June 6, 2018
Full Recap and Bulletin Insert coming this Thursday! Stay tuned to www.awfumc.org/ac2018 for an informative bulletin insert. It is printer friendly and we encourage you to share it with your local congregation this Sunday. A full recap article detailing all actions of the conference will also be posted on the home page by Thursday.
Morning Worship: The final day of annual conference began with morning worship and Holy Communion. Rev. Paula Roane, deacon serving at Trinity UMC-Ft. Walton Beach, offered the Call to Worship and prepared the communion elements. Rev. Olivia Poole of Mt. Zion UMC in Smiths Station preached a spirited sermon based on John 4. Rev. Elvyn Hamilton of The Source presided over communion. Bishop Graves offered the sending forth and gave thanks for Rev. Poole and her ministry.
Business Session: The final business session was started with the viewing of NBC News' Lester Holt and his interview with Clara Ester. Ester, a deaconess and retired from Dumas Wesley Community Center, was with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he was assassinated. Ester has been a tireless advocate for civil rights. Prior to offering the morning prayer, she was honored with a standing ovation from the conference members. Click here to watch Holt's interview with Ester. Various reports were presented from the Journal Committee, Board of Pension and Health Benefits, Council on Finance and Administration, Equitable Compensation and the Cabinet.
Board of Pension and Health Benefits: Rev. Bob McKibben updated the conference on their committee's work. A Resolution Relating to Rental/Housing Allowances for Retired or Disabled Clergy persons of the AWF Conference was approved by the voting body (found on page 82 of the Book of Reports). He stated that moving expenses are no longer deductible. If expenses are paid by the receiving church, it is now taxable. Because it is taxable it becomes part of clergy planned compensation. BeLinda Carnegie, AWF Benefits Coordinator, can assist clergy with this matter. The 2018 Pre-82 past service rate was proposed and given to the voting body. The proposed rate for clergy was $758 and $530.50 for surviving spouses, which was a 0% increase from 2018 to 2019. An amendment of $773/$541 (2%) was proposed from the floor, it passed. Report 21, Articles of Incorporation, was approved. The articles will be updated every four years.
Equitable Compensation: Rev. Michael Cobb recommended on behalf of the Committee for Equitable Compensation that minimum salary be $38,000, a 2% increase from the previous year. It was approved.
Approved Budget: The conference established a $10,673,705 million budget for mission and ministry for 2019, a 3.17% decrease from 2018. The 2019 budget is the lowest in 20 years. The recommended district superintendent salary for 2019 is $120,475, or no increase from the previous year. The "unqualified" audit report will appear in the 2018 Journal. An amendment was approved to move $500,000 in the claimants fund from within the current budget amount, then the original budget figure was approved. Beebe Frederick, CFA Chair, thanked Mickey Wilson for his interim service as treasurer. Suzanne Krejcar was approved as the new treasurer and was introduced to the conference.
Statistician's Report: Mr. Mickey Wilson reported that membership stands at 133,696 and worship attendance stands at 58,923. Native American, Multiracial, Black, Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino attendance all showed areas of increase over the past year. Direct giving to United Methodist causes increased 27% or $1.48 million in 2016 to $1.83 in 2017. In 2017, 404 churches paid 100% of their apportionments, which is the highest in the past few years. There was a .12% increase in missional giving over 2016, which was at it highest level in 20 years. Churches who paid 100% of their 2017 apportionments were given a "100" button to wear on their name tags. Thank you!
Courtesies and Appreciations: Dr. Wesley Wachob of Pensacola FUMC entertained the audience with his delivery of courtesies and appreciations as he recapped the 2018 Annual Conference session. He also thanked those who were instrumental in leading the event.
Episcopal Address: Presiding over his second AWF Annual Conference, Bishop David Graves took intentional time to diligently thank those who were an integral part of annual conference and stated that he would post his Episcopal Address online at a later date due to time. Dr. David Saliba was honored for his service as the outgoing Annual Conference Secretary.
Sending Forth: Each district superintendent read aloud the appointment changes within their respective district. The District Lay Leaders prayed after each district was presented. The Bishop then set the appointments and conference was adjourned.
2019 Annual Conference: The 2019 session of the AWF Annual Conference will be held June 2-5, 2019, at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL. Montgomery First United Methodist Church will host the Service of Commissioning & Ordination. We express our sincere appreciation to both of these staffs for hosting us this past year.
Special Offerings Update: We continue to celebrate the missional offering for Communities of Transformation at Opening Worship of over $56,000. Over $1,700 was collected at the Service of Commissioning & Ordination for the Ministerial Education Fund. Thank you for your generosity!
UMCOR Relief Kits: Hundreds of UMCOR kits and countless supplies from each district were collected over the course of the annual conference. The Pensacola District had the biggest percentage of their churches participating in the collection. Montgomery First UMC and The Mobile district UMW provided the largest number of completed kits. Millbrook FUMC, Capitol Heights UMC and Cain’s Chapel UMC sent youth group workers who managed the collection truck. Thank you for your donations and to the youth who received these supplies!
Miss One? Click here to view each of the daily e-mails sent during the 2018 Annual Conference.
Post Annual Conference Survey: Click here to take the survey. This year's version is shorter–we want to hear from you!
View photos from the 2018 Annual Conference session (added daily, all photos by Luke Lucas).
Get a Copy: CD and DVD copies of many portions of annual conference are available for purchase. Click here for the order form.
Archived Sessions: Archived sessions may be found at this link. The link will continue to be updated in the coming days.
Conference Videos: Videos shown at conference may be found at this link.
Follow the action of the conference live. Back this year is a custom Snapchat Geofilter! It will be available throughout conference. Find the photos and share with us on various social media platforms. Don't forget to tag it with #awfac18.
Hashtags: Use #awfac18 to join the Twitter conversation and to tag your Instagram photos.
Stay connected throughout Annual Conference at www.awfumc.org/ac2018.
Navigate the conference Website easier by downloading the free AWF app! Scan the above QR code to download. Available for iPhones, iPads and Droid mobile devices.