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Kentucky Annual Conference Report

Monday | June 10, 2019

Catherine Sherrard

The liturgical focus for the 2019 Kentucky Annual Conference was viewed through the lens of Lent and Easter. Monday morning’s opening worship represented Ash Wednesday including the imposition of ashes. Bishop Fairley spoke of the “dark season” we are in, but provided a sense of hope in his message by emphasizing that, “It is Friday, but Sunday is coming!”

Following morning worship two separate sessions were held for clergy and laity.  The session for lay delegates included a brief introduction of the 45 laity who submitted profiles as candidates for general conference and jurisdictional conference. Speakers presented on ways to strengthen discipleship at the local church.  The session concluded with focused prayer time in small groups.

The opening business session of annual conference took place in the afternoon.

  • Bishop Fairley provided a heartfelt follow up to the special session of General Conference held in St. Louis in February
  • Book of Discipline Section 2553
    • Newly enacted Disaffiliation Provision
    • Process starts with conference trustees and the next steps are at the charge conference
    • Point of contact for churches will be DS
  • Standing Rules – Change in Distribution of Proceeds
    • Current state – Following the sale of church property any proceeds remaining after all expenses are settled go to the district selling the property
    • Future state (after revision was approved) – Net proceeds will now be divided as follows:
      • 50% to District New Church Development
      • 35% to KAC New Church Development
      • 4% to KAC Board of Pensions
      • 11% to KAC Connectional Ministries/Ministerial Services
  • Finance & Budget Report
    • Out of 773 churches in the KAC this year, 357 paid 100% of apportionments
    • Local churches need to make sure budgets reflect the changes in pension billing.  After no charges in 2018 and 2019 churches will be expected to pay starting January 2020
  • Reports from conference camps & Isaiah Project
  • Petition for expansion of clergy delegate qualifications did not pass
  • General Conference Petition to remove Incompatible Language from the Social Principles and a Kentucky Conference Resolution to be a Church of Open Minds, Open Hearts and Open Doors were submitted for review.  The conference body agreed to take the formal vote on both of these action items via written, secret ballot.

The evening worship, which represented Palm Sunday, included the service of ordination and commissioning. We are very proud that our own Chay Smithson was one of the individuals commissioned as an elder that evening. Bishop Paul Leeland, guest bishop from the Western North Carolina Conference provided the message.

Tuesday | June 11, 2019

Al & Judy Kirkpatrick

Tuesday started with the first round of balloting for delegates to the 2020 General Conference and the Southeast Jurisdictional (SEJ) Conference. This Annual Conference needed to elect 26 people in total, 13 Lay (out of 43 candidates) and 13 Clergy (out of 39 candidates). The lay delegates voted for the lay delegates and the clergy voted for the clergy delegates.

Of the 13 on each side, 5 would be delegates to the General Conference, 5 would be delegates to the SEJ Conference and 3 would be alternates.

This is the first time that our conference used the “electronic voting” devices, so some training was given before the voting started. By the end of this session, the clergy had elected 4 delegates and the lay had elected one. (a majority of votes cast were needed to have a successful election).

A retirement ceremony was held and Pastor Tom was “officially” retired along with several other clergy, including our former Pastor, David Green.

In the afternoon, 668 delegates participated in the “Church Beyond” portion of the conference and did service work at 21 different sites in the area.

The evening service was for “missions” and was highlighted by a performance by the Buechel UMC’s Swahili choir. An offering was taken the was to be split among Grace Kids: a church for children in Louisville, Encounter Missions in Paintsville, and a new “Refugee Fund” to help refugees across the conference.

Wednesday | June 12, 2019

Debbie Wright

Wednesday session opened with worship music to help set the tone for plenary.  Bishop Fairley prayerful guidance allowed the conference attendees to differ in ideas with love and compassion. A petition to remove incompatible language from the social principles was voted down 458-283.

A resolution to be a Church of Open Minds, Open Hearts, and Open Doors  passed (409-285). This resolution makes clear that we welcome all people to participate in the life of our Church, while maintaining our Wesleyan vision of Christianity anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness.

2020 General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference delegates were elected. A full listing of those elected and their profile can be found below.

A memorial service lead by Rev. Tami Coleman honored  11 clergy and 14 spouses who have passed away in the last year.

Tami Coleman is the incoming Conference Secretary.  She replaces Julie Hager Love who was recognized for her wonderful work.  The Secretary is trusted with planning Annual Conference.

The Bishop’s Missional offering raised $73,649.41.  It will be split among 2 missional churches and a fund to assist international refugees across Kentucky.

The Isaiah Project offering raised $2,742.17.  The Isaiah Project helps fund internships for students pursuing a call to ministry.

The Service of Sending Forth included the reading of the pastoral appointments beginning this July 1.

Annual Conference 2020 will be June 8-10 at the Northern Convention Center in Covington.

2020 General Conference & Jurisdictional Conference Elected Delegates

Starting Monday and concluding Wednesday, it took 15 lay ballots and 13 clergy ballots – this year taken electronically for the first time – to select delegates and alternates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Elected were:

Click on their image to read their profile.

General Conference Clergy

Bill Arnold

Tami Coleman

Iosmar Alvarez

David Grout

James A. Williams

Jurisdictional Conference Clergy

Tom Grieb

*Alternate to General Conference

Andrew Singh

*Alternate to General Conference

William Moore

Kelly McClendon

Rebecca Heid

Clergy Alternates

Matt Seel

Michael Sweeney

Esther Jadhav

General Conference Laity

Alan Beuscher

Sandra Gray

Mark Stallons

Michael Watts

Bethany Harting

Jurisdictional Conference Laity

Maggie Mae Hoffman

*Alternate to General Conference

Delace Canada

*Alternate to General Conference

Elaine Daugherty

John Denham

Larry Wells

Laity Alternates

Linda Underwood King

Janis Brown-Thompson

Adam McCormick

Resolution To Be a Church of Open Hearts, Open Minds & Open Doors Passes After Amendments

By Cathy Bruce

A resolution to be a church of Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors was passed at AC 2019 after it was amended to remove language rejecting the Traditional Plan.

The Traditional Plan, which was one of the plans presented by the Commission on a Way Forward, was passed by the 2019 Special Session of General Conference and means our current Book of Discipline statements about homosexuality, same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ persons did not fundamentally change.

Due to the amendment removing the language that rejected the Traditional Plan, the original authors of the resolution, Rev. Jean Hawxhurst and Rev. George Strunk, asked that their names be removed from the resolution.

Here is the resolution as passed at the 2019 Kentucky Annual Conference:

Whereas the Kentucky Annual Conference is a diverse conference made up of United Methodist Christians who love Jesus Christ and want to reach out and serve others in his name who celebrate the diversity with which God has created us, and we also recognize there are some basic guiding principles by which we all want to minister.  For example, we long to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, committed to a Wesleyan vision of Christianity, anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness.

And, whereas in our baptismal covenants we committed to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people and to build a church which affirms the participation, loves and reaches out to persons of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities.

Therefore, be it resolved that we the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church affirm that all persons are persons of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggle for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others and with self. We affirm that Grace is available to all.

And be it resolved that we will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving and loving one another as Christ has loved us and accepted us.

We will implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian or gay members and friends. We will seek intentional ways to welcome and include LGBTQ persons into the life of our church.  We commit ourselves to be in ministry with and for all persons.

And, be it further resolved that, we will continue to live faithfully under the Book of Discipline.

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