Legislative Consultation 2014 portland, oregon
- Nearly two years of prayer and planning went into the Legislative Consultation held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Portland September 30-October 3, 2014. Meeting in Portland, the site of the upcoming 2016 General Conference, UMRA members discussed our vision and purpose and addressed legislative issues that we feel are important to the work and ministry of Town & Country and Rural Churches across the connection. Participants attended from as far away as the Big Island of Hawaii to North Carolina and many of the areas in between.
- Several concerns were lifted up to address legislatively, among them a request for the Connectional Table to include a rural presence at the table and for the proceeds of local church properties in rural areas that are sold to have those proceeds returned to rural areas to a variety of resolutions that impact life in rural communities. A Values Statement was also approved that explains the issues that UMRA will, or will not, support at General Conference.
- The Executive Committee met as well and heard reports of the on-going efforts with Stephen Forbus around restructuring our Board and clarifying our purpose as well as how best to get the word out about the important work that UMRA does and how to fund our ministries into the future. The Rev. LaKisha Reed from the General Board of Global Ministries attended and brought greetings from GBGM. Rev. Reed also informed the group that our grant request for funds from GBGM had been approved. Thanks LaKisha and GBGM!
- Part of our gathering was spent visiting the Portland Convention Center so UMRA will better know how to strategically be present at General Conference. We toured the venue and also had a brief prayer service in preparation for the 2016 gathering. On the walking tour from the Convention Center back to the Embassy Suites, a number of Portland's homeless population were encountered. This reality led to a commitment on the part of UMRA to develop a plan to try to help General Conference Delegates to reach out and assist in feeding the homeless. Initial contacts have already been made with a local Christian feeding organization and plans are in place on how to have a positive impact there in 2016. More details will follow as that is finalized.
- Specifics will be coming later. Thanks for all your efforts and support for the Kingdom Work in Rural, Town & Country settings.
- In Christ's Service,
- Roger L. Grace