Living and Leading Together: FAQs and an invitation for reflection

April 13, 2023

By: Rev. Cynthia Williams

In late February, I was asked to join a task force to work on a communications strategy around the most frequently asked questions from clergy and laity (traditional, centrist, and progressive) related to who we are as the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Even as I said yes, I was reluctant, questioning with all on my plate “why me?” and whether this would be a good use of my time. The task force was comprised of six individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. A few of us were well acquainted, however, not to the degree that we had ever had deep conversations about theology or social views. What we each have in common is an embrace of our conference values of being rooted in Jesus, grounded in Wesleyan theology, inclusive of all persons, and engaged in the work of justice and reconciliation. We also are each committed to The United Methodist Church.  
Over our four meetings spent developing an FAQs document, I came away with a sense that our time together had been holy. There was vulnerability, care, and mutual respect as we each shared our hearts and perspective. We came together to do committee work, and it was transformed into a type of small group where I had the gift of space to intentionally reflect on why I choose to remain United Methodist, what it means to be included and belong, and how I understand God and God’s call in our midst.  
As a result, I wondered what it might look like if congregations invited people into small groups to sit with the FAQs, along with the Journey Toward Vitality map, to reflect together on the same questions. I invite you to locate yourself on the map, and to spend time pondering and sharing with one another:

  • Why do you choose to remain United Methodist?  
  • What does it look like, and feel like, to be included and belong for yourself and others? 
  • Where is God inviting or calling you as you live within the Minnesota Conference of the UMC? 

Access FAQs for living and leading together

Rev. Cynthia Williams is Twin Cities District superintendent for the Minnesota Annual Conference.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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