What expresses God’s grace and moves us on toward perfection?
We recognize with bated breath before the start of this General Conference that full justice for all God’s children will not be achieved in The United Methodist Church by the end of our deliberations. No matter the outcome of this General Conference, more work will remain to be done in our denomination and in our local congregations.
But nonetheless, we strive for the expression of God’s grace and for the wisdom to move toward perfection. We lean on the Spirit, who guides us in a time of both hope and anxiety. For delegates, for God’s beloved LGBTQ children, for all of us witnessing - whether in St. Louis or elsewhere - we pray for a spirit of love.
Our deep hope is for the transformation of this Church and the orientation of our hearts toward grace, that we would endeavor to build a table #ForEveryoneBorn.
Looking Ahead: a Day of Prayer
Tomorrow, February 23, is a day of prayer preceding General Conference 2019. It will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST in the St. Louis America’s Center Convention Complex. You can live-stream the event at www.umc.org/live.
During this time, bishops, delegates, and staff will gather on the floor. Observers will be located in the seating and outer concourse areas of The Dome at the America’s Center.
The following events are taking place today:
If you’ve already RSVPed for Stronger Together, an evening of worship, fellowship, and dinner hosted by the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC) Global Relations Team, don’t forget to meet us from 4:00p.m. - 9:00p.m. tonight in the Grand Ballroom of the Holiday Inn. More details can be found here.
Join Methodists in New Directions (MIND) and the New York Annual Conference at 4:30p.m. for a town hall-style discussion with LGBTQ General Conference delegates. Space is limited, so please RSVP! More details can be found here.
What’s Happening Today
9:00a.m.: Registration Begins
9:00a.m. - 3:30p.m.: NFAAUM Gathering - Embassy Suites
10:0a.m.: IESDG Meeting - Soulard (HI)
2:30p.m. - 3:30p.m.: Intercultural Competency - Soulard (HI)
2:30p.m. - 4:30p.m.: UMW Gathering - Centenary
3:00p.m. - 8:30p.m.: Global Relations - Washington/Broadway (HI)
4:30p.m. - 6:00p.m.: Conversations at the Crossroads - Lindell (HI)
9:00p.m.-10:00p.m.: Queer Family Gathering - Soulard (HI)
What’s Happening Tomorrow
9:00a.m. - 10:00a.m.: Opening Plenary Prayer Service
10:00a.m. - 11:50a.m.: Experiential Prayer
10:30a.m. - 11:30a.m.: Intercultural Competency - Soulard (HI)
11:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.: Therapy Rabbits - Holiday Inn Lobby
1:15p.m. - 2:00p.m.: Experiential Prayer, continued
2:00p.m. - 3:30p.m.: Closing Plenary Prayer Service with Holy Communion
2:00p.m. - 4p.m.: Advanced Cultural Competency - Soulard (HI)
7:30p.m. - 8:30p.m.: LYNC Coffee House and Bible Study - Washington/Broadway (HI)
8:30p.m. - 9:30p.m.: Reflections on the Day with David Meredith - Soulard (HI)
Post-GC Service of Healing and Hope
Join LYNC after General Conference for a service of Healing and Hope on February 27 at 9am in the Broadway/Washington Ballroom at the Holiday Inn. More details can be found here.
Donate to Local St. Louis Ministries
Did you bring items to donate to local St. Louis ministries benefitting individuals and families experiencing homelessness? Please bring your items to the Love Your Neighbor Coalition offices in the Holiday Inn (811 N 9th St.) across the street from the Convention Center.
Thank you to all of you who’ve brought and are bringing items or funds for donation! All of God’s beloveds are deserving of dignity, comfort, and hope. LYNC is glad to partner with the Emergency Winter Warming Shelter at AmeriCorps St. Louis for this project. The Warming Shelter is one of eleven emergency shelters that partner with the Winter Outreach Group to ensure that St. Louis’ most vulnerable individuals have a warm place to sleep and food to eat during nights when the temperature drops below 20 degrees. This is an LGBTQ-affirming organization and one of the only shelters in the area that lets couples and families (including pets) stay together.
Across the connection, United Methodists have made their voices heard, especially in these final weeks leading up to General Conference. Recent notable reading includes:
A powerful appeal from Albert Otshudi Longe for us to guard the goodness of The United Methodist Church
A collection of critical perspectives from LGBTQ United Methodists
A message of reconciliation from the first Korean American Reconciling Church
A letter of gratitude from Rev. Molly Vetter for the LGBTQ United Methodists who shaped her faith