Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. will get his largest congregation yet during the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis.
The episcopal leader of the Great Plains Conference has been chosen to give the sermon on the morning of May 8.
“It’ll take a lot of prayer and a lot of reflection and a lot of time,” Bishop Saenz said, “and a lot of drafts and restarts.”
The bishop was chosen by the General Conference worship committee, one of several bishops chosen to give the sermons.
Each sermon is supposed to follow the conference theme of “… and know that I am God …,” with a different preface for each sermon. Bishop Saenz was given the theme of “Trust … and know that I am God.”
Bishop Saenz said he was given no other criteria for his sermon, except that he needs to select one or two other bishops, outside of his own jurisdiction, to serve as a sounding board for the sermon’s content, “so I can hear how it sounds in other contexts,” he said.
“I’m not going to be preaching to my annual conference, who I know fairly well. I know my audience,” the bishop said. “When you’re preaching at a General Conference, you have a worldwide audience. There’s people that hear things differently in their context. By having a partner to bounce off ideas and help with the sermon, it will make the sermon much more transcendent and much more relevant for the whole church, which is extremely diverse and contextually diverse.”
Bishop Saenz said he recognizes the importance and honor of being asked to preach a sermon at General Conference.
“It’s not just from the Bible to the page to the people,” he said. “There’s so much that needs to be taken into consideration that speaks to the hearts and minds of the people in a way that’s going to open up the possibility for transformation for God to do something.”
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