If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Let me begin by saying, “Thank you!” Thank you to Program and Arrangements; thank you to Conference staff; thank you to volunteers; thank you to cabinet; thank you to our board and agency leaders; thank you to our young people; thank you to worship team; thank you to our Launch Out! team; thank you for a great Learning Day; thank you to Marriott; and special thank you to visiting Bishops, guests, Thomas Kemper – and especially Archives and History for a splendid 50th Anniversary Celebration Banquet. What a Conference! We celebrated together “One with Each Other,” and that unity of spirit was felt throughout.
I know we are in tense times. I know there is uncertainty about our future. I know there is disagreement about how we should move forward into the future; but despite all the possible divisions, we came together as one body, to worship, to learn, to plan, to discern, and to be family as baptized believers. What a joy it was for me! We navigated our differences to witness to the love, and power, and grace of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
And we stepped forward – leapt forward – in faith to Launch Out! My heart soars at this great confession of faith in our future. God is doing amazing things in the Wisconsin Conference. You, brothers and sisters, affirm my confidence and discernment – you make my joy complete – by joining together to make this faith-raising initiative a reality. As we faithfully commit to fulfill this exciting challenge, we will see miracles happen, and our world transformed. This is an incredible statement of faith in times of denominational struggle. It is a great testament to the high level of discipleship in the Wisconsin Conference.
We do not know what tomorrow may bring, but we face it together. One way or another, Wisconsin Conference will continue to serve faithfully, to risk boldly, and to proclaim confidently, we are “One with Christ, One with Each Other, and One in Ministry to All the World.” I am so proud to be your bishop in these trying, and sometimes difficult circumstances. We are tested, we are tried, but we are strong. I ask you all to pray for your bishop, to pray for your Conference, to pray for Launch Out! and to pray for our delegation as they prepare for the Special Session of General Conference in 2019.
Bless you all my brothers and sisters, and thank you for an amazing Annual Conference!
Grace and Peace,
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).