As Wisconsin delegates to the Special Session of General Conference prepare for the upcoming meeting in St. Louis, February 23-26, we want to highlight their thoughts and insights. This week, Rev. Dan Dick and Barbara Dick weigh in.

Dan Dick, Clergy Delegate

I would be lying if I said I was not anxious about the upcoming special session of General Conference. But my anxiety also reflects the beauty of what I believe is the heart and soul of United Methodism – a group of very diverse, theologically different, church-loving people will gather together to express their heartfelt beliefs and understandings to work together to be the body of Christ on earth. We are not perfect, though God is working to perfect us in love. We are not united, though unity of purpose is God’s will for us. We are not one, though through our baptism God works a unifying and reconciling miracle within us. We are not the church we ought to be, though we seek to be faithful in what we say and do. Beyond all else, I believe God will be with us, and the Holy Spirit will work within us. As a member of our Wisconsin Conference delegation, I am deeply proud and honored to serve with a group of women and men, laity and clergy, whose highest guiding value is to be faithful to God and to seek to do what is best for our United Methodist faith communion. We believe we are stronger together than apart, and that God has great plans for us as we live together into God’s future.

Barbara Dick, Laity Delegate

At its best, The United Methodist Church embraces all people who seek to know and love God, to be the body of Christ in the world. The quadrilateral may not be exactly Wesleyan, but it has been a guidepost for my developing discipleship. I stand on Scripture as the foundational story of our faith in God’s world. I look to tradition to provide a solid framework of historical understanding and lessons learned about the inevitability of change. I strive to use reason to build walls of faith that have both structural integrity and beauty. And, I keep the windows of experience open to God’s ongoing work of creation, so that the story, the framework, and the walls will always have room to grow in love.

Whatever happens in St. Louis, God is not done with us. Even as I struggle with the power-plays and political maneuvering that surround General Conference, I prepare with prayerful discernment and study. I pray that the hearts of all delegates will be open to the true power—the power of the Holy Spirit—to do something astounding and wonderful through us. We have an opportunity to provide a witness to grace, to model peace, to overflow with the abundance that is God’s love for all.

Pray for us. Pray with us. “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity” (¶103.§2, Book of Discipline).