Next week the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church will be meeting for the 235th annual conference session. Our conference is the oldest in the United Methodist connection, going back to the Christmas Conference of 1784. The Baltimore Washington Conference is made up of 632 congregations in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and two counties in West Virginia.
Members of the conference will meet together in Baltimore for commission and ordaining pastors, a memorial service for members of the conference who have died in the past year and elect delegates for the 2020 General Conference. The conference will set a budget for 2020 and vote on a major restructuring plan for conference ministries. There are many resolutions that will be presented as a response to the decisions made at the recent special session of the General Conference which strengthened the language condemning the practice of same-sex marriage and the commissioning and ordination of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.
You can find the resolutions and other pending business at https://www.bwcumc.org/events/annual-conference/. Live streaming of some of the sessions will likely be offered at this site. This year is notable in that Jeff Zalatoris will be commissioned as a provisional elder at the worship service on Friday evening. (This is the first of two steps towards ordination).
I invite you to be in prayer for the larger church. Deacon Julie Wilson and I will be attending as clergy. Bob Jacobs, Bruce, and Helen Shepherd will be attending as lay members from Calvary Church. There are about 1200 members that attend the sessions.