An Update on Annual Conference 2020

March 27, 2020

The novel coronavirus outbreak has required us all to think differently and embrace innovation in our ministries. It’s time to think differently about Annual Conference, too.

Over the past weeks, we’ve heard story after story about how, as a response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, you and your congregation have continued to think differently and embrace innovative approaches to ministry: staying connected to ensure that our most vulnerable members are being taken care of, and using online tools to build community.

Your consistency in leadership with your church through regular communication – constantly reminding people that they have a team of people who are supporting them spiritually and physically – has shown an authentic attentiveness that has strengthened our churches in the face of challenge.

It’s become clear that we need to think differently about Annual Conference and build on that consistency of leadership that we’ve seen across the Free Methodist Church in Southern California. In all times, Annual Conference is a time of transition with new board members, new ministerial leaders, and pastors moving between appointments. Making these changes at this time would create holes in leadership structures, putting the full weight of this crisis on new members in leadership positions without time to learn the ropes and leaving our most vulnerable members in a state of flux.

Because of all these things, we are postponing Annual Conference 2020 until Fall. We will use the spring and summer to evaluate our changing needs as a conference. Our nominating committee will be working hard to adjust their candidate evaluation process, taking into account state and local restrictions on gatherings. This will give us time to make better informed appointments and provide more time to review candidates for board positions.

We know God is going to continue to move in our churches, and we’re excited to make Annual Conference 2020 a celebration of God’s grace and love as we take on the challenges caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus.

We will continue to communicate as details are finalized. In the meantime, we want to hear from you how God is teaching you to rely on the Spirit for strength, wisdom, and empowerment. We’re praying for you.

May God bring you peace.

Your Superintendent Team,
Rev. Charles Latchison
Rev. Glen Prior
Rev. Fraser Venter

The Diversity of Unity: Is Holiness Really Legalistic? – w/ Rev. Dr. Carla Sunberg
The Diversity of Unity: Is Holiness Really Legalistic? – w/ Rev. Dr. Carla Sunberg

Rev. Dr. Carla Sunberg, General Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene, discusses common misconceptions around the Wesleyan view of holiness, tracing the roots of the holiness movement to the transformational work of the Holy Spirit in followers’ lives. Over time, later generations focused too much on outward actions rather than the Spirit’s inner sanctifying work. She points out that discipleship helps avoid legalism. This episode unpacks the biblical basis for living a life that is both deeply rooted in personal holiness and actively engaged in promoting social justice. Listen as we explore practical ways to embody these dual commitments in our communities and beyond.Key TakeawaysUnderstanding the biblical call to holiness and social justice.Strategies for integrating faith into action within one’s community.Understanding other traditions gives richer insight into holiness.Helpful Bible ReferencesMicah 6:8 – Emphasizing the requirement to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.James 2:14-26 – Highlighting the inseparable nature of faith and deeds.Galatians 5:22-23 – The fruit of the SpiritHebrews 12:14 – Pursuing holinessKeywordsHoliness, Wesleyan theology, Sanctification, Discipleship, Holy Spirit, Social Justice, Faith in Action, Biblical WisdomLinks and ResourcesKevin Mannoia’s website: https://kevinmannoia.com/Holiness Today Magazine: https://holinesstoday.org/index.php/Holiness Today Podcast: https://holinesstoday.podbean.com/Way, Truth, Life: Discipleship as a Journey of Grace, by Dr. David Busic: ​​https://www.amazon.com/Way-Truth-Life-Discipleship-Journey/dp/0834139693 Reflecting the Image, by Dr. Carla Sunberg: https://www.amazon.com/Reflecting-Image-Mirror-Christ-World/dp/0834135272/Teach Us to Pray, by Dr. Carla Sunberg: https://www.amazon.com/Teach-Us-Pray-Learn-Scripture/dp/0834141787/Dr. Carla Sunberg’s blog: https://reflectingtheimage.blogspot.com/ About the Podcast”Anchored & Reaching” is a thought-provoking weekly podcast designed for curious Christians who aspire to impact the world while remaining deeply rooted in their faith. Hosted by Kevin Mannoia, each episode features engaging conversations, practical insights, and diverse perspectives from Christian leaders who embody the dual values of being anchored in Christ and actively reaching out to the world. Join Kevin every week as he encourages you to live a dynamic Christian life, grounded in biblical truth and fueled by a passion for positive change.Email: [email protected]: https://anchoredandreaching.com

