Vision Casting for the Northeast Conference

As we all know, the Northeast Conference is very large, geographically. Not only do we represent 12 states and the District of Columbia, but we represent 9 former United Methodist Annual Conferences. Even more than that, we are spread out over more than 150,000 square miles, and, we serve a population of more than 50 million people. I’d say our mission field is pretty impressive!

As leaders in 175 local Global Methodist churches across this Northeast region, we have an incredible opportunity to spread scriptural holiness across the land, with no shortage of people whose lives are ready to be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In January 2024, we officially launched the Northeast Provisional Annual Conference. Some of you represent churches that have been part of the Global Methodist Church for many months, while others have aligned with the GMC in the last few weeks. Our first GMC in the Northeast was way up in Maine, pastored by Rev. Hyoung Yung Choi. Choi is one of our presiding elders and he was approved by the TLC in September of 2022! Thank you for pioneering the way, Choi! Some are still waiting to align with the GMC after completing the disaffiliation process. Still others are in legal proceedings to pursue disaffiliation after exhausting other options to satisfy the requirements the UMC imposed on churches and clergy.

We continue to pray for you and are ready to receive all pastors and churches who are in those last two categories. What I do know is that the more costly the process – time, money, and the emotional toll – the sweeter it all is when we get home. So, keep praying and keep building the Kingdom right where you are while we keep working to grow the Northeast Region. We’ve only just begun!

As the President Pro Tem, part of my ministry work is to engage with the Conference leaders, teams, clergy, laity, and churches to cast vision for the Conference. When we began to envision the Northeast Provisional Annual Conference last year, we prayed and began to see a vision for the culture into which we felt the Holy Spirit leading us.

Here’s the Culture Statement offered by the members of the Transitional Conference Advisory Team:

“Grounded in Scripture and prayer from our first meeting, the leadership of our Northeast Provisional Annual Conference believes that our mission in this geographically wide network of gospel-based churches is to connect and support the laity and clergy in fostering their personal holiness (growing in practical divinity) and missional living (spreading scriptural holiness over the land). Under the lordship of Jesus Christ and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will live out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. We see every church, as a vital expression of true Wesleyan Methodism, building the kingdom by faithfully living out the good news of Jesus Christ and his love. We believe that our mission is to support and encourage all the people who make up the churches within the Northeast Provisional Annual Conference, so that they will live out their lives of faith in Christ with passion, vitality, and intentionality.”

As we begin to live into the call to be Global Methodists in the Northeast, we are on a mission to worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly. During our Convening Annual Conference in April 2024, we heard more about that mission and spent time getting to know each other so that we can encourage each other as we fulfill this mission. Our Convening Conference theme from Galatians 5:25 reminded us, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” There is SO much that the Spirit is leading us to do.

Being part of the GMC feels a lot like being home. This new paradigm allows us to band together to live out the mission, support each other, and make disciples for Jesus Christ. Now is the time to boldly increase our discipleship through Wesley classes and bands. Let’s find new opportunities to worship the King of Kings, with passion, in a variety of ways. Let’s get out into our regions to witness to the saving grace of God though the death and resurrection power of Jesus. It’s time to start strategically finding areas where orthodox Methodists are needed and be bold about starting new churches so the gospel of Jesus Christ and change lives through His grace.

The only way to do that is to be true to God’s word – all of it – and to proclaim and live our lives under the full Lordship of Jesus Christ. He IS Lord! And we bow before Him in obedience to His command to love God and love each other. I’m not interested in leading us anywhere but to the throne of grace, under the Lordship of Christ, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

So, clergy, laity, leaders and followers, saints and sinners, let’s go! Let’s walk in the Spirit so that the Spirit fills us, guides us, covers us with grace, and makes us bold to LIVE by the Spirit of Jesus.

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