GC11 Connecting/Reconnecting

Michael Metts, photographer and communications strategist for Light & Life Communications, demonstrates the new Free Methodist Church - USA iPad app as General Conference 2011 attendees visit with each other after the Saturday evening service.

By Julie Innes

If you wanted, you could have breakfast, lunch and dinner with men and women from some of the 26 different nations represented at GC11. Some came to observe; some served as delegates.

The business of the general conference is important, but the side benefit of connecting — meeting someone as a new friend and reconnecting with old friends — is priceless.

Attendees connect in a variety of venues. Invariably, it seems many of them involve food — a complete meal, or punch and cupcakes, or coffee. Common interests such as a passionate interest in the history of the church or fellow college alumni set the foundations, which are strengthened by the experience of togetherness for this historic church event.

The anticipation felt during the first days of the gathering shifts to a comfortable routine of morning and afternoon business sessions or ministry groups and evening worship services followed by assorted alumni or special interest receptions – like the women’s clergy gathering or the founders garden dedication.

Relationship connections are what bring people back to general conference events – especially when the responsibility of being involved with church business no longer requires attendance.

Attendance at three previous general conference events has helped me realize each conference is different and yet the same. I expect General Conference 2015 (to be held in Orlando, Fla.) will have its own unique flavor, yet it will retain the foundational focus of the church. Who will come, what the church will have experienced and the lives impacted by its myriad of ministries and outreaches will be incentive to attend and celebrate again how God is using the Free Methodist Church and those whom He has called to serve in ministry to bring the whole gospel to the whole world so every person can be whole in Him.

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  1. Andrea Anibal July 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    So true, Julie. I really had fun connecting with people, and I’m glad you reminded us of this. One great experience for me was meeting new people who laid hands on me and prayed with me at one of the prayer tents. More than 20 volunteers came to New York to host the prayer ministry, and I am so thankful for them.

  2. Phyllis Opare July 24, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    GC11 was a great time to trully connect and interract. I enjoyed the sessions I was able to attend, but most of all morning communions and prayer walks with the prayer team, that was awesome! God showed up in a big way, blessed be His Holy name!

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