bishops all across the world did the same. July 8th has now come and gone and we have no report. I was officially informed this past Friday, July 6th that the report would be delayed. Translating it into four different languages is the main reason being given for the delay. In our communication, we were told the delay might be in the three- to six-week time frame.
Rev. Gary Graves, General Conference Secretary for the United Methodist Church, may be releasing a news report on this matter, but I want you to know what I have been told. Transparency is very important to me and must pervade our work together in this team ministry effort. Be assured that as I know more, I will pass along the information to you. I am aware that the uncertainty of this timeline is frustrating.
In the meantime, I encourage all of us to keep focused on our mission of making disciples. What a wonderful summer we have experienced in this conference with Vacation Bible Schools, youth retreats, mission teams traveling all over the world and people coming to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
I am looking forward to preaching a three-day revival at Adams Chapel in the Dothan District beginning this Sunday, July 15th. If you are in the area, I encourage you to join us.
I am praying for you and your ministry and appreciate all you do.
Bishop David Graves
Alabama-West Florida Conference