Once again participants were led in singing by Drew McNeill, Ken Southgate, Bill Hughes, Marco Ballesteros and Jose Gonzales. Courtney Preston Kellner, attorney from St. Matthews UMC in Louisville led the devotion, sharing about her work with youth in juvenile courts. "We can't just throw the gospel to [indigent children] with a little bit of food. We need to be the gospel to them."
The day’s work began with an update on the Change for Change running total: At that ime, $8135 had been raised for grants to benefit children in poverty!
Jamie & Lisa Williams, who were commissioned at the Mission Celebration, shared about their ministry in Belize. They welcome volunteer teams, medical and construction, and are currently building a new high school due to great need. They expressed appreciation for the support received through the UMC Connection—from the General Board of Global Ministries to the Kentucky Conference.
How do successful ministries share what works with others who need ideas and help? Tami Coleman, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries, reported on the new initiative, Connectional Café, a network for sharing leadership and resources throughout the Conference. To find out more, go to www.connectionalcafe.com. Over 75 workshops are already available!
How are our Faith Communities Thriving?
· Columbia UMC reaches out to international students at Lindsey Wilson College, assigning host families for support and helping them connect with each other.
· Rev. Jamie Brunk reported on the West Liberty UMC recovery from the March 2012 tornado. The church was destroyed, as was much of the community. Impact KY: Hope Reigns in August, 2012 served this area to help in with repairs. The church currently shares space with the county court, and declares, “People get justice during the week and mercy on the weekends!” Plans for a new church building are complete. Rev. Brunk thanked the Conference for its support.
· Coke Memorial UMC, feeds homeless neighbors every Sunday through its Isaiah 58:10 ministry.
· The Thailand Mission report was shared with particular emphasis on the Blessing Home, which rescues children from sex trafficking in Pattaya.
· Danville Centenary UMC shared of their Oil change ministry, which supplies oil changes and other needs of people in their area.
· Hopkinsville First UMC shared about their soapbox derby ministry, involving inner city children, several of whom have been baptized and have become active in the church along with their families.
Rescuing Whole Families: The Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth
A family that the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth helped navigate the adoption process, shared their experience of international adoption. Rev. Randy Coy, President of the Methodist Homes, spoke of the strategic plan and the future of residential child care in Kentucky. The Methodist Home in Versailles will relocate because of their vision for how best to care for the future of children: that all kids will have equal access to what they need. The goal is to raise $6 million by the end of 2013 for establishing the new campus.
Ministry with Young People
Allison Feese reported on the KY Conference young people’s mission trip to Honduras, sharing photos from their trip. She got help from Kevin Burney (Director of Ministerial Services), in presenting the Bishop with a bobblehead Bishop doll (and later a Bishop’s wife doll). Allison and Burney gleaned additional donations from the crowd—all to benefit the Honduras mission!
Saving Lives: Imagine, NO MALARIA!
Joni Way, newly elected Conference Treasurer, announced the total giving from last night’s Mission Offering and the 5K race: $108,000!
Afternoon of Service Report
District Superintendent Owen Dolin reported the impact of 47 projects in 27 locations, through the work of 900 volunteers! We had great impact throughout northern KY and the Cincinnati area. The potato drop drew lots of attention, drawing staff from the Convention Center & Visitor’s Bureau as well as area hotel staff to help bag 40,000 lbs of potatoes.
Steve Schnacke, chair of the Board of Trustees, shared the Trustees report & described the distribution of funds.
Chris Howlett, Chair of the Camping Ministry Team, and the Directors of our Conference camps, shared the good news of our camping ministry. The Conference met Dave Cohn, new Director of Aldersgate Camp. Dave Cohn also led the Conference in a rousing rendition of “Brown Squirrel,” with movement, to get the blood flowing.
The Conference heard an update from Lake Junaluska, celebrating its 100th year, shared by Rev. Don Rankin.
The Conference also witnessed the story of Wesley Manor’s ministry through a video presentation.
Bill Arnold and Carol Ackley, leaders of the delegation to General Conference, described the 4 amendments to the Conference. An aggregate 2/3 vote from all annual conferences is required for passage of each amendment. The Conference voted regarding praying for ecumenical relationships, adding flexibility to General Conference scheduling, naming Lay Servant ministries, and clarification of episcopal boundaries. The KAC also voted to elect the next jurisdictional/general conference delegates in 2015 (as previously scheduled).
Board of Pensions
Randy Coy and Joni Way presented this report, first by recognizing the members of the Conference having served for 25 years and 50 years. General Conference changes to CRSP and UMPIP were described, as well as an update on health insurance. Clergy were urged to contribute any amount possible to their pension plan.
Commission on Religion and Race Chair, Alvin Goodwin, shared examples of inclusiveness witnessed during this Annual Conference.
Becki Curry, Dean of the Cabinet reported on congregational closings, merges, and changes. The Conference prayed and gave thanks for the lives touched by each congregation.
“To fund what it is that God is calling us to do with the resources we have been given and to be good stewards of those gifts.”
George Strunk, chair of Council on Finance & Administration, presented the second reading of the 2014 Budget and financial policies for approval. The budget represents a 1.5% increase overall. “Your continued generosity is required” for the success of this budget ($9,134,067). The budget passed.
Sent to Serve
Clergy & lay delegates sat together by districts, while the Bishop read the names of those moving to new appointments. Annual Conference was dismissed and delegates were sent on to serve!
Dates for next year are set: Annual Conference 2014 will take place in Covington, June 9-11, 2014!