Follow the Pilgrimage to the Land of Love

A letter to the new Mountain Sky Conference

June 20, 2018

Dear brothers and sisters, siblings in Christ,

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.*

On June 9, 2018, history was made as United Methodists who gathered in Ogden, Utah as members of the Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain Annual Conferences overwhelmingly voted to become one: The Mountain Sky Conference. This vote culminated many years of discussions, task forces, and committees. It included the voices of hundreds of United Methodists throughout our area who gave input to help refine the Plan of Union. Truly, it is a living document as we seek to live out our common purpose: The Mountain Sky Conference of the UMC will live in God’s grace and abundance as we lead a re-energized peaceful and compassionate movement to claim the life-changing love of Jesus Christ for ALL people.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.*

Drawing on the history, strengths and resources of both legacy conferences, the Mountain Sky Conference is structured to assist us as we equip lay and clergy leaders for the challenges and opportunities of ministry in the 21st century, renew congregations for vitality, and establish new congregations that serve our unique mission field. We will find strength and courage for our task through the inspiration of our fore-bearers of faith in this region, who had a zeal for mission and evangelism, sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in tangible ways.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.*

There is grief as we let go of what was. But as disciples of the Risen Christ, we know that death always leads to resurrection. We are being called by God to be a Wesleyan movement of grace for our day and age. May we all listen to and respond to God’s Holy Spirit, who offers us new life so that those in our churches and communities can become impassioned followers of the Living Christ, transforming the world together with God’s love, justice and mercy.

Blessings,

Bishop Oliveto's signature

Bishop Karen P. Oliveto

*"Hymn of Promise"by Natalie Sleeth, © 1986 Hope Publishing Co.