January 25, 2022
Greetings to you in this new year. I have hit the ground running in this conference and in the South Georgia Conference. Despite the Omicron variant, ministry continues in numerous ways.
There are three things I would like to share with you. Before I do that, I want to express my deep appreciation to the churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference who continue to faithfully support the mission and ministry efforts of the conference through your apportionment giving in 2021. Even in difficult times you have shown what the United Methodist connection means and I am most grateful.
First, you might have noticed in Monday’s annual conference communication that this year’s session will be held at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on the campus of Alabama State University June 12-15, 2022. We are excited to announce this new venue. Rest assured you will receive ample communication about logistics in the coming months. Our office of communications will continue to update details at www.awfumc.org/ac2022.
Next, we continue to wait on an announcement related to general conference. The 2020 session was postponed due to the COVID outbreak, was rescheduled for later that year, postponed again and now we seek guidance on what our next step is. I commend those of you who are choosing to focus on making disciples in the uncertainty. As soon as we hear from the Commission on General Conference, we will notify you of those plans.
Finally, some are choosing to not wait on a general conference and explore other denominational options and perhaps you will hear about those decisions in the news. I have been candid with you that it is my prayer that each church and clergyperson live into all God is calling you to be. I can confidently say we are better together as a United Methodist connection. I encourage you to keep changing your corner of the world. That should be our focus and priority. There are people who are starved for the word of God and you have the power to be a life-changing voice to them.
I’m grateful for your ministry in this new year and my prayers are with you.
Bishop David Graves