Day 5- Going With Courage


By Sandy Hieronymus We are reminded to go with courage knowing that God goes before us to guide our paths.  This is easier said than done.  Each day at General Conference has started at 8:00 AM with inspiring worship and wonderful gathering music that helps to center us for the work of the day.  A short time of devotion closes each legislative committee at the end of the day.  Between these two special times of being with God, it can be tiring and even frustrating.  Keeping Christ centered has been my priority.  I feel very humble in being a delegate.


Emotions seem to be high at times.  I have seen Holy Conferencing and respect for others.  I have also witnessed the "me attitude."  The frustration in dealing with Robert's Rules of Order has occurred.  We say we trust God. Can we not trust each other, too?  We persevere and move on. [caption id="attachment_5870" align="aligncenter" width="500"]image1 The Tamba Marimba Ensemble with Paul Jeffrey taking pictures- Sandy Hieronymus photo[/caption] Gathering music today was fun and inspiring from the Tamba Marimba Ensemble from the Tigard UMC in Tigard, Oregon.  Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, Northeastern Jurisdiction, brought the message "Listening to God's Dream."  Devadhar means "follower of God" in Suda.  He told us that the Bible is not to be used selfishly.  We may have to do things differently.  Will the 2016 General Conference go down in history as one where we offered Christ to the World?  He told us about women in ministry and Paul's attitude.  Quoting Bishop Leontine T. Kelly as saying "Paul did not call me.  God did."  He ended by telling us to listen to You, God, and only You.  And so we began this fifth day of General Conference inspired and ready for the task of the day.  We needed this inspiration as it was a very l-o-n-g day. One of the greatest joys this week is being with lovely United Methodists from around the world.  My committee and sub-committee are very diverse.  Each day, I look forward to chatting with folks from other delegations, especially the Central Conference delegates.  I love our connectional church!  I have had many wanting to hear me talk.  Do I really have an accent? [caption id="attachment_5872" align="aligncenter" width="500"]image2 Sandy with Eduard Carlos, Philippines, and Tshimbu Muyombi, South Congo[/caption]   Sandy Hieronymus is a lay delegate from Mint Hill, North Carolina    

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.