The morning liturgy was led by Rev. Steve Bullington, pastor at Carter’s Chapel UMC and director of Green Bough House of Prayer, as members began the morning lifting their voices in praise with “Holy, Holy, Holy”/”Santos, Santos, Santos.”
Clergy Voting for General and Jurisdictional Conferences
The following clergy were elected as delegates:
Robert Greene (alternate to General Conference)
Scott Hagan (alternate to General Conference)
In other business session Tuesday morning, the conference:
The noon liturgy was led by Rev. Kevin Clotfelter, Associate Pastor at Centerville UMC and co-founder of Living Water Ministries. Rev. Clotfelter shared how he has found the exercise of journaling to be a rich, spiritual discipline. Walking members through journaling Mark 8:11-21, he encouraged us to investigate and practice spiritual journal keeping more so we can experience God in a powerful and transforming way.
Laity Voting for General and Jurisdictional Conferences
The following laity were elected as delegates:
Richard Shinhoster (alternate to General Conference)
Brenda Adams (alternate to General Conference)
In other business Tuesday afternoon, the conference:
--Amendment 1 from Rev. Jim Morrow, pastor of Glennville UMC: Amend item “h” on lines 77-80 as follows. After the phrase “shall not use ‘Methodist’ in its name,” add the following phrase: “at any point after disaffiliation is complete, unless it affiliates with another denomination, association, or connection that includes the term “Methodist” in its name….” The first sentence would then read: h) A church that disaffiliates from the United Methodist Church shall not use “Methodist” in its name at any point after disaffiliation is complete, unless it affiliates with another denomination, association, or connection that includes the term “Methodist” in its name, nor shall it use the Cross and Flame in its logo. The use of the name “Methodist” and the use of the Cross and Flame implies that a church is part of a connectional denomination and should not be used for a non-connectional, separate and distinct church organization.
--Amendment 2 presented by Mike Coors, lay person from Lakeside UMC, and then amended by Dr. Wright Culpepper, that says, “In the event of disaffiliation, those wishing to remain as a part of the UMC will be given that opportunity according to current standards offered by the Discipline.” The two disciplinary paraagraphs referenced with this amendment were paragraphs 2549 and 229.
change in Annual Conference Invitation Process: The first change is to standing rule 3.1.2 which is the procedure by which we identify the location of Annual Conference on a year-to-year basis. In the past we could receive an invitation several months in advance and have the time necessary to plan and organize conference. It’s not that simple anymore. Many of the venues we use require that we have contracts a year or more in advance. The local arrangements committee needs more than six months to plan for a group our size to come to town. We now issue a request for a proposal at least 18 months ahead of time. This change brings our standing rules in line with current practice.
change in Book of Recommendations (standing rule 3.1.3): Several years ago, the annual conference voted to publish all documents in an electronic format.We now ask persons submitting reports to do so in an electronic format. Receiving documents in this manner greatly enhances our ability to create the book of recommendations in a timely manner. This change brings our standing rules in line with current practice.
change in Resolutions and Petitions: The third change again acknowledges our conference vote to move to publishing all information in an electronic format. We now receive all resolutions and petitions electronically. This change brings our standing rules in line with current practice.
change in distribution of materials at Annual Conference: The fourth change affects standing rule 3.1.5 regarding the distribution of materials. The annual conference voted to distribute materials by electronic means. We now publish all materials needed on the conference website. People may download the materials to an electronic device or may print the materials out to bring with them. We no longer provide printed materials. This change brings our standing rules up to date with current practice.
change to Connectional Ministries (conference database): A fifth change concerns standing rule 126.96.36.199 which states that one of the responsibilities of connectional ministries is to maintain the conference database. In the last several years, as we have a conference database that can communicate with the databases used by administrative services, the maintenance of all databases has moved to that office. This change brings us up to date with current practice.
Change regarding proceeds from sale of discontinued and/or abandoned church property. Petition 90016, presented and adopted at general conference 2019, specified that any church that changes its relationship with the united methodist church, including through abandonment and/or closure, is required to pay the outstanding pension liability for that church. This change brings our policy regarding discontinued and/or abandoned property into line with that petition.
approved a report from Equitable Compensation given by Rev. Robert Greene, pastor of Porterfield Memorial UMC and chair of the committee. For 2020, the committee recommended a 2.0% increase to the 2019 base salary for all categories. They commended the District Superintendents and local church committees (SPRC, finance, admin boards, etc.) for diligently working over the past years to help many churches sustain salary levels in keeping with the covenant of The United Methodist Church. As part of implementing the arrearage policy approved last year, the committee presented a list of those churches with arrearages greater than 180 days. The total debt greater than 180 days is $862.570.19.
expressed appreciation for the clergy and lay staff who serve so faithfully and diligently in the Annual Conference.
Elected at-large members of the nominations committee: Laity - Robert Anderson, Linda Bagwell, Jeff Barker, Angela Johnson, Cater Starling and Debra Williams; Clergy - Bill Culpepper and Jimbo Dominey
The evening liturgy was led by Dr. Josh Bizzell, pastor at Warner Robins First UMC. Dr. Bizzell asked members to take a moment to be still and find a comfortable posture for reflection. “Know that you are in the presence of God," Dr. Bizzell said. "What do you notice about God? What do you realize about yourself? How do you feel? What is God communicating to you? God is a fire, lighting your darkness, warming and guiding you, refining your soul, and consuming all that stands in the way.”