NM Conference News
February 18 - February 24, 2019
In this Issue
  • The Lord be with you...with Mary Bell Haney
  • The Lord be with you...with Rev. Todd Salzwedel
  • Special Called General Conference Begins on Saturday, Feb. 23rd
  • Four Corners Native American Ministry UMC Shiprock Mission Team Experience
  • NM Conference UMW Creation Care Calendar for Lent
  • Conference Office Closed for Presidents' Day
  • Upcoming Events
The Lord be with you... with Mary Bell Haney
At the beginning of each year, many Methodists use Wesley's Covenant Prayer to set priorities. This year it has been especially meaningful to me.
            I am no longer my own but thine.
           Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
           Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
           Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee'
           exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
           Let me be full. let me be empty.
           Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
           I freely and heartily yield all things
           to thy pleasure and disposal.
            And now, O glorious and blessed God,
           Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
           Thou art mine and I am thine. So be it.
           And the covenant which I have made on earth,
           let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. (The United Methodist Hymnal, #607)
To pray this prayer and really mean it humbles my soul. At this time, within the last month before leaving for St. Louis, I have felt much stress and bewilderment about the right thing to come out of General Conference. I am not sure which plan is the answer. What God speaks to my heart is that I don't yet know the right question. My response is to change my personal prayer to this prayer and listen for God's leading. 
So, I invite you to not only pray for the General Conference daily but to pray this prayer daily and mean it. The structures we share as a denomination don't restrict the way we respond to God's call on our own lives.
The Lord be with you... with Rev. Todd Salzwedel
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
           This is one of the very first verses I remember as a child in Sunday school. We were taught yearly about these three great virtues which help to define the Christian faith and given ways in which we might live these out in our families, our schools and our church. As I grew older though, I began to understand the nuances and the difficulties this call placed upon our lives. Today, we find ourselves in a similar position that church leaders have for two thousand years now in which we seek to find the will of God in the midst of disunity and disagreement. It is in the spirit of unity, and how we understand that term, which has caused so much struggle since the inception of the church.
           St. Augustine points to this very passage in helping us to understand identifying marks of what it means to be a Christian. But his exposition of the greatest of these virtues, love, is especially helpful to me. In English, we translate the Greek word agape as love. But in other translations – including Latin – it is translated as charity ( caritas in Latin). For Augustine, caritas was literally our actions and treatment of others. He believed that it necessarily marked us as being moved by the Holy Spirit. And, when done in union with God, would lead to unity as the Body of Christ. We can read about this in his dogged pursuit of truth with other groups that had dissenting perspectives like the Donatists (you can read about them elsewhere). True Christian (he would call it catholic, with a little “c”) unity could not be achieved if it was sought outside of the truth of God. Regardless, all Christians were called to treat all people with caritas because we have all been created in the imago dei (the “image of God”). Our call was to recognize that image in one another, and to personally allow that image to shine forth in our lives in every way possible. This was only possible by the grace God and our adherence to the direction of Scripture.
           Today, I think we find ourselves arguing about the struggle between the will of man and the will of God. Unity is a word that many perspectives use, but it is understood differently depending on your position of this and many other matters. I do think our caritas is necessary regardless of the position one might or might not hold. But my prayer for myself and others is that the image of God would shine through in each of us as we seek to follow the ways in which God would call us to live, well beyond the issues we face in our present day. I believe in the final reign of Jesus and seek first to work towards that end. In that way, I seek unity with God and one another where grace reigns supreme.
Special Called General Conference 2019
The Special Called General Conference will begin on Saturday, February 23rd at 9:00 am with a time of prayer and preparation. For information, Click here.

Periodic updates from the NM Conference will be provided on the Conference Facebook page.

We will also send emails to our Conference eNewsletter subscribers. Timing will depend upon what transpires and if our delegation has items of business to report out to the Conference. Some churches have decided to forward the Conference newsletter to their church email list in order to keep their members informed. If you would like to invite others to subscribe, the link is here.
NM Conf UMW Creation Care Calendar
Do you want to "go green" for the Lenten Season? The NM Conference UMW has created a Creation Care Green Calendar to start you off in the right direction. Use less paper products, eat less meat, use less plastics, reduce your carbon footprint.... Click for the calendar
Conference Office will be closed for Presidents' Day.
Upcoming Events
  • Office Closed for Presidents' Day - Feb. 18
  • Special Called General Conference - Feb. 23-26 - St. Louis
  • ROC 2019 - March 1-3 - Sacramento
  • UMW Retreat - March 8-10 - Sacramento
  • CCYM 2019 - March 29-31 - Sacramento
  • Pension & Health Wellness Retreat - March 29-31 - Sacramento
  • Annual Conference - June 13-14 - Crowne Plaza, ABQ
  • Youth 2019 - July 10-14 - Kansas City, MO