Friday, August 23, 2013

New Dawn

Sunrise - August 20, 2013
I'm not seeing the sunrise on The County Line this morning. Instead, I'm seeing it in the big city. Well, it's the big city for me. Since yesterday afternoon, I've been in Salina for the Uniting Conference of the Great Plains Area of The United Methodist Church. During the three-day meeting, annual conference members from Kansas East, Kansas West and Nebraska will vote section-by-section on the proposed "Plan of Organization."

Each UMC church in Kansas and Nebraska can send a lay delegate. And I'm ours. I've read the 164-page plan, and I've been interested in the debate that inevitably happens when you bring 1,700-plus people together to try to agree on something. The Plan is a starting place for the new Great Plains Conference that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014, leaving behind three separate conferences.

There will undoubtedly be more debate this morning and into the closing sessions tomorrow. But this afternoon, the delegates will spread out to Serve Salina, an initiative that will help individuals, families and agencies. Wearing our brand new T-shirts, we'll attempt to make the new vision statement more than just words ... through our hands, feet and actions. (For The Salina Journal's story about the volunteer event, click here.)
Opportunity always comes with the dawn - whether it's encapsulated in a sunrise or a new way of doing things. Transformation has been the unofficial "theme" on Kim's County Line this week. Why stop now?
"The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."


  1. Our prayers are with you & the other delegates as things are ironed out to unite the conferences. I know that it is a major task to accomplish something of that magnitude, but pray for calm, clear heads to find the path forward.

  2. Thanks, Debora! We actually approved the entire plan today. But my favorite part of conferences like this are the worship services. The afternoon of service went well, too.