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Today marks the beginning of the General Conference meetings of the United Methodist Church worldwide.  Every four years a thousand lay and clergy delegates come together to cast the vision for the denomination, sort out administrative and fiscal puzzles, and further shape the social principles of the church.  Millions of Methodists have as many opinions on things; only the General Conference can speak for the church in an official way.

 

Let the games begin; and may the odds be ever in your favor.

While I don’t have a great deal of confidence that the General Conference is going to produce high quality, grace-filled outcomes, I’m very hopeful for the United Methodist Imagine No Malaria Campaign launched by General Conference four years ago.  Provoked to action by the Gates Foundation our denomination set out to end deaths by malaria in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015.  When we started a child died from malaria every 30 seconds, dying from a disease that is preventable, treatable, and curable.  They say the clock has already been turned back to every 60 seconds.  Thanks be to God and to all who have supported the campaign thus far.

Wednesday, April 25, is World Malaria Day.  I’m inviting you to save some lives right now.  Text MALARIA to 27722 and you will donate $10. and save a life.  If you’re inspired to, send the same text every day during the UMC General Conference, now—May 4.  Together we can make a LOUD statement to the United Methodist denomination about our life-saving vision and our compassionate social principles.  Surely God wants everyone to live, not just the last Tribute standing.

Imagine.  No one dying from malaria.  Not that long ago people in the USA could not imagine that.  But then we stopped it.  Save a life.  Text MALARIA to 27722.  And share this with your friends in all those social media ways you’re so good at.

Thank you, friend.  All good things to you,

david gilliam, pastor, faith united methodist church, austin.  for more about faith church, click here.