From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Spiritual leaders will meet to discern God's call for church

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Thu, 30 Jan 2003 14:43:50 -0600

Jan. 30, 2003 News media contact: Linda Green7(615)742-54707Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Spiritual leaders from across the United Methodist
Church will meet this summer to determine how God is leading the denomination
in developing spiritual formation and maturity in Christ.

The Spiritual Leaders Conference, Aug. 4-7, will be the church's second
gathering aimed at understanding how the denomination is nurturing spiritual
leaders for itself and the world. More than 150 people are expected to gather
at the Oakwood Spiritual Life Center in Syracuse, Ind.	

Most spiritual leaders in the United Methodist Church today feel that they
are not adequately supported and equipped to do what God has called to the
do, according to the Rev. Tom Albin, dean of the Upper Room Chapel in
Nashville, Tenn., a sponsor of the conference. "They would say that the
church could do better."

The event sponsors, which also include the United Methodist Board of Higher
Education and Ministry and the Board of Discipleship, hope that conference
participants will get a clearer sense of God's will for the church, and that
there will be a "clearer commitment of everyone working together (for) the
glory of God and the benefit of the church," Albin said.

"It is our hope that in the future, people who feel called to service in the
United Methodist Church will find a warmer welcome, better spiritual
preparation to be servant leaders, and the support needed to sustain
themselves for a lifetime of service in the church and the world."

Conference leaders will include Albin; Bishop Susan Hassinger, Lawrence,
Mass.; the Rev. Marjorie Thompson, director of the Pathways Center for
Spiritual Leadership, Nashville; and the Rev. Luther Smith, a Christian
Methodist Episcopal member of the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and
Union and professor of church and community at United Methodist-related
Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.

More information is available at, or by
contacting Albin at (615) 340-7110 or
# # #

United Methodist News Service
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