July 01, 2017

The Wesley Brass of Springfield, under the direction of Manchester UMC/GC music director Kevin McBeth, opened Annual Conference Session on the morning of June 9. McBeth serves as the Worship Curator for the Annual Conference. This year’s theme, Remarkable: Identified as Extraordinary highlighted the five traits Methodists identify as Remarkable:

  1. 1. The way we love God
  2. Rejoice in God
  3. Give thanks
  4. Pray constantly
  5. Love others
Amy Thompson, Conference Lay Leader, welcomed all to the Conference and introduced Bishop Robert Farr, the new Missouri Bishop. A video was shared to better acquaint the Conference with him, which Brian Hammons, chair of the Episcopacy Committee, expanded upon. Rev. Cody Collier, Special Assistant to the Bishop/Leadership Development, presented Bishop Farr with the Shepherd’s Crook, the traditional symbol of the Bishop’s office. Mr. David Steward, a member of Salem UMC in Ladue, prayed over the Bishop Farr and his wife, Susan as they took their place as Missouri’s Bishop and Mrs. Farr as a partner in that ministry.

“I’m not Robert Schnase and this Conference may not go as in years past,” said Bishop Farr. “We were so excited after my election as Bishop to be coming home. It is my intent in this year’s Conference to lead you with as has much grace as I can find, to use all that I know, to help the people in Missouri to grow in Jesus and to fix a world that is growing more broken every day. We can show the whole United Methodist Church how to move forward in the 21st century”. He admitted that in more than 40 years he has never stayed through entirely every session of annual conference, so this year was a tough test, but he is proud and humbled to be the Conference’s new shepherd.