Annual Conference Day Four, June 5, 2019

June 05, 2019

In the News

Full Recap, Bulletin Insert and video coming this Thursday! Stay tuned to for an informative bulletin insert and brief video. The insert is printer friendly and we encourage you to share it and the video 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 where the congregation was invited to remove their shoes and place them at the altar, giving weary feet rest. Rev. Jackie Slaughter offered the wonderfully animated Call to Worship and presided over communion. Rev. Sara Shaver, Dothan District Superintendent, preached a sermon based on Romans 10:5-15. Rev Emily Kincaid of Orange Beach UMC prepared the communion elements. Bishop Graves offered the benediction and gave thanks for Rev. Shaver and her time on the cabinet. We would like to express our deep appreciation to the 2019 Annual Conference worship team. Under the direction of Rev. Michael Precht, the following members planned this year's worship services: Rev. Dana Brady, Rev. Jake Brady, Rev. Sarah Jones, Dr. Geoffrey Lentz and Rev. Sam Parkes. 

Courtesies and AppreciationsDr. Wesley Wachob of Pensacola FUMC entertained the audience with his delivery of courtesies and appreciations as he recapped the 2019 Annual Conference session. He also thanked those who were instrumental in leading the event. 

Episcopal Address: Presiding over his third AWF Annual Conference, Bishop David Graves took intentional time to diligently thank those who were an integral part of annual conference and expressed what a collective effort it takes to make an event like this happen. Graves told of the trials of 2019 from a hurricane to general conference to struggles with challenging personalities using the comparison of this and that. With that being the things that bring people and a conference down. "We take our eyes off of this, and focus on that," he said. He referenced Mark 1:15 as what we proclaim. "If we focus on that, we are doomed," he stated. Graves outlined several thriving churches, even through challenges like a pastor diagnosed with cancer or a church devastated from a hurricane. He mentioned numerous upcoming events and opportunities where we expect God to show up because this is what we proclaim. He challenged the conference to spend more time proclaiming than on tedious other things that distract us from the call. He communicated four priorities we should all focus on:

  • Growing God’s kingdom by making disciples and developing a multiplication mindset throughout the annual conference;
  • Attracting and retaining exceptional talent that helps promote a culture of call for clergy and laity;
  • Teaching, training, and coaching to support excellent preaching so that people encounter Jesus and live out the Great Commission;
  • Being adaptive leaders through uncharted times emphasizing connectionalism and focusing on Kingdom work.

Graves concluded his address with inviting everyone to joyfully sing in unison, "Victory in Jesus." 

Sending Forth: Prior to the service, district clergy and lay members were asked to sit together. A unique and new moment for this part of the conference was the distribution of letters from district superintendents to each pastor under appointment. The district superintendent read aloud the appointment changes within their respective district. Each pastor receiving a new appointment stood as their name and church was read. The districts stood together as the district lay leaders prayed. The Bishop invited the delegation to come forward and thanked them for the work they will do on behalf of our conference. He then prayed, set the appointments and conference was adjourned. 

2019-2020 AWF Conference Clergy Appointment Book: The clergy appointments may be found online here. A friendly URL has also been established:

Special Offerings Update: We continue to celebrate the missional offering for Wesley College/Teaming with Tanzania at Opening Worship of $41,020.33. Over $1,650 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 Dothan District had the biggest percentage of their churches participating in the collection. Aldersgate UMC (Montgomery), Mulder Memorial UMC, Woodland UMC and Frazer Memorial 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 emails sent during the 2019 Annual Conference.  

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View photos from the 2019 Annual Conference session (added daily, all photos by Luke Lucas). 

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