General Conference series starts with vital congregations

CHICAGO – Continuing the conversation around key topics related to General Conference 2016, The Connectional Table begins a month-long series in December on vital congregations and the four areas of focus as part of the #CTTalks online forum. General Conference is scheduled for May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon.

Beginning Dec. 1, a video will be posted each week that explores how vital congregations are aligning their attention, energy and resources in ways that are bearing fruit in the four areas of focus: engaging in ministry with the poor, improving global health, developing principled Christian leaders and creating new and renewed congregations.

“Creating vital congregations is part of our mission” said Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez Barker, executive secretary of The Connectional Table. “It is who we are. In these communities of faith; we know people are coming to know Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The voices guiding the conversation on this topic will be Bishop Sally Dyck of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference, leader of the Vital Congregations collaboration group, along with the General Board of Global Ministries’ General Secretary Thomas Kemper, and Bishop Rodolfo Alfonso Juan of the Manila Episcopal Area.

#CTTalks is intended to provide a way of engaging audiences with information about General Conference. The #CTTalks conversation is designed to be used by delegations and Annual Conferences as they study and discuss issues that will be addressed at General Conference 2016. Weekly video posts will include interviews with United Methodist bishops, Connectional Table members, and other leaders from across the denomination. Delegates were invited to ask questions of the interviewees in advance via Twitter using the hashtag #CTTalks.  This is a resource that can be used by individual delegates and with entire delegations as they prepare for General Conference.

There will also be an accompanying one-page conversation starter for delegates to use to continue the dialogue. The videos and the handout will be available on the Connectional Table website at

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