Click here for photos from the Mission together 5K run / 1 mile Fun Walk.
Click here for photos from the Saturday learning session with Rev. Adam Hamilton and the Commissioning Service.
Saturday morning started early with the Mission2Gather 5K Run / 1 Mile Fun Walk for Human Need started Saturday of Annual Conference. All proceeds benefitted Mission2Gather mission agencies and mission congregations of the North Alabama Conference working together to engage persons in mission and ministry to those in need.
Members and visitors to the North Alabama Conference then gathered for the Saturday learning session at ClearBranch UMC. The day was dedicated to the Conference theme “Effective Leadership” and featured guest teacher Rev. Adam Hamilton the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas
Rev. Bruce Williams led opening music as members gathered.
Rev. Adam Hamilton opened up the morning session and explained that his goal for the day was for a leadership revival in North Alabama. He also told those gathered that he had been praying for this Conference and the local churches. He also explained that members of the Church of the Resurrection have been praying for every congregation in North Alabama. Individual members were each given a name of a local Alabama congregation and pastor and will pray for them during the month of June.
As he began to teach, Hamilton said, “I don’t want to be part of a movements with our best day in the past. …I think our best days can be ahead of us.”
During the three teaching sessions he focused on three concepts that are a part of vivrant churches. Those concepts were Effective Leadership; Effective Worship and Preaching; and Evangelism.
In the morning he challenged both clergy and laity to be effective leaders not just managers. He noted that leadership requires a mission, vision and plan.
After a morning break, Rev. Hamilton focused on the need for effective worship and preaching. He focused specifically on preaching. Noting that once Methodist Churches were known for the best preaching. He encouraged clergy to work toward that goal again by making sure worshippers learn at least one new thing a week.
North Alabama United Methodists were called back to order following lunch as children participating in the Annual Conference Camp for Kids marched into the worship center and sang. Ben Nelson of Helena UMC led the children in music. Bishop Willimon noted that the Annual Conference Camp for Kids had come to be thanks to Conference Children’s Coordinator Elizabeth Nall. The Bishop added that the children’s camp is a way to make Annual Conference more lay and young people friendly.
Following the lunch break, Bishop Will Willimon reported that nearly $11,000 was collected during the Ordination Service on Friday night for the Annual Conference Mission Offering. This year’s offering is going to the Central Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI) is a long-term solution that provides retirement financial security for retired pastors, lay workers and surviving spouses in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe who are struggling to survive post retirement.
Bishop Willimon also noted that he would give his Episcopal Rule regarding pastor consultations within 30 days.
Adam Hamilton then spent this final session of his teaching time focusing on Evangelism and the Future of Methodism.
He encouraged the crowd to think about three questions – Why do people need Jesus? Why do people need the Church? and Why do people need your particular church? Through telling his story and stories of others, Rev. Hamilton helped learners think through how to prepare for visitors; ideas for outreach; and how to disciple visitors to become church members.
[Note: DVDS of Adam Hamilton’s presentations will be available for North Alabama Conference members and local congregations to purchase beginning Monday, June 7. Look for an order form on the Conference website www.northalabamaumc.org]
Saturday ended with the Commissioning Service. Rev. Bill Brunson, Chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry preached. He noted that the Great Commission Jesus gave in Matthew 28 is still our commission today – both clergy and laity.
During the service, the Annual Conference commissioned 8 Provisional Clergy Members and recognized one elected to Associate Membership.
Those commissioned were:
The service ended with a sending forth to both clergy and laity given by Bishop Will Willimon.