California-Nevada Annual Conference report
June 19-24, 2007,
(UMNS) "Celebrating our Diversity and Unity in Christ" was the theme of the 159th session of the California-Nevada Annual Conference. A bold new program to develop transformational clergy leaders was unveiled, with goals of increasing discipleship, addressing the needs of pastors, identifying issues to turn churches around and setting goals for health and leadership.
In legislative sessions, 43 items were discussed and perfected, and most were passed on a consent calendar during plenary sessions. A $12.3 million budget was passed. A motion failed that would have amended the budget to increase the amount for retired clergy health care premiums from $100,000 to $300,000.
Lively and diverse musical selections were provided throughout the week by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries' Global Praise Team under the direction of ST Kimbrough. A world-renowned baritone, Kimbrough 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, presented at the culminating communion service on Sunday.
The Rev. Odette Lockwood-Stewart, who received the 2007 Francis Asbury Award during a plenary session, will serve as head of the California-Nevada delegation to the 2008 General Conference. Five clergy and five lay delegates were elected.
Lay delegates elected to General Conference are: Randall Miller of
Clergy delegates elected are: Odette Lockwood-Stewart of
Lay delegates elected to the Western Jurisdictional Conference are: Blanche Farnum of Portola; Karin Hilton of
Clergy delegates elected to the Western Jurisdictional Conference are: Vickie Healy of
Reserve lay delegates include: Katherine Parker, Rob Dunning, Connie Hunter, Bruce Pettit and
Sixteen elders were granted retirement and presented with intricately carved walking sticks from
Half of the annual conference offering was designated to a ministry of solidarity for the more than 835 victims of extrajudicial killings in the
Bishop's Awards were presented to Fern and Gerry Green of
A special "Mission Fair" was held in
Cory Parish, executive secretary of the Conference Claimants' Endowment Board, presented a $1.4 million check to the annual conference for pensions and benefits. Grady Knowles, executive secretary of the Board of Pension, was recognized for 25 years of service.
Statistician Scott Allred reported 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 1,421 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 39,894, down 851. Church school attendance stands at 44,986, up 335.