AC2016: Wednesday, June 8 Recap
Recap of Wednesday, June 8
The Business Session of the 2016 Annual Conference opened with the historic hymn, And Are We Yet Alive. Bishop King called the 150th session of the South Georgia Annual Conference to order. This is Bishop King’s eighth and final Annual Conference to preside over as the resident bishop of the South Georgia Area.
Mr. Lamar Martin, lay member of Tifton First UMC, welcomed South Georgia United Methodists to Tifton. Mrs. Julie Smith, Mayor of Tifton, extended a welcome from the Tifton community.
In the Business Session Wednesday afternoon, the conference:
- heard the Lay Leader's Addresses by Mrs. Gloria Morgan. Mrs. Morgan reminded us that the Laity of the South Georgia Conference United Methodist Church are equipped, empowered and inspired to enthusiastically make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. “It’s up to us, the laity, to become more involved,” she said. “Laity and clergy must work together to accomplish great things for the South Georgia Annual Conference.”
- was challenged by Dr. Winston Worrell in the first of two teaching moments to testify. “The best way to testify is to testify,” he said. “There are no shortcuts. The only way to learn to share my faith is to share my faith. … The only way some people will hear this good news is if you and I will testify.”
- In his second teaching moment Dr. Worrell encouraged attendees to strive to build relationships to grow the kingdom of God. “To build the 10 percent we’re talking about, we have to build new relationships,” he said. “We have to go outside the norm … We have to go where people are to share our faith.”
- celebrated the 150th session of the South Georgia Conference with a walk down memory lane from Archives and History. Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/169907043.
- heard two South Georgia Conference history moments from Rev. Dave Hanson. In his first history moment, he shared that in 1867 the South Georgia Conference voted to build one high school in each of the Conference’s 10 districts. “South Georgia Methodists saw something that needed to be done that a local church couldn’t do,” he said. In the second history moment, Rev. Hanson shared that in 1944 four full-time Conference staff were hired to help local churches start and strengthen their Sunday school programs, and that year South Georgia led the nation in Sunday school growth. “There’s no limit to what God can do when the Methodists of South Georgia unite behind a worthy project.”
- heard a report from the General Conference delegation about the 2016 General Conference Session, which was held in Portland, Oregon May 10-20.
- adopted a motion made by Rev. V.L. Daughtery, Jr., retired clergy – South Central District, to request that Bishop James King convey to the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church a request that a previous quadrennial study on human sexuality ordered by a previous General Conference be read, studied, and evaluated by the members of the Council of Bishops before any new study is ordered, a committee appointed as ordered by the 2016 General Conference or a called General Conference is undertaken.
- heard two “Amplify” moments – short videos that share the fruits of our conference ministries through personal testimonies of those that have had or are having life transforming experiences through Jesus Christ and the work of these ministries – from Vashti and Wesley Glen.
- took action on the church closings of the following churches, while also celebrating the impact these churches have had on many people in the South Georgia Conference: Wildwood UMC (Chatham County), Bloomfield UMC (Bibb County), Union UMC (Telfair County), Trinity UMC (Dougherty County), Arabi UMC (Crisp County), and The Well (Bibb County).
- celebrated with the ministry of Congregational Development and approved a motion that all the leaders of South Georgia Annual Conference unanimously set a goal to increase our conference average weekly worship attendance by 10% by January 2018. The Office of Congregational Development has plans in place to help put this motion into action over the next two years.
- heard a Connectional Ministries report in which Rev. Denise Walton, assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries.
During Wednesday night’s opening worship service, Bishop King introduced the Annual Conference session's theme of "Testify and Multiply" and emphasized the importance of sharing our story and sharing our love with others. “When you feed people with the love of God … they will come,” he said. “Use your testimony to testify. If you say you are a Christian, you should have a story to tell!”
“So I say to you, Beautiful People, all of us have a story to share. And that story is our witness platform that God has given us to testify. Do you have a story? Tell the story and grow the kingdom of God and glorify God! Tell the story and testify and multiply!”
The 2016 Special Offering for Global Ministries was collected during the service. Together local churches gave over $15,165.00 to support the work that Global Ministries does all over the world and to welcome them as they make their move to Georgia.