ANNUAL CONFERENCE REPORT
I wanted to give everyone an update on what happened at the Annual Conference in June and felt that this would be an ideal forum. In addition, I will be available to speak to each adult Sunday school class.
The conference started with a very compelling sermon by Rev. Jessica Moffatt from FUMC Tulsa. She was absolutely penetrating while speaking calmly and quietly. There were many sermons in the days that followed.
The second day we elected delegates to the 2020 General Conference. There were 20+ candidates for six positions and they had to receive a certain percentage of the vote to be elected. It was a long and grueling process as we voted again and again to elect a bunch of lay delegates and separately the clergy elected their delegates. It reminded me of the “Holy Club” John Wesley formed at Oxford that was noted for its structure, order and discipline. It was how we earned the name “Methodist”. We continue to earn that name.
The delegates elected by both the laity and the clergy were overwhelmingly supporters of the “traditional plan”. This was hurtful to delegates who believe the church should adopt a more open position towards gay marriage and gay clergy.
There were countless committee reports and financial updates….we are in good shape.
There was an update on charitable donations which was extremely heartening. We gave… $1 million to African University, 60,000 nets to end malaria, storm relief efforts, supported senior living in Mississippi, operated several camps and during the conference we put together 15,000+ health kits.
Ordination of new ministers and a memorial service for those ministers who had passed away in the prior year were celebrated.
Finally, there was an update on churches that were disaffiliating with the Methodist Church. There are 7 churches (which we approved for disaffiliation). These churches now go through a process that requires them to continue supporting their financial obligations to the church and to prior and current employees.
It was an honor to be your representative.
Bill Maclean, Lay Member of Annual Conference