Monday, November 14, 2022

Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska

There are five jurisdictions within the UMC in the United States. We are part of the Southeastern Jurisdiction as shown below. 

When I got elected to the Florida Conference delegation in 2019, I was supposed to attend the Jurisdictional Conference in July 2020. Since that got postponed with Covid, this has been the delegation term that never ends. I did a Zoom Jurisdictional Conference in 2021 and in November 2022 I spent time at Lake Junaluska for Jurisdictional Conference to elect new bishops. (And we will go back in July 2024 for another round of Jurisdictional meetings). 

I flew into Asheville and got a rental to drive into Lake J. I rented a cute 2 bedroom house on the hill with another delegate who ended up not being able to attend, so a few different clergy friends who were attending for the experience ended up crashing with me, including my covenant sister Latricia. 

Walking around the Lake is so pretty no matter the time of day. 

Dinner out in nearby Waynesville. Delicious! 

Night view of the Lake J Assembly from the hill. 

Beautiful sunrise walking to the assembly building in the morning. 

Our nominee for the episcopacy from Florida was Dr. Sharon Austin. We took time as a delegation to pray for her and her husband Mike. 

Scenes from inside Stuart Auditorium where we were meeting, including Bishop Trimble preaching and a deaconess from Florida offering a prayer (Judith heads up United Women in Faith in Florida). 

Voting for bishops was done electronically and we kept track on tally sheets. I brought my prayer beads and hand labyrinth to use during voting. 

Tom Berlin was the first bishop elected at the conference and he was from Virginia. Later he would be assigned to come to Florida. 

Part of the Florida delegation meeting before a session 

One of the great things about the gathering was reconnecting with people from around the conference and our jurisdiction that I haven't seen in person in a while. 

Rye was also a delegate and had been in our youth group at Community 

Rani is clergy in NC but is the niece of one of my mom's good friends from Seffner  - Harriet Stone 

Tracy is a dear clergy friend for 20 years who moved up to NC a few years back, along with Antony who is a lay delegate from the Orlando area. 

Dinner out one night with these amazing Florida clergywomen - Mary, Esther, Dora and Latricia 

Samantha serves the very damaged Beach UMC in Fort Myers and came as a volunteer page for the event
Heidi is a lay delegate and friend who used to run the Young Adult Missional Movement in Florida.
Robin used to serve Grace Venice before Daryl and is now pastoring in Bradenton, still in our district. 

Dave is clergy from north GA and married to one of my good clergy friends Susan

Pam is a clergy mentor - so good to get to spend time with her. 

Unfortunately, Dr. Sharon Austin was not elected. Here she is withdrawing her candidacy. She was the epitome of grace and we were so sorry that she was not elected. Before we left town, we held a gathering to celebrate her ministry. 

Another painful piece of the week was the handling of some of the resolutions brought by queer delegates.   Here they are speaking to one of those resolutions from the microphone. Then after another resolution was ruled out of order, they went to the front of the auditorium to stand in peaceful protest. 

The final official event was the consecration service of the new bishops. 

One last walk around and a labyrinth walk before returning to Florida. 

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