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 39 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. Assistant Conference lay leader Linda Sparks welcomed the laity and Assistant Conference lay leader Clyde Tharp led the devotion. The candidates running for General and Jurisdictional conferences were introduced. Lew Nicholls, Conference Lay Leader, gave a note card analysis. Brenda Glover spoke about lay servant ministries. Lloyd Spear led worship. Juliana Federoff, Executive secretary for Special Program for Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV) spoke on substance abuse and Shelby Street, youth delegate to the Board of Laity spoke, giving a voice to the youth.
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.
Discovering Unexpected Joy in Giving…
Annual Conference officially began with Opening Worship, with Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball preaching. Bishop Davis welcomed the congregation with “we are called to be salt and light in a world full of darkness. We are privileged to be in ministry in God’s time.”
Plenary/Worshipful Work Session
The Afternoon session consisted of a first ballot on the clergy and laity for General conference. All organizational business was approved. Kevin Stamps, pastor of The High Ground, was recognized for having the most professions of faith in the conference with 75 professions of faith within the past year. Rev. Stamps is being deployed to active duty. A first reading of the budget was heard by the assembled body.
Service of Commissioning & Ordination
Bishop Davis presided over the Service of Commissioning and Ordination. Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball preached on the theme “Are We There Yet?.” Rev. Father Jerry Riney from St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro 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, 2 ordained as deacons, 6 commissioned, and 5 were ordained as elders.