West Ohio elected seven clergy and seven lay delegates to the 2024 General Conference, which was postponed 2020. General conference will convene April 23-May 3, 2024 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Below the delegation shares how they preparing and praying for General Conference and how West Ohio can pray for them. Read their responses below.

To see the West Ohio Delegation Legislative Committee Assignments for General Conference, click here.

To contact the West Ohio Delegates email; GCDelegates2024@wocumc.org.

CLERGY


Roger Grace

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
I am doing my best to read the information coming out regarding the various plans for how the move the UMC forward. There are a variety of thoughts and proposed plans for how to keep the church together or how to separate into separate expressions of the faith. I pray for the church and our leadership on a daily basis. I am waiting for the publication of the Daily Christian Advocate so I will have time to prepare for the Legislative Section on Local Churches, that is the section I will be in. Our Delegation is meeting on a monthly basis to study the issues before the church. We have an excellent education team that is helping all of us in our efforts to be as informed as possible. Our Episcopacy team is preparing us for the process of choosing the next Bishops for the Jurisdiction.  

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
I pray that we can find a way to be the church and to live into our calling to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I pray that we will be able to stay together to accomplish that, but if not, then we need to find a way to encourage one another in our faith and stop fighting among ourselves. I'm not quite sure how that will work for us, the battle lines are very entrenched. 

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU? 
That I may be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That I might have the energy and stamina for the days that lie ahead. that I might be gracious in all that I do. That I might be the type of delegate the church needs for just such a time as this.


Karen Cook

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
Praying daily for each person on our delegation, reading information from as many communications outlets that I have access to stay informed.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
3 simple rules: To do no harm, to do good and to stay in love with God. This is my humble prayer daily.

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
Pray for me that I will be able to have a discerning spirit.


April Casperson

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
I'm in conversation with people who have a variety of beliefs and understandings about what The United Methodist Church should focus upon, and praying upon what they share. I'm also taking time away for sabbath.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
That we not be reactionary, and that we consider how God wants to move within the UMC so that we can tell the world about grace.

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
Pray for a clear heart, open ears and strong relationships across difference.


Deanna Stickley-Miner

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
I have begun a regular prayer practice asking for my wisdom and understanding to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and not my own sense of certitude. I am in conversation with people from across the world, seeking to hear their unique perspective on matters before us. Once the Advance Christian Daily Advocate (ADCA) is available, I will spend time reading and studying the petitions and resolutions that will be before us and continue to be in conversation with people who represent diverse perspectives.

 What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
That we be honoring of each other—to see the Image of God in each other, particularly those with whom we disagree. That delegates from the United States will make room for and be open to hearing the unique voices and perspectives of people outside the US. That we will be open to the Holy Spirit creating a new thing that hasn’t yet been spoken or written about.

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
That I will remain grounded in the heart of Jesus and open to the creative power of the Holy Spirit. That I will not allow the spirit of cynicism to fill, but rather see hope and possibility.


Anna Guillozet

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
First and foremost, praying. I am trying to stay informed by reading and engaging with trustworthy, non-inflammatory sources. I am taking care of myself and trying to be the best disciple and pastor I can be in the lead-up to GC.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
My prayer is and has always been that the United Methodist Church is a place where people see, know, and are transformed by the love of Jesus Christ. I have found myself adding to that prayer in this season that the witness of the UMC and those within it would be one that honors the sacrificial and inclusive love of Jesus. 

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
Pray for good health (physical, emotional, and spiritual) for all of the delegates. I especially ask that you pray for those who are "left behind" while I do the work of GC. This includes my spouse and family, my congregation, and the staff in the church I am blessed to serve. I also beg your prayers for those whose lives are reduced to "issues" and are directly impacted by the work of this General Conference.


Rachel Miller

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
I am intentional with prayer and study in order to prepare my heart and mind for the work that lies ahead. I am fully participating in planning, meetings and conversations as we grow as a delegation and work towards GC2024.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
That we are able to seek peaceful and just separation in moving forward into new expressions of Methodism that will allow various groups to live out their faith and call more fully.

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
For peace, grace and integrity as we work together on difficult decisions.


Jason Wellman

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?

The Benedictines have a phrase that forms their lives, Ora et Labora, which means pray and work. As I approach General Conference this is my ethos. I am in continued prayer, seeking God’s wisdom, counsel, and vision for the UMC. I ask this for myself and for all the delegates. My work then is that of preparation as I read legislation, learn about the beauty and complexity of our global system, ask many questions, listen to diverse perspectives, and attend delegation meetings.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church? 

My prayer is that we live more fully and courageously into our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ. So much of our energy has been geared toward maintenance, and now I sense the Spirit is doing a new thing in us and through us. I pray that we can catch that vision as we dream, discern, and work to become who God has called us to be in and for the world. I pray that we can grieve our losses, confess our past sins, and collectively work toward a future where all of humanity may flourish and know and experience God’s grace.

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?

First, I ask that you pray for my family. Being gone for 10+ days is not easy on them.  For me, I ask that you pray for clarity, patience, perseverance, and mental, emotional, and spiritual stamina. I’m holding Psalm 90:17 in my spirit—God will establish the work of our hands. Pray that the work that I do, our delegation does, and all those preparing, attending, and participating in General Conference will be rooted in God’s favor.

