Reflections About Annual Conference And Jesus

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by: Rich Vaughan

06/19/2020

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If you had told me a year ago that I would attend Annual Conference from Florida, I would have looked at you like something was very wrong. If you had told me that Annual Conference was going to be only two and a half hours long, I know I would have thought you had lost your mind! And if you had told me that Annual Conference was only going to be held on-line and not in person, I would have thought I had entered the twilight zone! But all that is true.We are home now, but we had gone to my 90-year-old mother-in-law’s home in Flagler Beach, Florida to be with her for a couple of days and to let Richie see his Grandmother that he had not been able to see for a while. I “attended” Annual Conference at my Mother-in-Laws, sitting at her outdoor table with Debbie’s Tablet. Since this was an abbreviated Annual Conference only handling the very, very necessary things, there is not much to report to you. We covered budget items, voted on things that had to be handled, etc. THERE WERE NO RESOLUTIONS AT THIS SESSION, so nothing to report there. We were not able to recognize the retiring pastors, and only able to show the names, and have prayers for, the pastors and/or spouses that had died since last Annual Conference. We will recognize both of them in 2021 when we believe we will be gathered again in Greenville, NC. I was reappointed to Holland’s (Yay!). But it was a very strange Annual Conference to go along with a very strange year and a very unusual time for ministry.
With all that said, and to continue on the theme from yesterday’s devotion, “WE KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE”, I would like to continue to remind us about who we are and whose we are. With all the uncertainly and different things we are experiencing this year we need to remember in our hearts that “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow” (Hebrews 13:8). Maybe you just think that is a clever Biblical saying or it is a “nice” memory verse. But while prior to March, 2020 many might have thought that, today it is a foundation stone for us.
There are many things that have been crazy this year. For a little while I had hoped that the COVID 19 Virus would bring the politicians together on common ground. I sure missed that one! I had hoped that this period of time would help families refocus on Jesus, the importance of church, and the importance of family time. The jury is still out on that, but I am afraid that we are losing the edge on that as time continues to move on. While I understood why people were protesting after the death of George Floyd, I had hope that if violence and riots erupted, the places would respond fairly, but firmly, and stop the riots. I really missed on that one to. I almost don’t recognize the America I grew up in and love so passionately.
So, I am frustrated, somewhat angry, and not all that happy a pastor and American. With that said, that is why Hebrews 13:8 is so important to me now in the world of today. I NEED TO REMEMBER THAT WITH ALL THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LIFE – JESUS IS ROCK SOLID. His teachings have not changed, His love and grace are exactly the same. The Holy Spirit that he offers to all Disciples is still active and available to all of us, to empower us and lead us and the church. None of that has changed. Maybe we need to be humming and singing every morning the old hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND, ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND; ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND” (Hymn 368 Methodist Hymn book).
Amen? Amen!
Agape,

Rev. Rich

If you had told me a year ago that I would attend Annual Conference from Florida, I would have looked at you like something was very wrong. If you had told me that Annual Conference was going to be only two and a half hours long, I know I would have thought you had lost your mind! And if you had told me that Annual Conference was only going to be held on-line and not in person, I would have thought I had entered the twilight zone! But all that is true.We are home now, but we had gone to my 90-year-old mother-in-law’s home in Flagler Beach, Florida to be with her for a couple of days and to let Richie see his Grandmother that he had not been able to see for a while. I “attended” Annual Conference at my Mother-in-Laws, sitting at her outdoor table with Debbie’s Tablet. Since this was an abbreviated Annual Conference only handling the very, very necessary things, there is not much to report to you. We covered budget items, voted on things that had to be handled, etc. THERE WERE NO RESOLUTIONS AT THIS SESSION, so nothing to report there. We were not able to recognize the retiring pastors, and only able to show the names, and have prayers for, the pastors and/or spouses that had died since last Annual Conference. We will recognize both of them in 2021 when we believe we will be gathered again in Greenville, NC. I was reappointed to Holland’s (Yay!). But it was a very strange Annual Conference to go along with a very strange year and a very unusual time for ministry.
With all that said, and to continue on the theme from yesterday’s devotion, “WE KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE”, I would like to continue to remind us about who we are and whose we are. With all the uncertainly and different things we are experiencing this year we need to remember in our hearts that “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow” (Hebrews 13:8). Maybe you just think that is a clever Biblical saying or it is a “nice” memory verse. But while prior to March, 2020 many might have thought that, today it is a foundation stone for us.
There are many things that have been crazy this year. For a little while I had hoped that the COVID 19 Virus would bring the politicians together on common ground. I sure missed that one! I had hoped that this period of time would help families refocus on Jesus, the importance of church, and the importance of family time. The jury is still out on that, but I am afraid that we are losing the edge on that as time continues to move on. While I understood why people were protesting after the death of George Floyd, I had hope that if violence and riots erupted, the places would respond fairly, but firmly, and stop the riots. I really missed on that one to. I almost don’t recognize the America I grew up in and love so passionately.
So, I am frustrated, somewhat angry, and not all that happy a pastor and American. With that said, that is why Hebrews 13:8 is so important to me now in the world of today. I NEED TO REMEMBER THAT WITH ALL THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LIFE – JESUS IS ROCK SOLID. His teachings have not changed, His love and grace are exactly the same. The Holy Spirit that he offers to all Disciples is still active and available to all of us, to empower us and lead us and the church. None of that has changed. Maybe we need to be humming and singing every morning the old hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND, ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND; ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND” (Hymn 368 Methodist Hymn book).
Amen? Amen!
Agape,

Rev. Rich

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