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General Conference Updates

Here are the latest notes, pictures, and updates from our very own Tracy Merrick and Rev. Anais Hussian! Read on as they share their experiences at General Conference!

Rev. Anais Hussian:

April 23rd:

"... Lots of hopeful energy in opening worship. I have concerns about whether people are genuinely inspired to cultivate an affirming Church (do the hard work) or just caught up in the energy in the room from Bishop Bickerton's sermon. Prayers appreciated as we see how things unfold in legislative sections in the coming days."

Picture of Rev William Meekins and I sitting together as reserve delegates

April 27th:

"Today two of our clergy delegate colleagues graciously stepped out for the morning plenary session to give Rev. William Meekins and I the opportunity to be seated as voting delegates for the duration of the session. We had the privilege of voting on portions of the Revised Social principles, which were overwhelmingly supported. These portions include 3 different protections related to gender identity and 7 related to sexual orientation. Tribe, ethnicity, native language, country of origin, economic disadvantage, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or citizenship status are also listed in various protection sections.

These are the first sections of the revised Social Principles to be voted upon by the General Conference. More revisions and votes will happen next week as each section passes through legislative committees.

I am hopeful, yet not foolish enough to believe the hard work is over. There is still much work to do and much that can happen throughout the next week. 

While I need to return home to Pittsburgh tomorrow for work, I will be holding the General Conference in prayer and watching the journey that unfolds next week."

Peggy Ward, me, and Tracy Merrick in plenary session as seated, voting delegates. 

Me, Josh Popson, and Pastor Michael Airgood observing a legislative section 

Tracy Merrick:

April 23rd:

"Today was the first day of General Conference! This morning all delegates were briefed on a number of logistics and then trained in how to use new technology.

After lunch, we were incredibly blessed by a great opening worship which was one of the best I can remember!! Bishop Tom Bickerton gave the most powerful message I have heard him preach during the service, other than 7the the sermon he gave during Bill Grove's memorial service!!! I hope it will be posted soon and I'll send a link as soon as I find it!"

Bishops lining up for opening worship with Bishop Domingos from Angola at the front

Extremely well done video during the opening worship which focused on all that has happened since the last GC in 2019.

Bishop Bickerton preaching during opening worship

Bishop Bickerton making a very emotional point!!!

Article on Bishop Bickerton's message today:

Pictures of today's sessions ... one provides evidence that I was actually there!!! The WPA delegation is in the very first row!!

(One of my newer friends is in the picture standing in the row behind me! ... Jake is a pastor in the Susquehanna Conference)

Link to the GC Opening worship and Bishop Bickerton's message!


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