Every year at the meeting of the North Texas Annual Conference, we receive an address from the Bishop. In this address, the bishop provides a few points of emphasis for the upcoming year. Bishop Mike McKee’s points of emphasis for local churches in the North Texas Conference during 2022-2023 are built around reclaiming our United Methodist identity in which we recognize our limitations embracing the essentials of our faith while showing charity in nonessential matters, we are instruments of good in our communities and around the world, and in which we acknowledge and value the fact we are diverse by God’s design. Those points of emphasis are as follows:
1) Equip laity to be distinctively Wesleyan in faith and practice and to fully embrace their role as ministers of the gospel. This includes recognizing that we embrace the journey toward salvation we are on and that continues throughout our lives. As we grow more in God’s love throughout this journey, we recognize God is still shaping us in knowledge and love, so that we can relate to one another with charity.
2) Embrace new ways – both in-person and online – for reaching new people. People are not coming to church. We must find new ways to connect with them where they are.
3) Work to eradicate systemic racism in our Church and the communities we serve. Injustice thrives in many ways due to people’s race and the role it has played in our communities and nation. But injustice has no power when we trust in the loving power of a just God.
4) Live into the spirit of the One Church Resolution passed by our annual conference in 2019. We are a big tent denomination with differing beliefs when it comes to sexuality. We aim to be a safe space and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ Christians while not requiring any local church or pastor to go beyond their convictions.
5) Focus conference resources on our mission, vision, and key strategies. In other words, resources will be funneled to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Let’s join together in prayer and action as we seek to pursue these emphases together in the coming year.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen