It was a fitting end to a full day of conferencing. When the final ballot results from clergy were announced, an important milestone had been reached: 13 delegates had been selected for the 2012 General Conference.
Earlier in the afternoon, the laity had selected their 13 delegates for General Conference. Friday morning’s gathering will begin at 8:15 a.m. with results from the first ballots to select 13 additional delegates for the 2012 Jurisdictional Conference.
The clergy delegates for the 2012 General Conference Session:
1. Sharma Denise Lewis
2. Jonathan Holston
3. James Cantrell
4. Phil Schroeder
5. Jane Brooks
6. P. Alice Rogers
7. Kyle Edward Tomlinson
8. John Anderson Simmons
9. Nora Martinez
10. Jamie Jenkins
11. Chuck Savage
12. Steve Wood
13. David Bevel Jones
The lay delegates for the 2012 General Conference Session:
1. Jane Finley
2. Lyn Powell
3. Mathew Pinson
4. Joe M. Whittemore
5. Jeff Jernigan
6. Bill Stikes
7. Tonya Murphy
8. Leon Jourolman
9. Dianne Spencer
10. Joe Kilpatrick
11. Richard Williamson
12. Bill Martin
13. Marjorie Kimbrough
In other news:
Steve Wood, vice-chair of CF&A, presented a budget of $24,042,913 for 2012, a five percent decrease from 2011.
A special visit involving the Bridges initiative: Scouts from Humble School in Uganda, who are here at the invitation of scouts from St. James UMC in Alpharetta, blessed Annual Conference with their presence and a special song performed for Bishop Mike Watson.
Jan Love, Dean of the Candler School of Theology, preached at the Service of Remembrance, using Heb. 12:1-2 (“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”) as her text. She reminded those in attendance that the 14 deceased clergy members, 19 deceased clergy spouses and 6 deceased lay leaders being honored had “responded in their lives by faith.” She went on to say that “they answered God’s call because it was God’s call.”
Morning devotion was led by Tracey Yancey, a lay member of Buford First UMC, who shared her inspiring story of how she and her church started a new ministry with the poor. She challenged us to look around and ask ourselves, what can I do?
Nora Martinez was elected clergy delegate to General Conference. Dianne Spencer, Joe Kilpatrick, Richard Williamson and Bill Martin were elected lay delegates to General Conference.
The Conference Communication Office strives to keep you informed and connected, and works to share the story of the North Georgia Conference with others. Some of the ways you can connect are through the North Georgia Advocate newspaper (which this year launched an online version at www.ngumc.org/advocate), the Conference website www.ngumc.org, e-newsletters Monday Morning in North Georgia, Weekly Update and Prayers and Celebrations. Visit www.ngumc.org to tap into the many communication resources available to you.
New Church Development – ‘It Takes a Team’
Jim Ellison, chair of New Church Development, thanked Nora Martinez for her service as director of Hispanic Ministries as she leaves the office to accept a position with the General Board of Global Ministries in New York. He introduced Juan Quintanilla, the new associate director of Hispanic Ministries. Juan is a former church planter and former seminary professor.
Pension and Health Benefits
The Board of Pension and Health Benefits is in the process of improving how the Conference handles pension benefits, and the Retiree Medical Liability Task Force is exploring significant changes to how we handle retiree plans.
Karen Fullerton, Conference Benefits Officer, reported that more than 2,000 clergy and lay employees receive health benefits through the Conference HealthFlex Plan. The total cost is $25M, $16.5M of which is billed to local churches.
Dale Jones, on behalf of GBOPHB, thanked North Georgia for support for Central Conference Pension Initiative. "I don't know of any conference that has stepped up for that need as much as North Georgia Conference," he said.
Committee on Episcopacy
Jonathan Holston, chair, thanked Bishop Watson for his leadership, and recognized Margaret and Bishop Watson's 38th wedding anniversary.
Council on Finance & Administration Part I
The recommendations brought forward by CF&A (handbook page 80) were approved. Hank Huckaby, chair, explained that CF&A has not only the responsibility to manage the budget, but also the responsibility to help raise that budget. To honor this responsibility, CF&A created a committee on stewardship to heighten interest in stewardship and understanding of how we use our resources. Sondra Jones, who chairs the stewardship initiative, encouraged churches to take part in Great Start training, the Generosity Summit, and to invite speakers from Connectional Cafe. "We're not a program arm, but we're partnering to be sure we make best use of our resources," she said.
Church of Excellence in Outreach Awards
Alice Smith and Catherine Boothe presented six churches with the Connectional Ministries Church of Excellence in Outreach Awards. These churches met 11 outreach criteria from local to the international level.
The awards were presented to:
-Union Point UMC, AGST, Bert Mathews, pastor, Pat Flynt, lay rep
-Loganville First UMC, ATHN, David Gravitt, pastor, Glenda Creasy, lay rep
-North Decatur UMC, ADOX, Lee Fullerton, pastor, Alton Jones, lay rep
-East Cobb UMC, AMAR, Brian Germano, pastor, Lee Bierce, lay rep
-McEachern Memorial UMC, AMAR, Donna J. Goff, missions pastor, and Selena Prado, missions chair
-Chamblee First UMC, AROS, Josh Roberts, associate pastor, and Richard Hickam, lay rep
For information on how your church can become a Church of Excellence, visit www.ngumc.org.
Recognition of Our Retirees
Steven Roy Barnum
Herbert C. Blackburn
John Wesley Brinsfield
Mary Lou Gilbert
Fred R. Heard
Alfred J. Hoard
Judson B. (Jay) Hodges, Jr.
James D. Howell
Peggy L. Little
Richard Noth, Jr.
D. Alan Smith
Nina Kate Strals
Howard J. Wright
After hearing from each retiree, retiree C. R. Hill passed a stole to new ordinand Kristen Heiden to symbolize the passing of the mantel.
Service of Remembrance
Jan Love, Dean and Professor of Christianity and World Politics at Candler School of Theology, was the preacher for the Service of Remembrance. Music was provided by children’s choirs from Alpharetta First UMC and St. James UMC. A mission offering for Imagine No Malaria was collected.
Those recognized were:
James Rush (J.R.) Phillips
Rubye Lee Davis
Mary Kimbell Durham
Rita Lynn Kent
Mary Lee Whelchel
Charissa Lynn Folmar
Jamie Jenkins and Charles Savage II were elected clergy delegates to General Conference.
New Church Development “New Missions”
Juan Quintanilla and Hyo Kim, associate directors of new church development, introduced the Conference missions. The Hispanic, Korean and Asian ministries focus on leadership training and identifying churches with a passion for transitioning mission field.
Current Missions include:
-Winters Chapel Hispanic/AROS
-New Hope Hispanic/GNSV
-Korean Church of Cumming/AROS
-Korean Church of LaGrange/LGRN
-Korean Church of Norcross/AMRY
-Korean Church of Newnan/LGRN
Council on Finance & Administration Part II
Steve Wood, vice-chair of CF&A, presented a budget of $24,042,913 for 2012. This reflects a five percent decrease from the 2011 budget. The total decrease is $1,252,154. This is the third year in a row that the budget has been reduced. The budget was approved.
Conference Board of Laity
Sam Kilburn, chair of Leadership UMC, reported that 48 laity graduated in the 2010-11 class of Leadership UMC. The purpose of this Board of Laity sponsored program is to identify, recruit and train emerging lay leadership. Participants in Leadership UMC attend four weekend-long trainings, study United Methodist history, polity, the Book of Discipline, discern spiritual gifts, and work in small groups on church projects.
Last year the conference launched an ongoing mission program, Bridges, with the first Bridge to Uganda. Today, Annual Conference was blessed by the presence of Scouts from Humble School in Uganda who are here to visit scouts from St. James UMC in Atlanta.
Updates from Bridges Uganda include:
- Bridges Uganda would like to help organize a mission trip to Uganda for your church.
- The Bridge is partnering with Stop Hunger Now to deliver 285,000 meals to Humble School. They are in the process of raising $11,000 to ship those meals.
- There is a construction trip planned to Humble School in March 2012 led by Dalton Rushing. Contact email@example.com for information.
- An internship program was launched and this summer Dan Tinsley, Milie Davis, Hannah Stubblefield are currently serving in Uganda.
Bridges: El Salvador
This year we launch a Bridge to El Salvador. Bishop Watson recently joined a group on an exploratory trip to determine how we can best partner with the United Methodist Church in El Salvador. For more information on Bridges: El Salvador, contact Stephen Soulen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Wood was elected clergy delegate to General Conference. Marjorie Kimbrough was elected lay delegate to General Conference. This completes the lay delegation to General Conference.
Resolution 702 "Resolution for Call for Action by General Conference" was passed.
Resolution 707 "Resolution to Revise Portions of the United Methodist Book of Discipline Which Define the Role of Retired Bishop" was passed.
David Bevel Jones was elected clergy delegate to General Conference. This completes the clergy delegation to General Conference.