Saturday, June 11
Matt Johnson, pastor of the new Community UMC in Boone County, led the Bible study. He talked about being part of the community inside and outside the church.
Two ballots were taken for General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates. All clergy and lay representatives for the conferences have been elected, along with alternates.
Bishop Davis reported that over $82,000 had been collected for the Mission Offering, and money continues to be donated for the offering. He shared that more than 800 people participated in the Afternoon of Service. Fifty-eight people donated at the blood drive. Six hundred agape letters were sent to missionaries and military personnel. Over 1500 health kits were assembled for UMCOR. Volunteers also led worship services at nursing homes.
Carol Ackley and Jayne Squires talked about LACE, the Lay Academy of Church Excellence. They also recognized this year’s LACE graduates.
The Kentucky Annual Conference voted to wholeheartedly endorse Rev. Dr. Debbie Wallace-Padgett for the Episcopacy in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
Other Conference business covered at the morning plenary session included voting on the Justice Team report, the Nominations report, a petition on use of “the I-word,” and an amendment to the Conference Standing Rules. Conference members voted on the 2012 budget. Church mergers and closings were also presented.
The Conference was adjourned after Bishop Davis read the appointments. The 2012 Annual Conference will be held June 11-13 in Covington.
Friday, June 10
Rosario Picardo led the Bible study, sharing some of his experiences in planting Embrace Church in Lexington.
Four ballots were taken for the General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate elections. Jan Brown-Thompson, Linda Gayheart, Terry Cunningham, Chrysanthia Carr-Seals, and John Crissman, and Nancy Wetzel were elected as Jurisdictional Conference delegates for the laity. Julie Hager Love, Eliseo Mejia-Leiva, Rebecca Curry, and Tamara Brown were elected from the clergy.
Dr. Warren Lathem spoke about the ministry and growth of the UMC in Venezuela, including the work of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela. He also shared video greetings from Bishop Juvenal Perez of the UMC in Venezuela. Michael Morrissey, who with his wife, Sherri Tabaka-Morrissey, serves as a missionary in Thailand, shared stories of churches being planted in the southeast Asian nation.
Farley Stuart, Superintendent of the Red Bird Missionary Conference, brought greetings from Red Bird and thanked the Kentucky Conference for the 2010 Mission Offering, which benefited ministries of the Red Bird Conference. Over $200,000 was collected for that offering. He talked about the partnership between the two conferences.
August 27 will be the Impact Appalachia event. Pam Buck from United Methodist Communications discussed Impact, a one-day service event in which community and church volunteers work together. She encouraged Conference members to go to www.impactappalachia.org to learn more and sign up for the event. Rev. Stuart explained that the goal is to have over 200 people from the KAC work at Impact Appalachia. Next year, there will be a similar opportunity in Louisville, and people from Red Bird Conference will work in that city.
Karen Stigall, chair of the New Church & Congregational Development Team, spoke about some tools for church planting. Tom Eblen shared about the work of NCCD. He also affirmed the work of the Conference church planters and introduced three new church planters: Anthony Everett, who is planting a church in the Lexington area; Mark Windley, who is planting a church in Oldham County; and Chris Campbell, who is working to revitalize Genesis UMC in West Louisville. Paul Brunstetter, the new director of New Church Development, prayed for these pastors.
Jeanette Westerfield presented Mission Ambassador Churches. Chrysanthia Carr-Seals recognized churches that have provided sponsorship to refugee families in the last year.
Tom Coe gave instructions for the Afternoon of Service. After lunch, Conference laity and clergy were sent to serve at locations throughout the Covington area. Painting, landscaping, nursing home visitation, indoor and outdoor cleaning, organizing donations, building a ramp, assembling health kits, and writing agape letters to missionaries and military personnel were among the projects. There were also several prayer walks around Covington. Over 700 people participated in this year’s Afternoon of Service.
The day ended with the Mission and Ministry service. Dr. Eddie Fox preached, and joyful music filled the meeting hall. The mission offering taken at the service will help support church planting in Venezuela and Thailand.
Thursday, June 9
The day started with the reading of results from the first ballot for General Conference delegate elections. Voting continued throughout the day’s plenary sessions, with eight ballots being taken. Debbie Wallace-Padgett, Bill T. Arnold, Tom Grieb, Mike Powers, Maxie Dunnam, and Thomas W. Smith were elected from the clergy. Carol Ackley, Michael B. Watts, Linda Underwood King, Ed Shytle, John R. Denham, and Jayne Squires were elected from the laity.
