Making Disciples, Transforming the World for Christ – Together
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We are pleased to introduce to you this special edition of Interpreter magazine. As we begin the new year, these stories highlight how the Holy Spirit is moving through United Methodist Christians joined in ministry together across the connection, making world-transforming disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Council of Bishops and the Connectional Table, in partnership with the General Council on Finance and Administration, renewed a commitment to stay focused on increasing congregational vitality through ministries in the Four Areas of Focus and deepening our worldwide connection toward greater missional alignment and more equitable sharing of our God-given gifts.
We invite you to pay special attention to the ways in which these stories of local congregations, annual conferences and general church agencies live out our common mission through this unique and powerful United Methodist tradition of connectionalism.
What does it mean to be connectional? "Connectionalism in the United Methodist tradition is multi-leveled, global in scope, and local in trust. Our connectionalism is not merely a linking of one charge conference to another. It is rather a vital web of interactive relationships." [2012 Book of Discipline]
In short, to be connectional means we are stronger together. We celebrate the growing "vital web of interactive relationships" across the world that allows the Holy Spirit to work through us every day, in new and powerful ways as evidenced in these stories. These relationships enable and empower us to experience and witness to the power of God's redeeming grace.
May God bless and strengthen you and your vital web of relationships for the sake of the kingdom in the coming year.
Through Christ our Lord,
Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., president of the Council of Bishops
Bishop Michael J. Coyner, president of the General Council on Finance and Administration
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, chair of the Connectional Table