2014 Annual Conference Monitoring Report

2014 MONITORING REPORT

Bishop Watson, Bishop Norris, Conference Community and guests: I realize that this is a culturally sensitive time to bring up the fact that you have been monitored, but I assure you no cell phone information has been tapped.

Some committees have talked about their work as important, but boring. Well this report is hot – literally analyzed from the morning report - but if I said it was sexy, the monitors would call me on it.

Monitoring has been going on at Annual Conference for several years. It is a way for us to hold up a mirror and take a look at our conference and determine what our representation is like.  Monitoring is a joint effort by COSROW (Commission on the Status and Role of Women) and CORR (Commission on Religion and Race).  Monitoring is conducted in order to encourage the awareness and inclusion of all segments of our connection.

As Christians, we celebrate that all people are made in the image of God.  Our Book of Disciple reminds us that all are of sacred worth.  As Christians, we try to honor this conviction in everything that we do.  Our holy conferencing should be no different.

In monitoring we look at four factors: gender, race, status and age. What we know about our 1821 participating delegates is that we are 50% laity and 50% clergy because our polity designs it that way for balance. Females comprise 44%.

When we all registered for annual conference, we were asked to provide some additional data like age group and ethnicity.  The data was requested solely in the hopes that we might be able to give a more detailed monitor report. However, we have incomplete ethnicity data, but a rough ballpark is about 39% non-white.

Among our laity 9% are youth and young adults. 7% of clergy are young adults, but I figure that would be higher if we asked clergy what age category they fit in! It is a similar issue in monitoring people we see. Some of us look older or younger than we are. So we don’t have age data that we can report across the board. 

Here is total data:

Total Laity

Female

Male

Ethnic

White

Youth/Young Adult

Adult

Older Adult

1821 by participation

numbers

539

255

302

incomplete

data

390 incomplete

data

85 incomplete

data

605

incomplete

data

229

incomplete

data

 

60%

40%

--

--

--

--

--

 

Total Clergy

Female

Male

Ethnic

White

Youth/Young Adult

Adult

Older Adult

927 by participation

numbers

255

662

290

737

68

incomplete

data

incomplete

data

 

28%

72%

31%

79%

7%

--

--

 

The Monitoring Group itself was more diverse this year:

 

Total

Laity

Clergy

Female

Male

Ethnic

White

Youth/Young Adult

Adult

Older Adult

19

11

8

15

4

8

11

7

10

2

 

58%

42%

79%

21%

42%

58%

37%

53%

10%

 

Of the six Business Sessions in terms of presenters, compared to last year, female, minority and laity participation are all up from last year. (Age was not able to be determined.)

 

Total

Laity

Clergy

Female

Male

Ethnic

White

183

92

91

89

94

47

136

 

50%

50%

49%

51%

42%

58%

 

During the Business Sessions, the speakers from the floor, compared to last year, found female and ethnic participation remained about the same, and laity involvement increased. (Again, age was not able to be determined.)

 

Total

Laity

Clergy

Female

Male

Ethnic

White

60

32

28

20

40

14

46

 

53%

47%

33%

67%

23%

77%

 

Five Worship Services were monitored, the three services themselves and the two morning devotionals. Female participation increased, minority involvement was about the same and clergy and laity were equal.

 

Total

Laity

Clergy

Female

Male

Ethnic

White

Youth, Young Adult

Adult

Older Adult

46

23

23

21

25

19

27

14

18

14

 

50%

50%

46%

54%

41%

59%

31%

39%

30%

 

Generally, the monitors commend Bishop Watson on his inclusive language and respect for everyone speaking. We also celebrate the wonderful diversity of the Child of Promise segments.

 

In terms of being a representative body in our presentations and leadership at conference, we are almost there. But as Bishop Holston reminded us, we don’t want to be an “almost” team. We will continue to monitor as we seek to move on to perfection.