It’s been four years since this blog has been updated… what a lot has changed! And yet here we are, as ready as we can be for another General Conference. I (Diane) am not sure how many blog updates there will be this quad, since I’m not on-the-ground in Portland (and no one wants to read commentary from someone whose only connection to GC is “text me when something important happens!”). But I am qualified to get us started with a few family updates, and hopefully Mom, Dad, and Connor will chime in as GC gets underway.

(Same as in 2012: opinions expressed by individual family members do not necessarily reflect the whole family or the groups we’re affiliated with. Judi blogs under “OneMoreStepUp.” Connor blogs under “Stretch Out Your Hand.” Diane blogs under “La Peregrina.” Joe blogs under one of the other usernames, but we’ll always cite his name at the top. Rachel and Adam avoid blogging at all costs.) 

Judi – now the chairperson of the Commission on General Conference:

(yes, we made fun of her for saying “I love the process. I love the way the church works. I like reading the legislation. I really get excited by the workings of the church and seeing our connection work together in the global church”… but the reason we make fun is because it is so true!)

Judi wrote about the worldwide nature of the church and her identity as a United Methodist Christian here.

Joe – now district superintendent of the Southern District of the West Virginia Annual Conference and marshal for the 2016 General Conference

Connor – now a Global Mission Fellow for The United Methodist Church. Connor is wrapping up two years as a missionary for racial justice in Missouri. You can read Connor’s Global Mission blog here. Following the 2014 events in Ferguson, Missouri, he has interviewed African-American Methodists (UMC, AME, and AMEZ) in Missouri to discuss faith and race on a podcast with accompanying free curriculum for local churches.

Connor is a reserve lay delegate from the West Virginia Annual Conference. He and Diane were recently interviewed by UMCom about how to blog General Conference.

(Also at General Conference 2016 is The Lovely Maria, a Global Mission Fellow recently returned from China)

Rachel – now a film editor in New York City (a move up from “assistant film editor” in 2012!). As the only person in the family not employed by the UMC, she keeps the rest of us in good humor by gently poking fun at church bureaucracy 🙂

Diane – now ordained elder in the West Virginia Annual Conference and pastor of University United Methodist Church in St. Louis, MO (blog). Diane is concluding her second quadrennium as a board member for the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) and urges delegates to consider how proposed legislation affects women and girls. Specifically, please vote to add “gender” to paragraph 4 of the Constitution!

Adam – In 2013 Adam joined the family in a very churchy wedding in which Diane gave him another PHD – “Preacher’s Husband Degree” 🙂  Adam is a commissioned deacon who teaches historical theology and Methodist history/doctrine at a UCC seminary in St. Louis. His recently published book helps to keep General Conference in perspective: “For Augustine, the unity and integrity of the church were not rooted in the purity of the bishops or the guarded boundaries of the community, but rather depended upon the work of the triune God.”

Prayer for today:

As Judi, Joe, and Connor participate in General Conference, may they be filled with the Holy Spirit. May they stay rooted in You. May they radiate a calm, non-anxious presence. And may all of the delegates, pages, monitors, marshals, observers, reporters, and participants be guided by deep listening, deep love, and deep discernment. Amen!

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