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Linda Neal

Church Name: Country Club (Kansas City)

Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.

Since joining my church @1985 I have chaired our Council on Ministries, been a member of our Administrative Board, been a co-chair of our most recent capital campaign, and co-chair of developing our Garden of Remembrance. As a representative of the Missouri United Methodist Foundation for 20+ years (2019 will be my final year as a representative of the Foundation) I have worked with leaders of many UMC to assist with development of a planned giving team and with individual donors to help them express their Christian stewardship to make legacy gifts to their UMC.

Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.

My early experience with Cursillo stimulated my desire for a stronger relationship with Jesus which has been nourished by our on-going studies in my Adult Study Class and more recently through our weekly "Church Alive" studies and discussions.These experiences have helped me to recognize God being active in my life and to see myself and others as "works in progress", as we are being formed as disciples of Jesus Christ, whose gifts and skills are individually and collectively needed to transform the world.   

Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?

I came to the UMC late in life but as I study the words and actions of John Wesley the more I love and appreciate this particular tribe of the Christian world; so I want to part of the solution to the challenges we must confront to authentically model Jesus Christ in our world. 

How will your involvement in General Conference 2020 support the church to fulfill the mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”?

I can only hope that my presence at the General Conference -- to help choose the leaders and determine the actions by which the UMC will be viewed by the world --  would be an affirmation that every human being is a child of God to be cherished and nurtured to express the abundance of life that God desires for each of us.

Since the primary focus for Jurisdictional Conference is to elect new bishops, what qualifications do you think the church needs in its future episcopal leaders?

I believe the primary qualification for our clergy leaders is the courage to recognize and resolve the worldly obstacles, that we place in our path, to authentically model Jesus Christ to our world; and then the loving heart and open mind to encourage and motivate us to "do what Jesus would do" in our relationships in our families, our church, our neighborhoods and throughout the world.