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Keeping UM's "in the fog" About Their General Conference Representatives May Be Coming To An End

From: rheyduck
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2003 9:21 AM
To: Confessing Movement
Subject: [cmdiscuss] Rob Renfroe e-mail

For those of you who did not get the attachment, here is Rob's message:

Dear Friends,

I'm writing those of you on our Confessing Movement email list. Many of you were at this year's Annual Conference and at the luncheon on Monday.

First, we on the Board want to thank you for your good work at Conference! We were immensely successful in helping the Conference elect a delegation of which we can be very proud. You were very faithful in being present for each of the votes and it made a difference. I was particularly impressed with so many of our preachers who hung in until we finished voting around 2:00 p.m. on Thursday. Thank you.

LAITY. We could hardly have done better in electing solid lay delegates. Of the thirty-one (31) delegates and alternates who were elected, twenty-four (24) were on our list. Twelve (12) for General, ten (10) for Jurisdictional, and two (2) as alternates.

CLERGY. We supported eleven (11) of the thirteen (13) clergy elected to General Conference. And we supported eight (8) of the thirteen (13) going to Jurisdictional Conference. Nineteen (19) out of twenty-six (26) -- that's incredible.

Another highlight was Bob Hayes' election as the Conference's lead delegate. At both of our pre-conference meetings and on our two conference calls, all those who expressed an opinion indicated that Bob was their first choice to head the delegation. He did such a tremendous job at the last General Conference as chairperson of the Faith and Order committee, gracefully and confidently defending the Church's traditional view concerning homosexuality. As the lead delegate from The Texas Annual Conference, he has the inside track to being elected Bishop -- a cause for genuine rejoicing.

Many of our committed Confessing Movement clergy were "leap-frogged" at the end. That was no surprise, as the same thing happened four years ago. Randy Hageman was elected as the third alternate and I was elected as first alternate. I was particularly disappointed that Gail Harrelson, our primary female candidate, was not elected. (She was an alternate four years ago and did an excellent job on the delegation.) Still, we can feel very good that two women we supported (Carol Turner and Bettie Jo Hightower) were elected to General Conference and one (Judy Tefteller) was elected to Jurisdictional.

OVERALL. Over the past two elections the nature of our delegation has changed dramatically in a very positive direction. Even more importantly, we have had a huge impact on how persons are elected. It's now expected that candidates be willing to state where they stand on the issues. Less than five years ago, even asking a candidate about his or her views was practically taboo.

All these successes are due to your prayers, hard work and courage. You make me proud to be a United Methodist and a member of The Texas Annual Conference.

EPWORTH INSTITUTE. If you were at the Conference luncheon, you heard Bill Bouknight talk about the Epworth Institute. I don't know of anything the Confessing Movement is doing that will be more effective in the renewal of the church. The Institute will bring together young pastors (some Confessing Movement and some not) under the teaching of our best Wesleyan scholars and leaders at Lake Junaluska. Giving young pastors a strong foundation for the Church's historic theological positions will have a significant long-term, positive effect on our denomination.

If you were at the luncheon, you also heard that we need your financial help for the Epworth Institute. Two of the attractions of the Institute will be (1) the scholarships we offer to those attending and (2) the low cost for the week that will enable a pastor's family to join him or her in the lovely setting of Lake Junaluska.

I hope you will pray about making a donation of any size for the Institute. Three churches and several individuals in our Conference have already given generously, as have others around the country. But we still need your help.

If you would like to make a donation, please make out your check to: The Confessing Movement, and mark it "Epworth Institute." You may mail it to me and I'll forward it to Indianapolis.

Rob Renfroe c/o The Woodlands UMC 2200 Lake Woodlands Dr. The Woodlands, TX 77380.

Again, thanks for a great Annual Conference. God is at work in the United Methodist Church and he's using you.

Yours in Christ,

Rob Renfroe


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