General & Jurisdictional Conference Elections: As noted in yesterday's brief, the 2016 General & Jurisdictional Conference delegation is being elected during this conference session. Balloting continued throughout the day. Results are posted in order.
Beverly Maddox, laity
Clara Ester, laity
Dawn Wiggins Hare, laity
Larry Bryars, clergy
Jeremy Pridgeon, clergy
Frank Moore, laity
Robert Powell, laity
No election, clergy
Frank Dunnewind, laity
No election, laity
Tripp Gulledge, laity
Gene Floore, laity
Robin Wilson, clergy
Susan Hunt, laity
Antonius Barnes, laity
Duane Keck, laity
Paulette Thompson, laity
John Brooks, clergy
Ballot nine (clergy only) was taken. The results will be announced in the morning.
Petitions & Resolutions: The petition for Transfers on page 56 of the 2015 Brochure of Reports and Working with Ordained, Licensed, Consecrated, and Commissioned Personnel on page 57 were recommend to be combined. After a vote, these two petitions were combined and then passed with a majority vote of the conference.
Originally, ten petitions were grouped together for consideration. Initially, these petitions were not approved. A motion was made to reconsider due to lack of understanding when the vote was taken. That motion was approved. Petitions came back to the floor one by one but after License for Pastoral Ministry on page 46 and Categories for Local Pastor on page 47 were approved, a motion was made to regroup the remaining eight petitions on this topic acknowledging a better understanding of the petitions. That motion was approved. Those eight petitions were approved together. They are Requirements for Election as Association on page 48, Qualifications for Election to Provisional on page 48, Service of Provisional Members on page 51, Requirements for Ordination as a Deacon and Admission to Full Connection on page 52, Deacons and Provisional Deacons Appointed Beyond the Local Church on page 53, Requirements for Admission to Full Connection and Ordination as Elder on page 54, The Itinerant System on page 55 and Working with Ordained, Licensed, Consecrated, and Commissioned Personnel on page 57 and 58.
All adopted petitions or resolutions will be posted to the conference Website in the coming days.
Morning Bible Study: Rev. Jorge Acevedo, from Grace Church in the Florida Conference, led two morning Bible Study sessions focusing on how to be more fruitful and faithful to God in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, based on John 15:1-8. He emphasized that faithfulness proceeds fruitfulness. He challenged the conference to ask, "Could it be our lack of fruitfulness in the UMC is our lack of faithfulness?" His boldest challenge was saying, "Don't call yourself a Methodist if you're not in a small group."
Business Sessions: Robert McMichael and Jarvis Wilson led the attendees in several moving musical selections. In particular, the a cappella singing of, "Spirit of the Living God" prepared the hearts of many for the day. Various reports were given throughout the day from the Journal Committee, Standing Rules, Resolutions and Petitions, Connectional Ministries, Board of Laity, Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry and Blue Lake Trustees, to name a few. Details on some of these reports are below.
Connectional Ministries: Rev. Neil McDavid delivered the Connectional Ministries report. He spoke of the various "on-the-ground ministries" in our conference such as Dumas Wesley, Circles of Transformation, Blue Lake, Alabama Rural Ministry, Milk & Honey Outreach Ministries, United Methodist Inner City Mission and The Antioch Project, to name a few. A highlight of his report was a Celebration of Ministries video that visually presented the work of several ethnic congregations fully engaged in making disciples. Click here to see video.
50th Anniversary Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March: Rev. Jackie Slaughter and Dr. Brian Miller led the conference in a poignant moment where we honored the history and significance of the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march. Rev. Slaughter welcomed special guests that played a part in the original march and the anniversary march. They also read a narrative representing the words of those who were present and recalled the events of that historic weekend. The conference participated in a responsive litany and prayer that can be found online here. An emotional, collective singing of "The Lord's Prayer" concluded this very meaningful Order of the Day.
Laity Report: Dr. Steve Furr updated the conference in regards to the work of the laity. He called on Lynn Hamric, AWF UMW Chair; Helen Edwards, Southeastern Jurisdictional and AWF Director of Lay Servant Ministries; and Frank Moore, AWF UMM Chair. They updated those in attendance about their respective areas of work.
Francis Asbury Award: Rev. Sheila Bates received the Francis Asbury Award today, presented by Dr. Rob Couch. She is currently on staff at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and has served on the AWF Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. Sheila started a Wesley Foundation at Tuskegee University with a small location and grew it to an unprecedented size. Dr. Couch also recognized campus ministers in attendance. He was pleased to announced that the University of West Florida will now have a full-time campus minister thanks to funding approved last year. He praised Huntingdon College for having seven students going into seminary this fall.
Historic Black College: Marcus McKinney, a student at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, represented the Historic Black Colleges today. He is a third-generation Rust College student and maintains a 3.9 GPA. He emphasized that The Black College fund is essential to maintain a low-cost tuition and produce world leaders of tomorrow.
Denman Evangelism Award: There were three winners of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award. The clergy winner is Rev. German Gomez of the San Juan Mission at Clanton FUMC. Lay recipient is Cameron Winton of Woodlawn UMC and the youth recipient is Sydney Wilson of Millbrook First UMC.
Alice Lee Award: This award goes to someone who was inspired by Alice's service and has chosen a path of service of their own. Ms. Lee recently passed November 17, 2014. This year's recipient is Helen Edwards of Church Street UMC for her leadership, service and commitment. Helen and her husband, Earl, endured a painful tragedy years ago when they lost twin daughters due to a birth defect and she championed for fetal heart monitors in rural hospitals. That leadership flourished in the United Methodist Church as she has held many positions in the local church, annual conference and jurisdictional conference.
Local Church Heritage Award: Rev. Pam Avery presented two 2015 Local Church Heritage Awards. The recipients are Fairview UMC and Bradford's Chapel UMC.
Blue Lake Trustees: Dr. Cory Smith, Blue Lake Trustee, gave a brief report and introduced the new Blue Lake Director, Steve Lewandowski. Steve emphasized that they nurture disciples year round but in the coming two months, over 1,000 youth and children will be at Blue Lake. He asked for prayers that lives would be changed.
Laity Banquet: Under the leadership of Dr. Steve Furr, the laity celebrated their work at the annual banquet. A highlight of the evening was the entertainment by the Youth Worship Arts group from Frazer Memorial UMC under the direction of Debbie Peavy. The Mary Ellen Bullard Leadership Address was given by Drexel Gilbert. She is known in the Pensacola area for her 18-year tenure as a TV news anchor. She spent 30 years in the news industry. She talked about "route recalculations" and how God has spoken to her during those moments. In 1978 as a college student she was on a deep-sea fishing trip and was offered a job in her career field that launched her broadcast career. This was an unplanned, very last-minute trip she categorizes as a "route recalculation." She was introduced this evening by her new husband, Dr. Wesley Wachob. Frank Moore, AWF UMM President, presented the first Susanna Wesley Award for Excellence. The recipient of this first annual award is Ruth Ann Powers.
UMCOR Relief Kits: Tomorrow is the last day to bring your UMCOR relief kits and supplies to the truck in the parking lot. All assembled and unassembled kits and supplies are welcome. The truck will be open to receive the kits and supplies Wednesday from 7:30am-11:00am.
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Wednesday, June 3
-Conference Business Session, 8:00am
-Sending Forth Service, 11:00am
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