Clergy and lay members to conference met in separate sessions this morning in preparation for the work of Annual Conference. In the clergy session, the candidates for ordination, recognition and commissioning at Annual Conference were recognized. These candidates were later commissioned or ordained in the evening worship service. Clergy also celebrated that 47 people completed License for Pastoral Ministry School.
The Laity Session prepared delegates for this Annual Conference and also offered encouragement to the attending lay leaders. Associate Conference lay leader Clyde Tharp led the opening prayer. Matthew Pinson, North Georgia Conference Lay Leader gave an encouraging message. Linda Sparks shared updates on ministries with laity in the Kentucky Conference. Brenda Glover spoke about lay servant ministries. Lloyd Spear led worship.
The Conference organized itself for its work during the afternoon session, establishing the Consent Calendar (the list of reports unanimously approved), electing tellers, and presenting the first reading of the Nominations report. The session took a special vote to make Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett a member of the Kentucky Conference.
Plant Where You Can Bloom…
Annual Conference officially began with the Opening Worship and Service of Remembrance, with Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett preaching. Bishop Davis welcomed the congregation with the reminder of the importance of being still before God and remembering God’s presence as we prepare to do the ministry for which we are called.
22 clergy and 12 spouses were remembered with thanksgiving by the Conference, and worship ended with Holy Communion.
Plenary/Worshipful Work Session
The Afternoon session consisted of discussion on redistricting, which was voted on and approved. The conference will go from 12-9 districts effective July 1, 2015. The 2015 budget was approved after the first reading. The 2014 Isaiah Project interns were introduced at the session.
Service of Commissioning & Ordination
Bishop Davis presided over the Service of Commissioning and Ordination. Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett preached on the theme “In the Liminality is the Possibility.” Rev. Amanda Langlands from Faith Baptist Church provided ecumenical representation. The service was full of the symbols of ministry: the towel & basin, the paten & cup, the water of baptism and the cross of Christ who calls people into ordained ministry. Clergy and family members stood in support of those being commissioned and ordained. There was one associate member, 3 ordained as deacons, 11 commissioned, and 12 were ordained as elders.