On Wednesday, May 25, the 14th General Conference day began with the installation of the General Superintendent, General Board and general officers of The Wesleyan Church (TWC). General Superintendent Emerita Dr. Jo Anne Lyon presided over the installation. Click here to read more.
Following the installation service and 10-minute break, Pastor Arlynn Ellis from Crossroads Church of South Texas, San Antonio, led a time of prayer in English and Spanish for the community in Uvalde, Texas, suffering from the tragic mass shooting at an elementary school this week.
Dr. Schmidt recognized and thanked the presidents of Wesleyan higher education for their service: Dr. Colleen Derr, Dr. Jim Dunn, Dr. Steve Lennox, Dr. Wayne Lewis Jr., Dr. David Wright, Dr. William Crothers (interim) and incoming Dr. William Barker.
Memorial voting then resumed (see results below). Voting also included the election of lay and clergy General Board of Review members.
At the conclusion of voting, the final action of the General Conference was to worship and share communion together. One Church of High Point, North Carolina, led the delegation in passionate worship, helping prepare hearts for the Lord’s table.
Dr. Schmidt read 1 Corinthians 11, reflecting on the realities of the community Paul is addressing. Communion is not just reflecting on personal sin but recognizing sinful ways we live and respond to each other communally.
“I want to again thank you, body of Christ, that as we enter this communion time, while we have appropriately and passionately stated our differences, we have had a gentleness that’s been evident to all. Not some respected above others, but each valued. I think that prepares us to honor God in this communion,” states Dr. Schmidt.
After taking time to reflect on our relationships and own lives, Dr. Schmidt led the conference in taking the communion elements.
Dr. Schmidt then called Wesleyans to pray and commit to “being the church that fulfills The Great Commission … not in our own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Prayer and commitment cards were available to fill out for those willing to become part of a prayer movement, seeking God and asking him “to give us the desires he has placed in our heart.”
In his final concluding thoughts, Dr. Schmidt challenged the conference to “next level listening, listening to the Holy Spirit above all others” and shared the following prayer from his own prayer life:
“Among all of the other voices, those within in me and those beyond me, may it be your voice that’s above all others, that’s louder and clearer and more compelling, and moves me to not only be a hearer of the Word but a doer of the Word.”
May this prayer lead and guide us in the days ahead as we seek to listen to the Spirit’s voice above all others.
Memorial 55: Constitution: Membership Commitments: Approved with edits.
Memorial 101: Developing Church Status Criteria: Approved with amendment.
Memorial 110: Offices Requiring Leadership Standards: Approved.
Memorial 314: Transfer Process for Ministers from Other Denominations: Approved with amendment.
Memorial 506: Licensed Minister Status to a Possible Terminal Status: Approved with amendment.
Memorial 847: Property Proceed Limits: Approved.
All memorials being considered at the 14th General Conference along with background and historic stories on key memorials (votes) are available to view on www.wesleyan.org/unleashed. Final approved language will be posted on www.wesleyan.org at a later date.