Diversity and Global Praise, key memories at Annual Conference Session
“Celebrating our Diversity and Unity in Christ” was the theme of the 159th Session of the California-Nevada Annual Conference held in
In legislative sections, 43 items were discussed and perfected, and most were eventually passed on a consent calendar during efficient plenary sessions. A motion to amend the budget, to increase the amount for retired clergy health care premiums from $100,000 to $300,000, failed. The $12.3 million budget was ultimately passed.
Celebrations included those honoring the 10th anniversary of ordination of deacons and the 100th anniversary of the Methodist Federation for Social Action. United Methodists who volunteered in the more than 50 UMVIM teams from Cal-Nevada in the past year were also honored.
Lively and diverse musical selections were provided throughout the week by the General Board of Global Ministries Global Praise Team under the direction of ST Kimbrough. Kimbrough, a world-renowned baritone, also sang the part of the Victim in the powerful new cantata, “The Good Samaritan: Through the Eyes of the Victim,” composed by Mary K. Jackson with text by Charles Wesley. The production incorporated visuals and choral numbers presented at the culminating communion service on Sunday.
The Rev. Odette Lockwood-Stewart, pastor of Epworth UMC,
Lay delegates elected to General Conference: Randall Miller,
Lay delegates elected to Jurisdictional Conference: Blanche Farnum, Portola, CA; Karin Hilton, Berkeley, CA; Betty Suzuki, Sacramento, CA; Michael Herzog, Napa, CA; and Laddie Perez-Galang, Hayward, CA. Clergy Jurisdictional delegates: Vickie Healy, Fresno, CA; Ben Silva-Netto, Chico, CA; Karen Oliveto, San Francisco, CA; Siosifa Hingano, Sanger, CA; and Dave Bennett, Stockton, CA. Reserve lay delegates include: Katherine Parker, Rob Dunning, Connie Hunter, Bruce Pettit and Laura Tower. Clergy reserves include Michael Yoshii, Kham Dy Yang, Kristen Sachen, Kelvin Sauls and Elizabeth Brick.
Sixteen elders were granted retirement, and presented with intricately carved walking sticks from
Half of the Annual Conference Offering was designated. For the Conference’s growing partnership with the West Angola Conference, whose leader, Bishop Gaspar Domingos, was present at the Conference, leading in worship services in his native tongue, Portuguese. The offering was shared equally to support a ministry of solidarity for the 835+ victims of extra-judicial killings in the
A conference-led fact finding mission team to the
Churches also received copies of a Conference video highlighting the theme, “Celebrating Diversity and Unity in Christ.” The video, produced by the Conference Communications office profiled several churches and ministries that illustrate how Diversity has become an integral part of ministry in the life of Cal-Nevada.
Bishop’s Awards were presented to Fern and Gerry Green of Nevada City UMC, Martha Griffin of Smith Valley UMC in
A special “Mission Faire” was held in
Cory Parish, Executive Secretary of the Conference Claimants’ Endowment Board, presented a check for $1.4 million to the Annual Conference for pensions and benefits. Grady Knowles, Executive Secretary of the Board of Pensions, was recognized for 25 years of service.
Statistician Scott Allred said that growth, baptisms and Sunday attendance have continued to drop in most of the 358 churches in the conference. Membership stands at 84,504, down 1421 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 39,894, down 851. Church school attendance stands at 44,986, up 335
General Conference Information: http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.2336161/k.1E1C/General_Conference_2008.htm
Instructions for submitting petitions to General Conference
“Any organization, clergy member or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference…” (Par 507 The Book of Discipline)
Communications Director Jeneane Jones contributed to this report