Rev. Edgardo Cruz, a clergy member of Southern Tagalog Provisional Conference assigned in a church in Cavite and Julie Capulong outgoing annual conference lay leader of STPPACE arrives in Portland, Oregon in United States of America last May 7 to attend the 2016 General Conference which is the highest policy making body of the United Methodist Church on May 10 to 20.
Rev. Cruz represents the clergy of STPPACE and Julie Capulong is the lay delegate which is her second time. The two will join more than 40 delegates from other annual conferences as representatives of clergy and lay from the Philippines. Delegates from Europe, Africa and also from United States from each annual conference will compose the top policy making body which meets every four years.
Delagates have already registered in the Oregon Convention Center and have attended Sunday Service at First United Methodist Church in Portland. And the delegates stayed at Double Tree Hotel for the whole duration of the conference.
[Updated] The general conference theme for the new quadrennial (4 years) is “Therefore, GO!” based on the great commission of the Lord Jesus Christ written in Matthew 28: 19 which is to make disciples of all nations. This is to put emphasis and action on the denominations’ mission statement which based on same verse – “making disciples for the transformation of the world”.
This conference will decide the new direction of the whole church of the next four years and beyond. Some pressing matters needed to be discussed including the issue of human sexuality and about the stance of the church regarding the LGBTQ community. They will also discuss church restructuring and other matters that will affect the mission and the ministry of the general church. Some issues will be discussed which is related to the Philippines one is about the case of the Lumads in the Philippines.
Photo courtesy of Julie Capulong