Sunday, April 22, 2012

Twas the Night Before Conference

Tonight as I finish packing to leave for General Conference tomorrow, I have many thoughts going through my head. I am very excited to get to Tampa, meet and worship with people from all over the world, learn about different perspectives, and prayerfully discern where God is calling the United Methodist Church.

For those of you reading this who might not know me personally I will give you a little background information. I have been a part of Epworth United Methodist Church in New England my whole life. When I was 14 years old, I felt God's call toward ordained ministry. I attended college at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, majoring in Psychology, while becoming more and more involved with social justice work and community service. It was there that I discovered that God was calling me not only toward ordained ministry, but also toward working for social justice. Last year during New England's Annual Conference I was elected as first alternate for GC 2012. In November I became a declared candidate for ministry in the UMC. I graduated a semester early from UMass in December (I currently substitute teach in Worcester) and I plan to attend Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago in the fall.

My hope for General Conference 2012 is to learn a lot and I know that I will. I have a huge passion for Jesus Christ and his work of true social justice and community outreach. I also hope that we can practice holy conferencing and understand that more often than not, opinions are shaped by experience. I pray that the United Methodist Church can truly uphold its motto of "Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors."

See you in Tampa!

5 comments:

  1. Annie, we'll be reading your thoughts care-fully. I wasn't sure whether to compare you with the Biblical Esther (the whole "Maybe you are the perfect person for this time" speech) or Timothy ("Don't let them condescend to you" speech). Then it occurred to me that both Biblical stories are problematic--The book of Esther shows no mercy destroying Haman and HIS people and the letter to Timothy? Just plain sexist. So here's a thought: You are Annie--even better than Esther or Timothy. Your strength does not come from understanding the Bible or Christianity or Methodism better than anyone else but from your character. That well is deep enough. Use your voice, Annie.

    Doug Robinson-Johnson

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    1. You summed it up beautifully, Doug. Annie's strength and resolve are born of her character, her conviction and her call. As someone who has known Annie for pretty much her whole life, I couldn't be prouder that she is representing Epworth, Central MA, and Methodism at the General Conference.

      Allison

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  2. This blog is timely. If you can update us about the issues and events of the General Conference, with your permission, I will link your blog to http://www.JesusKnights.org where a lot of UMC members, and Christians are reading.--REV. DR. SERGIO AREVALO, JR.

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    1. I will definitely be keeping this blog updated on the issues and events. I would love to be linked to your webpage. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Rev. Erica Robinson-JohnsonApril 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    You go with the support and prayers of your home church...we're so proud of you and look forward to what a difference you will make in the church and the world.

    With Joy!
    Pastor Erica

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