It is only twelve days until our Annual Conference (November 9-10). The theme this year is “This Is Us!” Yes, we stole that title from the TV series on NBC, which centers around one family’s history and life challenges. The Bible says that we are also a family. We believe that churches are better together. This is both Biblical and best. We need one another.
Five essentials make us, us. They are the core commitments we make together as a conference of churches.
We value the Bible as God’s Holy Word, which we look to as the authority for our beliefs, the guide for living, and motivation for mission. It contains absolute truth, and infallibly reveals God’s plan for our lives. We are committed to faithfully and accurately preach the Word and apply it to our daily lives.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We value the transformation that comes when people put their faith in Christ and are changed by the Holy Spirit. Making disciples is our clear mandate. Our goal is not to be better than others, but to become more like God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We embrace our Wesleyan-Arminian doctrine and heritage and emphasize our free will to respond to God’s grace and live a Spirit-filled life of holiness.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Rom. 12:1-2
We value the gospel as the hope for the world. We are compelled to share this good news of salvation in ways that are honoring to God and connect with people in our culture. We are representatives of Jesus sent into our communities as “missionaries,” and work to ensure that each congregation aligns itself with the larger mission of God. We partner together as a conference and with other conferences, denominations, and mission organizations to plant churches and to spread and build the Kingdom of God.
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died…To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 5:14 and 9:22-23
We value our work together as partners in ministry to achieve together what we cannot do separately. Our desire is to be in relationship with each other, not just part of an organization. We are structured in a “connectional” system of elders and leaders under the authority of our Superintendent. We demonstrate heart holiness by our unity, love, and servant leadership.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body…” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Local Church Focused
We value the local church as the most fundamental and strategic centers for evangelism and discipleship. The challenge of the Conference is to find the best ways to resource, serve, and multiply congregations. We are together, but different. We agree on the essentials in doctrine and polity, while understand the differing needs of a variety of congregations in diverse settings.
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6
BEFORE YOU GO
Just a couple of reminders. This year our Online Annual Conference begins with a Call to Prayer. Everyone is invited to participate in a one-hour time for prayer on Sunday night, November 8th starting at 6:30 PM. Please put it on your calendar. Here is the link for the prayer time.
Also, please register for Annual Conference (November 9-10, 2020). This is open to everyone in our Conference of churches. You can watch the Devotional Times, participate in the Break Out Sessions, and join in the Evening Services, all via the internet. Here’s where to register (and it’s free): www.thepacificconference.com