April 30, 2010

Bishop Lindsey Davis presided over the forty-second annual conference session of Red Bird Missionary Conference on April 23-24, 2010 at Thousandsticks United Methodist Church, Thousandsticks, Kentucky.

The theme of the Conference was “To God be the Glory”:
 
• A fountain graced the sanctuary filled with water brought forth from each church, outreach center and mission institution as the names of faithful servants were read during the Memorial Service.  Among them were Elizabeth “Beth” Denman (31) and former missionaries Mrs. Donna Bischoff (95), Mrs. Pauline Bobrowski (84), and Mrs. LaDonna Surface Walker (89);

• We received official greetings from Rev. Clayton Childers with the General Board of Church & Society; Ms. Rachel Barnett with The Advance; Mr. Manuel Vargas with the General Board of Pensions & Health Benefits; and Rev. Larry Garner with Cokesbury;

• The Bible study was based on the scriptures from Jeremiah and Acts using images of the Potter and clay vessels. As an act of remembrance that we are the vessels and our lives pour out into God’s holy plan, members filled and returned water to the fount using small vessels given to each one in attendance;

• Danny Howe blessed the Conference as mission night speaker sharing a heart-touching message about the children of Sudan and their struggles and hopes of having clean drinking water;

• We celebrated a mission offering of $18,145, and still counting, to provide wells for clean drinking water for a community in Yei, Sudan;

• We recognized guests from our sister Kentucky Conference; Holston Conference, the Hinton Rural Life Center and the Appalachian Ministries Network;

• The Conference accepted a certificate of recognition for 100% payment of apportionments from GCFA;

• During the Mission Night Service, the Harry Denman Awards for Evangelism were presented to C. Robert Landis (clergy) and Shirley Crouse (laity);

• Certificates were presented to congregations for “five-star mission giving” and six special Sundays offering;

• Our Director of Connectional Ministries, Ms. Ruth A. Wiertzema, spoke of our human struggles with change and our need to remember that we are God’s vessels and are subject remolding by the Potter.  Heart-warming stories from our churches, outreach centers, mission institutions and other conference programs reminded us that in the midst of change God is at work;

• Rev. Chuck Jack  returned to pastoral ministry within RBMC after 9 years of service as Conference Superintendent; the Conference welcomed incoming Conference Superintendent Rev. Farley Stuart;

• Finally, the Conference adopted the 2011 budget.
 
Membership stands at 1495, up 7 over the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 711, up 35. Church school attendance stands at 348, down 30.

Ruth A. Wiertzema
Director of Connectional Ministries
Red Bird Missionary Conference