372. That is the number of servant leaders it takes to fill all the boards, ministry teams, and action teams in the Minnesota Annual Conference. And that number does not include all the folks who have gone on Volunteers in Mission trips, responded to disasters, or trained as Hopeful EarthKeepers! This is the number of people it takes just to steward the mission and ministry of the annual conference through our conference and district teams. Wow!
As we start a new ministry year, I just wanted to send out a big thank you! First, a giant thank you to those who have finished up terms or discerned it was time to use your gifts elsewhere. We are grateful for the wisdom you brought to the team you were part of and the precious gift of time that you gave to us.
Secondly, thank you to those who said “yes” and are just beginning to serve on a board or ministry team. You were asked because you are a leader in your congregation and because of the gifts, passion, and expertise you bring to your team. We know you receive many invitations to serve and use your talents. So we are particularly grateful you said yes to us, and we are delighted to have you at the table! If you need anything to make your experience more valuable or to be able to contribute fully, please let the staff person who is connected to your team know.
And last, but certainly not least, thank you to those who are continuing on one of our teams and have made a commitment to serve for multiple years. Continuity of leadership matters a lot, particularly in these times as we navigate denominational uncertainty. We know that on some days, another meeting might be the last thing you want to do, but your presence and voice matters. We need to be fiscally and missionally responsible, and we are only able to do that when we have strong teams of informed leaders collectively seeking to know and do the will of God as we move forward as The United Methodist Church in Minnesota. A special shout out to those of you who agreed to chair a team. There is an extra level of responsibility in that role, and I know our directors value your partnership as they lead in their respective areas.
I sit in many meetings in my role as director of connectional ministries. And I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people from all our churches who bring such interesting experiences and perspectives. We make better decisions and we are able to do more because of you and the time, energy, and knowledge you invest in our common mission. So thank you, thank you, thank you!
1,000. That is the number of servant workers it will take to provide extravagant hospitality when we host General Conference 2020 next May. As you can imagine, it might be a contentious General Conference as we are not of one mind on how to move forward as The United Methodist Church. We want to do everything we can to genuinely welcome people to Minnesota, to diffuse the anxiety, to be kinder than necessary—indeed to love boldly, so we can help set the table for a different kind of conversation and gathering. We want people to leave Minneapolis saying, “What a great city, and those United Methodists in the Dakotas-Minnesota Area—wow, they really are nice and they made us feel so special. We are glad we came.”
So will you be one of those people? We would love to have you don a purple vest and join us in welcoming the global church to Minneapolis. Wouldn’t it be great if every delegate or visitor had to go no more than 50 feet to find a purple-vested host who could help them with whatever they needed and offered them a smile and a blessing? We can do this! Go to gc2020welcome.org to learn more or sign up! And thank you! We can’t do it without you.
Rev. Cindy Gregorson is director of ministries for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church