The Alabama-West Florida Conference delegation met on Sunday, September 10 and Monday, September 11 on the campus of Huntingdon College for a time of work, worship, and fellowship. This delegation was elected in 2019 and 2023 due to COVID-19 postponing the 2020 General Conference. Click here to see the elected delegation.
To begin the retreat, the delegation crafted a covenant and mission/vision statement in its first meeting to guide their work and establish trust. The team reviewed these documents before beginning their important work.
In previous meetings, the delegation was assigned General Conference legislative committees to have representation from the conference in all committees. While the Alabama-West Florida Conference has four clergy and four lay delegates to General Conference, most of the Jurisdictional delegates and alternates will also be attending the conference to support our delegation, serve as monitors in committees, and offer expertise in their respective areas. Click here to see committee list.
The retreat was planned by Rev. Emily Kincaid, head of the delegation and the first deacon to hold this position. It began by reviewing other delegate names from around the globe to build connectional relations. The retreat continued Monday with a time of joyful worship led by Kincaid and Dr. Geoffrey Lentz. Both leaders serve at FUMC Pensacola. Dr. Lentz shared from Isaiah 61:1-4 titled “Sometimes the roof caves in.” He focused on how the roofs of even the greatest churches and cathedrals eventually cave in, and a new generation of leaders is called to go back to the foundation, welcome new people in, and rebuild the church for future generations. He and Rev. Kincaid served communion to the delegates.
The remaining time was spent on updating one another about the current legislation in the 2020 Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA). This legislation was submitted in 2019 but still is properly before the conference. Each delegate provided a summary of the pieces of legislation that will come before the committees and possibly the plenary sessions. These updates gave a wider view of the work to come. The updated ADCA, including legislation recently submitted after the conclusion of annual conferences, will be published in the coming months.
“Our time together was life giving and enabled us to begin the tremendous work of serving as delegates,” said Rev. Kincaid. “Each person is committed to spending the time it takes to be prepared for General Conference. We are prayerful about the task before us. While the work is often tedious, we remember that we are serving God and this conference. We are deeply honored to serve and will do our best to represent our conference. We covet your prayers in the coming months.”
Two Jurisdictional delegates will now serve on the General Conference delegation. Rev. Richard Williams of Metropolitan UMC in Montgomery will now serve due to a resignation of a clergy delegate elected from 2019 and Pat Luna will also serve due to a lay delegate being unable to attend.
More information will be communicated from the delegation as it becomes available. All updates will be posted to www.awfumc.org/delegation.