Annual Conference recap - Saturday, June 6
The morning began with a teaching moment led by Dr. Christine Pohl. Dr. Pohl spoke about hospitality. “Our hospitality reflects God’s greater hospitality and divine generosity,” said Dr. Pohl.
In the Business Session Friday morning, the conference:
- heard a John Wesley moment in which Rev. Dave Hanson reminded us that John Wesley didn’t want to return to Root because he had a small group at Oxford; a group other students called Methodists because of their strange methods. These early Methodists understood that they were better together.
- 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: Doles UMC and Wesley Chapel UMC.
- approved a motion from Rev. Allen Cason to amend the Standing Rules 3.1.5 regarding the distribution of materials for Annual Conference. The motion reads:
All materials including the Book of Recommendation and Reports will be made available online on the conference website in an electronic format. If delegates wish to receive paper materials, they can opt in before the mailing deadline mentioned in paragraph 3.1.3. If delegates opt in to receive paper materials, only business related material will be placed in the Conference packets. Other materials may be distributed via a community table in the display area.
- celebrated the faithful ministry of Rev. Cindy Autry and welcomed Rev. Michael McCord, the new executive director of the Georgia Commission on Higher Education, during the Higher Education and Ministry report.
- heard an update on the new Conference Center from Dr. Hal Brady. Dr. Brady asked for the assistance of clergy and laity to help spread the message to the local churches about the campaign for 5,000 people to give $100. Click here for more info.
- approved the equitable compensation report presented by Dr. Shane Green.
- heard from Mr. Keith Pritchard from the United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union.
- elected persons presented by the nominations committee to serve on conference and agency committees/boards.
- celebrated with individuals who have received awards from various agencies and ministries throughout the conference.
- showed appreciation for the hard work and gracious hospitality of the South Central District & the Tifton Local Arrangements Committee as well as the Conference Worship Committee, Conference Secretary and all of those who work to put on Annual Conference. A special thanks was given to Rev. Craig Hutto for the outstanding work he has done as Conference Secretary. Dr. Jay Harris will be the new Conference Secretary.
- accepted an invitation to hold the 2016 Annual Conference session in Tifton June 8-11.
The Service for the Ordination of Deacons and Elders with Commissioning
The Conference gathered for the service for the Ordination of Deacons and Elders with Commissioning. Bishop Jonathan Keaton, episcopal leader for the Illinois Area, was the preacher for this service. Bishop Keaton reminded us of the demanding call of Jesus in ministry and discipleship. "In ministry Jesus always wants more...but we are promised by the Apostle Paul that we can do all things through the strength only Jesus can provide," said Bishop Keaton. He ended his sermon by reminding us of what's called of all of us as he led the congregation in singing "I Surrender All."
Bishop James R. King, Jr. presided over the ordinal rites and was assisted by Bishop Keaton and Mrs. Gloria Morgan, Conference Lay Leader, representing the laity, and Rev. Jimmy Towson, Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, observed the ordinal rites.
The following individuals were commissioned as Probationary Clergy Members.
Probationary Members Commissioned for Ordination as Elders
Jonathan Lee Brown
Theodore Adriel Goshorn
Probationary Members Commissioned for Ordination as Deacons
Margaret Grace Guyton
Alaina Avera Harrison
Devon Goddard Smyth
The following individuals were ordained as Full Conference Members:
Full Conference Member/Elders
Thomas Patrick Dent
G. Anthony McPhail, Jr.
Lee Edward Pettis
Full Conference Member/Deacons
William George Culpepper
Fran M. Magoni
The Board of Ordained Ministry processed with the ordinands as a sign of the covenant community into which these newly ordained persons are entering. Rev. Jonathan Smith and Rev. Meg Procopio represented the Orders of Elders and Deacon.
Service of Sending Forth
Annual Conference 2015 ended with a Service of Sending Forth as Bishop King encouraged each person to be the light of the world. "You are the hope for a better day; hope for a better world," said Bishop King. "Together we are better together."
Following his message, the names of those receiving a new appointment were read.
The 2016 Annual Conference Session will be held in Tifton, GA June 8-11.