A UMC.org Feature by Joe Iovino*
Not every United Methodist will be a delegate to General Conference, but that does not mean that you cannot participate in all that is happening May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. General Conference is the global gathering of The United Methodist Church, and there are plenty of ways for you to be involved.
Praying for delegates, bishops, speakers, and all those who lead and attend the General Conference sessions is a powerful way to participate. Pray for God to guide the General Conference’s decisions, for Christ to lead us into the future, and for the Holy Spirit to empower us to go on toward perfection in our love of God and one another.
The Upper Room has created 60 Days of Prayer for General Conference 2016, a guide to lead us in prayer for the days leading up to General Conference, the days of General Conference, and the days that follow. You can sign up to receive the daily meditations and prayer prompts by email at 60daysofprayer.org.
Know your delegates. Personalize your prayers by lifting up the delegates and leaders from your Annual Conference by name. A list of all delegates and reserves is found here (the list by Annual Conference begins on page 11). Consider also writing a note or email, letting them know you are praying for them.
The job of a delegate is time-consuming and sometimes stressful. Many lay delegates are giving up vacation time to be there, and the clergy are often spending an extended time away from their congregations. Lift them, their families, and their churches in prayer.