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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

April 26th, 2024 | Rev. Dr. Mark Charles

What a Sunday we had last week as our Youth stepped up again to lead worship in all services!  If you were not able to attend you missed a powerful and encouraging morning of worship and witness by our young people, and I very much encourage you to catch the digital service on our YouTube Channel if you have not already done so.


As they led us in prayer, shared testimony of God’s work in their lives, and preached a sermon to uplift and encourage us, my own heart was strangely warmed.  I watched these young people lead and experienced a confidence that the future is bright and hope-filled.


I’ve experienced a similar confidence watching proceedings during this first week of the United Methodist Church General Conference taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Recent General Conference gatherings have been difficult and contentious, but the mood and spirit of this gathering is different. A shift appears to have taken place and the atmosphere is one that is hope-filled for a bright future for United Methodism.  If you would like to catch some of this mood for yourself, I encourage you to check out Bishop Bickerton’s sermon from the opening service of the General Conference (sermon starts 26:40 minutes into the video). Another video I would recommend is Alejandra Salemi’s “Young Person’s Address” to the Conference. Alejandra is a member of the Florida Conference and did us all proud as she challenged the GC with her word.

Recent years have been challenging for the people called United Methodist, but the tide seems to be changing and we are looking forward with great hope as Christ calls us to step forward in the way he is leading. I invite you all to continue praying for General Conference and for all the delegates as they continue their work next week.



Pastor Charlie


PS: If all this talk of General Conference has you thinking: “What on earth is General Conference??” you might want to check out the conversation I hosted with Jessica Scott on Wednesday night this past week. Around forty of our church members gathered on a Zoom call to find out more and ask their questions. We recorded the session and you can view it here.


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