1. Annual Conference went very smooth this year. In fact, it went so smoothly it was boring. I thought about disagreeing with something just for the sake of entertainment! However, I think the calm and flow of Annual Conference shows a trust and unity with our clergy, cabinet, and laity. This is good news!
2. I have (officially) been reappointed to First UMC Crestview. I am in my fourth year here and I am very excited to continue my ministry as both the student minister and associate pastor. I was not sure how long the cabinet would leave one of their elders as a youth minister, but I am glad they are doing so.
3. As I look around at Annual Conference, the lack of diversity in our leadership is troubling. There is a lack of young people, females, and minorities. And I realize that right now I am young, but I too will one day be an older male white clergy. I am not discouraging their leadership. We need them. However, in order to reach an increasingly diverse culture, we need to have diverse leadership in our congregations. As a whole, most of our churches are not reaching young people or minorities.
4. It was very exciting to see how our connectional ministry is doing amazing things around the conference. We have some great mission projects taking place and several new church plants. This is one reason why I am Methodist. We can do more together than we can as single independent congregations.
5. I love seeing old friends! This is perhaps the best part of Annual Conference. It is great seeing my former youth ministers and pastors and seminary friends.
The United Methodist Church is not perfect (no denomination is), however God is doing great and wonderful things in our local churches and I feel privileged to be a part of it.