New England Annual Conference starts tomorrow! I plan to be tweeting about it here, and the pre-conference booklet is here. Below is some of what I've been reading and thinking about leading up to conference.
Annual Conference and Connectionalism
Eric Little talks about the need for more evidence of our connexion throughout the year, not just at AC. He focuses on clergy but talks a little about how laity can contribute to this by carrying more of the load within the local church. But if we believe that connexionalism is one of the strengths of our structure, then we need laity engaged in the connexion as well.
This was about further conversations between the UMC and the Episcopal Church on forming a full communion relationship. It also mentions that the UMC is also working on entering into full communion with the Moravian Church. I don't have much to say on this, but I'm pretty excited.
The Church is not Glocal, It's Catholic
This semester, one of my Catholic friends asked me what I meant when I said I believed in the "holy catholic church" in the creed, and I responded that I meant the church universal, not just in the sense of all places but also all time. This post (and the three that follow it) talk about appropriate and inappropriate use of other languages and customs in worship, and a lot of the argument is based on that idea of the catholic church: "The Church's historic liturgy transcends time, space, culture, ethnicity, and language. That is, catholic worship is by its very nature multicultural." I'm not a huge fan of his recommendations for languages in the liturgy (so much Latin and Greek), but he makes good points.
The Global and the Local at Annual Conference
David Scott points out here the ways in which AC, which can seem pretty local, has elements of the global (especially with General Conference next May). Again, not much to say here, but I'll definitely have this in mind over the next few days.
And finally, a prayer for AC from Jeremy Steele:
A Prayer for the Methodist Church and Annual Conference