Revolution pastor Brian Ebel led the Bible Study, focusing on Acts 3:1-10. He encouraged people to go and be the hands and feet of Christ and to plant the church where people in need are.
During the morning plenary session, Conference members heard reports from various ministry groups, including Ministry with Young People, the Camp & Retreat Ministry Team, the Board of Pensions, and the Commission on Equitable Compensation. Wesley Manor Retirement Community President Jerry Hoganson and Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children & Youth President and CEO Randy Coy also addressed the gathering. Board of Ordained Ministry representatives introduced this year’s Isaiah Project interns.
Jan Brown-Thompson presented the Bishop’s Award for Ecumenism to Rev. Sarah Ewing and recognized the winners of the Special Needs Awards. Rob Moorlach recognized Kentucky Conference clergy who have 25 and 50 years of service in ministry.
Various groups gathered for food and fellowship during the lunch break. These luncheons included Retired Clergy, Prestonsburg District, Josephine Rudy Smith, and Union College.
At the Retirement Service, the Conference recognized with gratitude the ministry of 18 clergy who are retiring from active service this year. The Rev. Dr. Eddie Fox’s sermon was “Therefore, by God’s Grace, We Do Not Lose Heart.”
Throughout the day, church planting videos highlighted the ministries of Hope Springs, Corona de Vida, Embrace, First Fire, and Corazones Cristianos.
Recommendations from the Higher Education Task Force were the focus of the afternoon session. These recommendations involved structure and funding of campus ministries.
Union College President Ed de Rosset spoke, representing the Kentucky United Methodist colleges.
Chris Patterson presented the Denman Awards for evangelism to Bryce Osborne (Youth), Linda Gayheart (Laity), and Don Barnett (Clergy). All three of these winners are from the Prestonsburg District. He also presented the Membership Awards for churches with the most and highest percentage of professions of faith.
The first day of the 2011 Kentucky Annual Conference began with the clergy session at 10:00 and the laity session at 10:30. A number of groups, including clergy spouses and ordinands, gathered for lunch during the break. The Opening Worship was a celebration of the start of Conference members’ time together and a time to remember clergy and clergy spouses who passed away in the past year. Rev. Becki Curry preached on “Celebrating the Sower.” She encouraged those present to give thanks for the people who have gone before us and for the seeds they planted. In addition to appreciating those who’ve gone before us, she said, “Let us also celebrate the harvest that is yet to come.” The time of worship concluded with the celebration of Holy Communion.
At the Organizational Session, District Superintendent Kevin Burney welcomed Conference members to Covington. He introduced Host Committee Co-Chairs Roger DeWolfe and Becky Jones, along with Afternoon of Service chair Tom Coe. Over 200 volunteers, many of them return volunteers, are helping make the Conference run smoothly.
Bishop Davis introduced some special guests: Bishop James Swanson and his wife, Delphine; Dr. Eddie Fox and his wife, Mary Nell; and Dr. Warren Lathem and his wife, Jane.
To prepare for the first vote on General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates, Bishop Davis reminded members of the importance of being inclusive in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and age. Conference Secretary Julie Hager Love gave instructions for voting, including an explanation of who is eligible to vote and who is eligible to be elected. After Bishop Swanson prayed, the ballots were distributed and the clergy and lay delegates voted.
After the vote, the Conference accepted the Consent Calendar. George Strunk and Michael Watts gave the first reading of the proposed 2012 budget and some background on what is in the budget. Gary Graves gave the first reading of a proposed Standing Rules change, and Julie Love presented the Committee on Nominations report. Conference members voted on petitions and resolutions before the body. A video on Watkins UMC’s Hispanic Ministry was presented.
The day ended with the Service of Ordination & Commissioning. Fourteen people were commissioned as Provisional Members, two were recognized as Associate Members, and eight were ordained as Elders in Full Connection. Bishop Swanson’s sermon was on “The Essential Nature of the Call.” The evening was a celebration of those who are called to ministries of service, word, sacrament, and order and of compassion, justice, and service in the world.
Tuesday, June 7
Tuesday was a time to set up for the 2011 Kentucky Annual Conference. The first day at the Convention Center started by the unpacking of the truck and setting up offices and meeting rooms with the help of volunteers. Some groups set up their booths in the display area. The afternoon Archives and History Workshop featured several presentations. Paul Whalen spoke about Abraham Lincoln and the Methodists. Michael Davis talked about “Bible Wars,” and Alvin Goodwin’s presentation focused on African American Methodist Churches. Registration started at 5:00 p.m. in the lobby. The final day of preparation for Conference concluded after registration.
Updates written by Beth Dixon