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A Shared Vision, A Whole Church

by Linda Bloom
April 24, 2012

Leanne Nakanishi believes the way to revitalize congregations and create vital communities is through a process of peace:

  • Practicing the art of listening to others
  • Educating for inclusiveness
  • Advocating for justice and mercy
  • Creating leaders
  • Engaging in dialogue

She was part of a “vision casting” panel this morning that opened up a joint orientation session for young people, women and people of color at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference.

One of those young people was Sam Sim, a 16-year-old high school student, second-generation Korean-American and and first reserve delegate from the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference.

A special program in his conference brought him to Christ, he said, but such efforts need to be duplicated across the denomination.

“The church is dying because as members get older, they’re not reaching kids effectively enough,” Sim declared.

United Methodist Women and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women traditionally have cooperated in an orientation session for women prior to the opening of General Conference. Today, for the first time, the Division on Ministry with Young People  and the Commission on Religion and Race joined in on the briefing. Besides learning the ins and outs of the legislative process, participants were informed about issues important to the groups’ constituencies.