NM Conference News
Oct. 15 - Oct. 21, 2018
In this Issue

  • Overview of Proposals for General Conference
  • Big Crowds for Meetings about Denominations Future
  • ABQ Emmaus Group Meets for 15 Years
  • How McCurdy went from Death to Life
  • Hurricane Michael on the East Coast
  • Developing your Ministry Plan Webinar
  • Courageous Conversations
  • Upcoming Events
Overview of Proposals for General Conference
The Great Plains Conference developed a chart that compares how the three plans developed by the Commission on a Way Forward would affect churches, clergy, annual conferences and other parts of the denomination. United Methodist News Service plans to regularly share resources developed around the connection for discussions.

Big Crowds for Meetings on Denomination’s Future
By Kathy L. Gilbert and Sam Hodges, UMNS
The 2016 pause button on the sexuality debate in The United Methodist Church is about to be released. And churchgoers are showing up in droves to learn what is coming in February.

The special called  2019 General Conference  is looming — set for Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis. The 864 global delegates will be tasked with addressing the church’s decades-long, split-threatening impasse over homosexuality.

As decision time draws near, many United Methodist conferences in the United States, Africa, Philippines and Europe are holding meetings that are part tutorial, part focus group. People are coming with questions and opinions about the legislative options and processes — and with hopes their General Conference delegates and bishops can give them a glimpse of the denomination’s future.
ABQ District Listening Session
The NM Conference hosted Listening Sessions in all three Districts in the Spring of 2018. Many of our churches have hosted their own conversations about their Way Forward. If you have questions or would like some guidance, please contact the Conference Office at 505-255-8786. We have fellow pastors and resources available to help.
ABQ Emmaus Group Meets for 15 Years
According to The Upper Room Emmaus website: 
The walk to Emmaus is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation that begins with a three-day short course in Christianity. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in a new way as God’s grace and love is revealed to you through other believers.  
Following the Emmaus Walk, participants are encouraged to join Fourth Day groups. 
Several Albuquerque women have been meeting as a Fourth Day Group since 2003 - 15 years of sharing their lives and bringing what Emmaus meant to them into the world. Two of the founding members who still lead the group are Gretchen Crowe and Debbie Dixon. I met with the group including Gretchen, Deb, Andrea Jones and Barbara McRae. There are 12 active women on their roster. The usual meeting attendance is 5-8 women on Thursdays. The age range is 40’s-70’s, except when college-aged daughters are in town over the summer. Gretchen said that when the 20-somethings attend, the conversation definitely pivots to helping younger women figure out how to "do life", but there is a lot of reciprocal learning too. 
Gretchen Crowe, Andrea Jones, Debbie Dixon & Barbara McRae
How McCurdy went from Death to Life
by Rev. Steve Trout
In the Fall of 2011, I was asked to serve on the McCurdy Board of Trustees as the Bishop’s representative to the Board. I knew of McCurdy Schools of Northern New Mexico. I had even preached at their Religious Emphasis Week in the early ‘80’s. I had no idea of what I was getting into. Serving on this Board for the past 7 years has been the hardest and most exciting experience of my career. 
Bishop Bledsoe & Steve Trout visit McCurdy Ministries
Hurricane Michael on the Gulf Coast
UMCOR partners are ready to assist response efforts on the Gulf Coast. Disaster Response Coordinators are traveling to affected areas today to begin assessment work.

Conference Disaster Response Coordinators have been in touch with local leaders and secured a 35,000 ft warehouse in Marianna, FL with necessary equipment to expeditiously stock and distribute relief supplies.

Seasoned incident coordinators are on the ground. They have assessed relief supplies, readied Early Response Teams and are in communication with neighboring conferences to prepare for mutual aid. 

We ask that you keep those in the path of Hurricane Michael, as well as those who will soon assist in the response in your continued prayers.
Developing your Ministry Plan Webinar
Develop a ministry plan for your church. Join Craig Kennet Miller from Discipleship Ministries for a two-part webinar on Developing Your Ministry Plan. The webinars come with a downloadable study guide and material to enable your church team to build an effective strategy for ministry. For more information and to register for Plan 1 at 10 a.m. CDT on Oct. 23, go to https://bit.ly/2NhulGO. For the Plan 2 webinar at 10 a.m. CDT on Oct. 30, go to https://bit.ly/2xWkem5. Both events will be available later at the webinar archive here.
Courageous Conversations - A Local Church Toolbox
Some of our local church congregations have held meetings to prepare themselves for what happens after the Special Called Session in February. Some are reluctant to do so for a variety of good reasons. Discipleship Ministries has developed a toolbox for pastors and lay leaders.

The Courageous Conversations project is aimed to help us move from skepticism to curiosity and even openness to encounter God’s grace. Courageous Conversations is a toolbox that local churches can use to inspire and encourage the church and individuals to stay at the table when the anxiety and emotional turmoil is painful.
Upcoming Events
  • Lay Servant Training - Oct. 19-20 - Covenant UMC-ABQ
  • Emmaus Women's Walk - Oct. 25-28 - Inlow Baptist Church Camp
  • UMW Annual Meeting - Oct. 25-27 - St. Paul's UMC-ABQ
  • CCYM Service Camp - Nov. 16-18 - Sacramento
  • El Paso Coach Training - Nov. 3 - tba
  • Clovis Coach Training - Nov. 10 - tba
  • ABQ Coach Training - Nov. 17 - tba