I did not attend Annual Conference this year in person. However, I was impressed by the video quality of watching the services and business sessions over the internet. It was good to connect with the conference and Brethren in this way. The crew that broadcast the conference did a great job! Thank you!!

I woke-up this morning wondering, “How many people are affected by the decisions made at this meeting?” There’s no way to really measure this. Annual Conference doesn’t have the power in our polity to enforce any decisions made upon the congregations or membership of the church. So, congregations are free to abide or not abide by what’s decided. So, whether the decision has to do with what congregations should be about, what the U.S. government should do, or how we should live in this world and care for the environment, the Brethren have free will as to whether they will abide or not abide with the business decisions.

Another aspect of my question, “How many people are affected by the decisions made at this meeting?”, is this: if the money spent on holding and coming to this annual meeting were given to ministry agencies like Heifer Project, Int., or New Community Project, or split between the two, how many lives would be effected and changed? I don’t know how much is spent for and on Annual Conference. It’s got to be in the hundreds of thousands, if not over a million dollars (totaling-up all the attendee’s expenses). This is a pretty big chunk of money! A great deal could be done to make the world a better place, help the poor, and bring others to Christ by contributing this money to different agencies, like those named above.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as sounding too critical of the church and conference. That’s not my purpose in writing it. Instead, I’ve just been pondering the thought of how the church can best impact lives through the money that is spent to hold and attend Annual Conference.

What are your thoughts on this, or reflections from Annual Conference?

Blessings to you all!