Bishop Devadhar's Call to Conference 2016

March 2, 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is with great joy that I invite you to attend the 23rd session of the New England Annual Conference at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH, from June 16-18, 2016. This year’s theme is "Planting Seeds of Trust."

Bishop Devadhar

The highlights of the Holy Conferencing will include presentations from Conference teacher/preacher Rev. Dr. Greg Jones, Bible Study leader Rev. Anne Robertson, Ziegler preacher and laity addressers (who have not yet been named), a worship team consisting of Rev. Dr. Marcia McFee and Dr. Mark Miller, celebrations of the Commissioners/Ordinands, the Imagine No Malaria campaign, assembling 1,000 health kits for UMCOR, using the Circle Process, and hosting special guests from the Sanman Annual Conference of the Korean Methodist Church. 

Some of you have asked me to be specific about the term "Holy Conferencing" which you have heard me say in previous Annual Conferences. Though it may be defined in many ways in our Wesleyan tradition, Bishop Sally Dyck explains holy conferencing as "the conviction that the way we talk to each other, make decisions, and resolve conflicts is as important as the decisions we make.” 

The General Conference has provided a list of ten principles for us to use when Christians gather for decision-making and dialogue on difficult topics. These guidelines should be helpful for us to read and pray about in anticipation of our three days together in June.


  • Every Person is a Child of God. Always speak respectfully. One can disagree without being disagreeable.
  • As you patiently listen and observe the behavior of others, be open to the possibility that God can change the views of any or all parties in the discussion.
  • Listen patiently before formulating responses.
  • Strive to understand the experience out of which others have arrived at their views.
  • Be careful in how you express your personal offense at differing opinions. Otherwise dialogue may be inhibited.
  • Accurately reflect the views of others when speaking. This is especially important when you disagree with that position.
  • Avoid using inflammatory words, derogatory names, or an excited and angry voice.
  • Avoid making generalizations about individuals or groups. Make your point with specific evidence and examples.
  • Make use of facilitators and mediators (we will be using trained Circle Process facilitators in June)
  • Remember that people are defined, ultimately, by their relationship with God—not the flaws we discover, or think we discover, in their views and actions.

Considering God's gift of multiculturalism and the plethora of languages and backgrounds in our Conference, may we be sensitive to one another and care for one another in our conversations as sisters and brothers in Christ.

Above all, may I request each and every one of you be in prayer for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at our Annual Conference session so that God may be glorified and we may be filled with the overflowing love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit.

Hoping to see you in Manchester,

In Christ's love,

 Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar