Our church’s delegates and alternates, Bruce and Jane Dent, and Everett and Adleen Rawlings, attended the 2014 Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church from June 11-14. The theme of the conference this year was “The Mission of God.” Below is their submitted report:
Speakers: Dr. Thomas Kemper, the general secretary and top executive of the General Board of Global Ministries. A map was shown where missionaries serve and the countries that sent them which included countries we served are now able to send missionaries out into the world. Every Christian is a missionary. Many lay members in our conference shared their experience, in Mission with God.
Dr. Robert G. Tuttle Jr., was the Bible Study Leader Thurs. and Fri. mornings.
James H. Salley, associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement for African University in Zimbabwe, was the key speaker Thursday evening following the concert given by the African University Choir.
The Rev. Pam Cahoon, former executive director of CROS ministries gave the address for the Service of Remembrance. Gladys Jenkins, wife of Pastor Robert Jenkins, died 3/31/14. It was good to see Bob, he served our church in the 1980’s, just before his retirement.
Louisiana Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, addressed the more than 50 individuals who were ordained, licensed, or commissioned during this service.
Resident Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr. was the key speaker for the opening and closing services of annual conference. The books of Luke and Acts were the bases of his messages. Think out of the box to reach the unchurched; Yoga Chapel, Bikers Church were examples.
Enrichment Sessions were held for the first time as part of the afternoon conference schedule. We could attend one of many that were offered. They dealt with many of today’s social issues and how the local church can be involved.
The music throughout the conference was exceptional. Michelle Weger (Grace UMC, Cape Coral) and Jeremy Hearn (FUMC, Lakeland) were the leaders.
Stop Hunger Now, yearlong FL Conference campaign to provide 1,000,000 meals was exceeded by 1,685,801, almost 70%.
Bishop’s Annual Offering was $73,000 given by our conference churches to be divided equally for scholarships for students in the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance and School of Theology at African University and support for young adults who will serve for a mission year here in FL. This equips them to be Christian leaders of the future. Our congregation’s contribution was $800 collected in April’s mission giving.
Church Membership was 262,000 in 2013 down 7000 or 2.6% from 2012.
Church paying apportionments at 100% was up from 394 in 2012 to 400 in 2013. We wore a special ribbon on our name tag showing we were 100%.
2015 budget request is 1.89% more than 2014.
Ministries of 6 churches were discontinued.
The presentation of Retiring Ministers was held Thurs. afternoon. In addition to our Pastor Ken Roughton, Warren Langer and Pam Cahoon also retired.
We had breakfast Thurs. morning with our new Pastor, Marcus Zillman and Tom Tift. Fortunately, we had met Marcus and his wife, Rebecca soon after we arrived at conference.
Jane Dent and Adleen Rawlings, 2014 Lay Member Delegates to FL Annual Conference
Contact www.acflorida.org for more details.