Opening Day at General Conference

East Ohio Conference congregations prayed for General Conference during services on February 21.  This was part of a denomination-wide 131 Days of Prayer leading up to General Conference 2016.

“There is a sense of Spirit moving through this process,” said the Rev. Steve Court, director of Connectional Ministries for the East Ohio Conference (EOC).

The days of prayer, one for each regional conference of The United Methodist Church, are an effort to increase the prayer ministry leading up to General Conference.  The Rev. Tom Albin, dean of The Upper Room Chapel, said that compared to General Conference 2012 in Tampa, FL this year’s prayer ministry “is more intentional, more inclusive, more integrated and more expansive.”

Each of the 864 General Conference delegates will receive a Protestant prayer-bead strand that includes a prayer medallion created specifically for the conference in Portland.  A kit has been created and the prayer bead strands are being assembled by groups from across the denomination.

Prayer BeedsRecently, EOC Director of Communications Rick Wolcott joined with directors of Communications from across the North Central Jurisdiction and with staff from United Methodist Communications to make prayer beads.

“There was a great sense of camaraderie and purpose as we each strung a strand of beads and then prayed over it,” he said.

For General Conference 2016 an online prayer community has been created at  There visitors will be able to sign up for daily meditations that will begin on March 31 and end nine days after the conference closes on May 20.


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