UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey
Muyombo Mande, a delegate from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, prays with other participants during the April 24 opening worship service of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. He wears one of the bright blue prayer scarves made by United Methodists that were presented to each delegate.
From the Virginia Advocate
Spiritual renewal was a topic of much conversation at the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Lake Junaluska, NC. Now, as the conference welcomes its new Bishop, Young Jin Cho, the Virginia delegation said it hopes the fruits of that conversation will be far from ordinary.
Even before Cho was elected and anyone knew he would be returning to Virginia as bishop, the delegation drew up a covenant, pledging to devote at least an hour each day to prayer and other spiritual disciplines -- a central tenet of Bishop Cho’s plan for the clergy under his episcopal leadership. In welcoming Bishop Cho in his new role, the delgation is sharing that covenant with the entire conference in hopes that clergy and laity will prayerfully consider committing themselves to this act of intentional spiritual renewal.
Although the covenant covers only the first 100 days of Bishop Cho’s episcopal leadership, it is hoped that this will serve to ignite and continue a process of spiritual renewal that will last well past that first 100 days.
Virginia United Methodists were encouraged to follow this action plan:
1) Pray. Then read the covenant online here. Take some time to read it, pray about it and decide if willing to commit to the time required. The covenant can be signed online.
2) Pray. Then pass the story and the link along. Participants are invited to email, post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Those without online access may print out the covenant and share it.
3) Pray. Participants are encouraged to let their congregations know what they're doing, whether by means of the church newsletter, Sunday morning announcement, or by talking to people.
4) Pray, fast, read, study, meditate. Participants are asked to commit to a particular spiritual discipline and practice it for an hour each day. They will pray especially, for Bishop Cho as he begins this new phase of ministry, and for each other as the conference undertakes this journey with him.
The delegation said it hopes that members of the Virginia Annual Conference will prayerfully consider the opportunity to join in this ministry.
Adapted with permission from the Virginia Advocate, publication of the Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.