A Word from Bishop Graves: Laity Meeting Recap and FAQ Resource

September 08, 2022

Dear Friends of the Alabama-West Florida Conference,

What a joy to visit with over 2,500 laity across the Alabama-West Florida Conference in the month of August. The attendance surpassed my expectations which tells me people are in need of accurate information. As expected, I fielded questions about many relevant denominational topics but my heart was warmed to know that a lot of people attended these sessions to better understand what the future United Methodist Church looks like and what laity can do to encourage their church to stay United Methodist.
Some in attendance wanted more information on the steps of disaffiliation. We did not focus our time on the nuances of that topic because a page on our Website has been published that explains those questions. As of September 1, 2022, pastors may now log onto the church dashboard to obtain their disaffiliation numbers
My team has compiled the most asked questions from the laity sessions. We felt this document could help those who were not able to attend. It is also beneficial for your church to review this information. Please ensure you are receiving your information on the denomination from an accurate source. The Alabama-West Florida Conference leadership team is your best source to guide you. 
I also stated that our conference and I have spent a lot of time helping churches get to where they need to be. At this time, my future efforts will be focusing on those remaining in the United Methodist Church. So many of our local churches are doing what I have asked them to do over the past few years by focusing on mission and ministry. They need support from the conference and me.
Acts 20:24 states, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” As we approach fall, let us receive the ministry that God has blessed us with and understand the privilege we have to proclaim the good news.
In Christ,
Bishop David Graves