LAITY


Bill Brownson

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
In advance of receiving official legislation, I’m building general awareness of key areas of action GC will take.  I’m also participating in WOC delegation activities monthly.  I’m working diligently to not get caught up in or attached to a particular outcome, if for not other reason than to avoid despair.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
My prayer is for a church that can find a way to be in ministry with people around the world and from other cultures while at the same time respecting the pastoral and professional calls of and on LGBTQ people.

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
I would appreciate prayers for wisdom, listening, learning and endurance.


George Howard

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
I am attending delegation meetings, rereading what petitions such as the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters, Connectional Table and Christmas Covenant collaboration around a proposal for Worldwide Regionalization, etc., and engaging in intentional conversations with people across the country and globally. Centering myself and quieting the noise of the world to hear Gods voice has been incredibly helpful and powerful.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
I pray for delegates to expand the conversation, embrace our diversity as a strength, and focus on how the UMC can transform the world. Reaching young people in our communities, inclusiveness of people including those who identify as LGBTQIA, elimination of racism, care for the planet, potable water for all, addressing human trafficking, etc will all be addressed more powerfully when we recognize one another’s gifts and call, embrace the uniqueness of each context and work in partnership across the world.

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
I experience the support and uplifting of the prayers coming from across the conference and globe. I cannot count but only give thanks to God for the plethora of prayers being offered. Being surrounded by prayer makes the work of being a delegate possible.


Callie Picardo

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
I’m spending a lot of time in prayer and adding in some extra spiritual discipline practices. I’ve also been developing a personal prayer team of individuals who have agreed to specifically pray for me as I prepare for General Conference and especially while I’m there. 

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
Lord, make a way where there seems to be no way. Open our hearts to be receptive to you and to love one another, even when we disagree. Lord, above all, may Your will be done and Your name glorified and lifted high. 

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
Thank you for praying for us! Please pray for God’s peace, joy and love to cover me as I prepare and go to General Conference. Pray for wisdom, discernment and clarity as I listen for God’s guidance. Also, please pray for my little ones as my husband and I are away for delegation meetings and for General and Jurisdictional Conference. 


Tracy Chambers

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
To be fully ready for General Conference 2024,  I am praying for our West Ohio delegates and all others, that we are all open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. I am reading the writings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, a spiritual voice and proven leader of change through holy peace. As a new delegate, I am also taking advantage of opportunities to learn as much as possible about General Conference – attending  pre-Conference events and meeting with, building relationships – friendships with members of the West Ohio and other delegations.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church?
I am praying, serving, working for a non-discriminating, culturally competent, fully inclusive United Methodist Church that young people will find welcoming and warm, supporting and uplifting for Christ-like love and beloved community. 

How may people of West Ohio pray for YOU?
For me, please pray that through my time as a delegate, I do no harm, do good and stay in love with God, trusting Isaiah 58: 9b-12 NRSV.


Katelin Hansen

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference?
I am preparing in mind, heart, and spirit for the 2024 General Conference. In mind, by reading and learning as much as I can about both the proceedings and legislative content for GC2024. IN heart, by building as many diverse, trusting relationships with United Methodists around the Connection. And in spirit, with much prayer for all those involved and affected. 

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church? That we embody the dream of being the diverse and unified Body of Christ, in which every member is honored and is able to contribute the very best of their gifts and graces

How may people of West Ohio Pray for you? Prayers for wisdom, discernment, and vision would be welcome


Bobbi Ruddock

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference? Reading and learning more about the inner workings and history of the church.  Listening to related podcasts. Participating in virtual committees.  Asking questions of those who have prior experiences that can inform my preparations.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church? My prayer is that the church can be fully inclusive.  There are steps and legislation that it will take to move in that direction.  That we can move beyond the bickering and into true community.

How may people of West Ohio Pray for you?   I would appreciate prayers for the work of the entire general conference.   For God’s will. To explore the future instead of clinging to the past.   I am but one piece.  


Alex Giffin

How are you preparing for the 2024 General Conference? It has been a long journey to get to General Conference! The time has finally come to begin final preparations. I am preparing for General Conference in many ways. I am firstly preparing for General Conference by praying! I pray for all of the delegates and the churches they represent worldwide that we might gather together to cast vision for and lead into this new and exciting season of what it means to be called United Methodist. I am also reading… A LOT! As a delegate, I take the responsibility seriously and work to be knowledgeable of the legislation before us. Finally, as a seminary student, I am taking United Methodist Polity! That should come in handy this spring during the General Conference.

What is YOUR prayer for The United Methodist Church? MY prayer for the United Methodist Church is for us as a denomination of Jesus followers to live into this new and exciting season for the United Methodist Church and to be open and excited for what is to come. It is time to move forward; this is our sacred opportunity. Are you ready? I am!

How may people of West Ohio Pray for you?   Pray that I might always keep sight of the task at hand. Pray that I have ears to listen, eyes to see, and a heart open and ready for the work of the Holy Spirit as we conduct this critical work on behalf of all.