Cabinet calls for streamlined assessments, day of prayer and fasting
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PEORIA – While the 2010 Cabinet address may have resembled a coach’s speech, it was also a call for renewed commitment to the vision and mission of the church.
Cabinet co-chairs Randy Reese and Janice Griffith shared reflections of the past year and challenged those gathered for the 2010 Annual Conference to a time of prayer and fasting.
“Over the past several years, the Cabinet and conference leadership team have been calling the laity and clergy of the conference to lead their local churches to return to practicing the basics of our United Methodist Way of being church,” Griffith said.
Reese added that the IGRC is a winning team because “the Church still belongs to God.”
“We still have access to the same life-giving Spirit of Pentecost which blew through the Upper Room and enflamed the hearts of the confused, fearful and direction-less disciples,” Reese said. “When the transforming power of the Spirit filled their hearts, everything changed – they not only knew what to do but they did it with confidence and courage.”
The Cabinet affirmed their support for the four initiatives Bishop Gregory V. Palmer outlined in Thursday’s Episcopal address. “We, as the superintending Cabinet, will do all we can do to co-lead those initiatives with our Bishop,” Griffith said.
The Cabinet proposed two additional initiatives. The one which drew the largest applause was a streamlined assessment process.
“The assessment tools used for the past several years by staff-pastor parish relations committees and in clergy self-assessments have been cumbersome and have not resulted in increased production of the fruit we seek,” Griffith said. “Therefore, we are committed to delivering a streamlined process for this year which will help to focus clergy and local churches on their disciple-making mission.”
New assessment resources will be rolled out over the summer months.
Reese and Griffith explained that the three fruits sought by the Cabinet are:
- Robust clergy community that builds up strong, effective spiritual leaders, that encourages clergy to be healthy in body, mind, spirit and relationship; and that blesses clergy and families and in turn, the churches they serve.
- Conspicuous practicing of the means of grace through accountability from covenant groups and through encouraging church members to participate in small groups for study, prayer and accountability.
- Professions of faith connected to and as a result of passionate worship
The Cabinet also invited conferees and their churches to participate in First Thursday, a call to prayer and fasting.
“Every month between now and next Annual Conference – on the first Thursday, we invite all of you, clergy and laity alike, to just us in a day of prayer and fasting in which we call upon Christ to send the Pentecost power of the Holy Spirit upon the church,” Griffith and Reese said.