First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor

Jayneann McIntosh



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January 2019

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June/July 2019

clientimages/34002/fpjp_july-aug 2019.pdfJuly/August 2019

From Pastor Jayneann's Pen

I look forward to Annual Conference each year with a mixture of excitement and dread. I love connecting with people I don’t get to see very often. The worship is great. Spending time with the lay members from First Church that accompany me (we generally travel, eat, stay and sit together) is a definite plus as well. So there are lots of things I enjoy about AC. Things I don’t like include: the sound system is too loud which, unless I wear earplugs which seems rude, invariably leads to a migraine; the gathering space is cold, and sometimes people are not on their best behavior.

This year, the Wisconsin Annual Conference was moved to Green Bay because our Middleton venue was renovating. We each registered. I reserved a room for Sara and myself. (Wes chose a sleeping bag at another location.)

After the special General Conference decisions in February stiffening penalties for pastor who marry homosexual couples and continuing not to accept LGBTQIA+ persons into clergy ministry, we wondered how this 3-day set of meetings would go. The theme for this year’s AC had been changed to reflect a climate of uncertainty:

During the first session, even I could pick up that people were feeling uncomfortable and hesitant. But the planning committee had done their job well. And as we continued to meet, people relaxed. We conducted business. We expressed ourselves. We listened.

Not everyone was on their good behavior but when this became clear Bishop Jung made time to address the problem and to call people to practice “holy conferencing” – honoring and listening with grace even to the ones with whom we strongly disagree. [And to my surprise the sound was not too loud (!) and my headache wasn’t bad. I didn’t even need my sweater most of the time.]

Considering the challenges that The United Methodist Church in the U.S. is facing at present, our time together went well. Just as each of us is a work-in-progress and in need of God’s guidance and grace, so it is with our local church and our denomination. You’ll find Sara’s and Wes’ responses to Annual Conference on page 9 of this newsletter. Be sure to enjoy your summer! It won’t linger…
 P.S. Remember you’re welcome to drive down to Pine Lake Camp to join us for the day on Saturday, July 20th even if you didn’t register for Family Camp. Have you put Vacation Bible School on your calendar? And I hope I’ll see you on August 4th for the Pie & Ice Cream Social after 10 am worship.