The Diversity of Unity: Is There Life in the Mainlines – w/ Bishop Todd Hunter
The Diversity of Unity: Is There Life in the Mainlines – w/ Bishop Todd Hunter

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter describes his journey from leading the Vineyard movement to becoming a bishop in the Anglican Church. He traces the Anglican influence on the Vineyard movement and evangelical churches more broadly through figures like John Stott and N.T. Wright. Hunter explores common misconceptions about mainline denominations, explaining that while there has been theological drift, mainline churches still contain devoted followers of Jesus. He observes a growing hunger amongst young Christians for historical groundedness leading them to traditions like Anglicanism, but cautions against overly formal or inaccessible liturgy. Hunter advocates doing liturgy in the “language of the people” to make it warm and welcoming while retaining historic structure.Key TakeawaysAnglicanism has deeply influenced evangelical figures and churches, from John Wimber to Alpha to many borrowing elements of the Book of Common PrayerMainline Protestant churches have declined but still contain millions of sincere, devoted ChristiansYounger generations are rediscovering groundedness, history, and liturgy amidst a trend of faith deconstructionLiturgy is inescapable; the key is making historically structured liturgy engaging and accessibleHelpful Bible ReferencesMatthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer as a model for structured, yet deeply personal prayer)Luke 1:38 – “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Mary’s humble, obedient faith)

KeywordsAnglican Church, liturgy, mainline denominations, Vineyard Church, Alpha, Book of Common Prayer, deconstruction, Church of England, traditionAbout Anchored & Reaching”Anchored & Reaching” is a thought-provoking weekly podcast designed for curious Christians who aspire to impact the world while remaining deeply rooted in their faith. Hosted by Kevin Mannoia, each episode features engaging conversations, practical insights, and diverse perspectives from Christian leaders who embody the dual values of being anchored in Christ and actively reaching out to the world. Join Kevin every week as he encourages you to live a dynamic Christian life, grounded in biblical truth and fueled by a passion for positive change.

Email: [email protected]: https://anchoredandreaching.com

Kevin’s website: https://kevinmannoia.com/

The Diversity of Unity: Is the SDA a Cult – with Dr. Timothy Gillespie
The Diversity of Unity: Is the SDA a Cult – with Dr. Timothy Gillespie

In this episode of “Anchored & Reaching,” Kevin Mannoia dives into the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church’s beliefs and history with Dr. Timothy Gillespie, Dmin, Lead Pastor, Crosswalk Redlands and Teaching Pastor, Crosswalk Global Network of Churches. They discuss the SDA’s origins in the Millerite movement and the Great Disappointment, the denomination’s development including its health and educational work, and address misconceptions labeling it as a cult. Gillespie emphasizes the SDA’s commitment to scripture, education, and the importance of understanding the denomination within the broader Christian community. The discussion also covers the Adventist emphasis on the Sabbath and how it shapes their identity and perception by others in the Christian faith.Key TakeawaysThe SDA Church’s foundation on the Millerite movement and the Great Disappointment.The role of Ellen White and her contributions to SDA theology and practice.The denomination’s extensive work in health and education as expressions of their faith.Challenges and misconceptions faced by the SDA Church, including being labeled as a cult.The significance of the Sabbath in SDA belief and practice, and its impact on the denomination’s relationship with the wider Christian community.Helpful Bible ReferencesHebrews 4:9-10 – Rest in Christ as the Sabbath rest.Revelation 14:12 – The patience of the saints, keeping the commandments of God and faith in Jesus.2 Peter 1:20-21 – Understanding prophecy and scripture.KeywordsSeventh-day Adventist, SDA, Ellen White, Great Disappointment, Sabbath, cult misconceptions, Christian unity, health ministry, educationAbout Anchored & Reaching”Anchored & Reaching” is a thought-provoking weekly podcast designed for curious Christians who aspire to impact the world while remaining deeply rooted in their faith. Hosted by Kevin Mannoia, each episode features engaging conversations, practical insights, and diverse perspectives from Christian leaders who embody the dual values of being anchored in Christ and actively reaching out to the world. Join Kevin every week as he encourages you to live a dynamic Christian life, grounded in biblical truth and fueled by a passion for positive change.Email: [email protected]: https://anchoredandreaching.com