2015 Annual Conference Business Sessions
Monday, June 15 - Afternoon Business
Agenda, Rules and Administrative Process
The report was presented by Gary George. The committee made recommendations on two items that were referred by the 2014 Annual Conference.
The Sullivan motion asked to study the feasibility of moving the Executive Session to a location and date separate from Annual Conference. Research by the committee revealed the resident bishop in consultation with the cabinet and board of ordained committee can hold the executive session at a time and place other than the regular session of annual conference.
The Moore motion asked to review feasibility of including resolutions in agenda of add four days of conference. In consultation with the conference secretary sought to honor the spirit of this reference in putting together the agenda.
State of The Conference
Conference Treasurer Jessica Vargo reported that 2014 a pay –in rate of 83.42% for apportioned ministry funds. General church apportionments were paid in full. The emergency reserve ended the year at the recommended level. The health care reserve ended the year at $3.1 million which is a drop from 2013 which is still a good level for the health care plan size.
Even though the pay-in rate for shared ministry edged up slightly, less churches paid 100%, 66% compared to 68% in 2013.
The Camps and Retreat Ministries had some financial concerns last season. A noticeable drop in summer camp registrations translated to a similar drop in the bottom line. More marketing is being done this year in hopes of reducing the financial concern and there are signs that it is working.
Professions of faith have dropped 6% from 2013 and baptisms have dropped 9%. Membership and worship attendance have dropped 2.3% and 3.7% respectively. These drops are faster and steeper than the denominational average.
Vargo concluded her comments by stating “ If we find our passion for God and making disciples and model that for others then a turn-around will be a question of “if” but rather a matter of when?”
Connectional Ministries Director, Steve Court shared that the Conference Council on Ministries have been discussing realities at many levels. There is an intentional focus on relationships, communication and teamwork with collaboration and alignment of resources.
The office of Connectional Ministries provides resources and support for lay ministries, disaster response, missions and health & welfare programs of the conference.
Court concluded his remarks by stating “Most importantly, when we are encouraging each other and working together to build up, we are more able to take risks.”
Dean of the Cabinet, Karen Oehl talked about the new ways that church is being done in the conference. There are new team ministries, merged church communities and regional ministry.
General Conference Delegates
The first lay and clergy ballots were cast and the results are:
- Clergy: Armando Arellano and Gary George
- Laity: Jessica Vargo, Holly Grant and Kay Panovec