Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

State of the Conference Address



Editor’s note: this address has been edited for length and clarity.

I’m so excited about this year’s Annual Conference. Our theme, “Sowing Seeds, Reaping Harvest, and Transforming the World,” is one that permeates our entire system. It’s something that is inspiring. And the stories (of our conference) are going to inspire you and uplift your hearts.

I think they’re all grounded in just some basic concepts. One concept is identity: who are we today. I know that questions been asked many times, and it has to be revisited every so often to make certain that we still know who we are. Every time we gain someone or lose someone, it changes and impacts our identity, so it’s important to ask, “Who are we today?” Who we are today helps define the kind of seed that we will be sowing.

Another question that follows that is who is in our mission field. Our mission field is simply the community around us. That community can be physical, or it can be virtual. We’ve seen in these past two years an explosion of local churches that reached beyond their community into cyberspace to mission fields they never dreamed they had. But a mission field is still a defined area where we want to sow seeds to make a difference for Christ to reap a harvest. Reaping a harvest makes us move toward the goal of transforming world, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Reaping the harvest is a lot of fun. Sowing seed is a lot of fun. Transforming the world is a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work, and it doesn’t happen automatically.

All of this comes to us out of a spiritual posture. We need to be asking ourselves, “God, who am I today? What are you calling us to be, and to do, and how are you, transforming the world?”

These stories will inspire you. They are from all across the conference. They are stories of Oklahomans sowing seed, reaping harvest and transforming the world. I count it my extreme blessing and privilege to be able to serve as your bishop in this great annual conference, and I know that God is still working in our midst, and will continue to do so.

May you be inspired to look at some seed, to sow it, to reap a harvest, and to transform the world. God bless you.


Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World

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