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2016 Susquehanna Annual Conference

Officiating bishop: Jeremiah J. Park

Guest speaker: Bishop Ernest Lyght for Ordination Service

Memorable Quotes:

Referring to the Conference theme. "Creating New Places for New People": "We have the expectation that God is always doing something new, creating new spaces for new people, raising up new leaders new ideas, and new potential.” “We expect that God can radically change our communities into spaces where the Good News is shared and our neighbors are loved. People are more ready to receive God’s grace than you might think!”— Bishop Jeremiah J. Park

 “Within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania nearly 700,000 children live within the margins with little or no chance to succeed. The demographics are real; the children are out there. Now is the time for the church to step in and step up. All of you have children’s ministries waiting to be born.— Dr. Ed Zeiders for the Commission of Child Advocacy.

“Imagine the door or your church. Imagine taking the handle and trying to open it. Is it locked? Is there a need to find an alternate entrance to the church other than the main one? Now open that door and cross the threshold. Sadly, people don’t pass through our doors in the same number that they once did.”— The Rev. Dr. Kathleen Kind, District Superintendent, Altoona District, in the Leadership Report.

“Stories engage and draw us in. By exchanging life stories, we get to know and influence one another. The world’s greatest storyteller was Jesus, and with his death and resurrection, his disciples went out to share their stories of how Jesus changed their lives.”—Sand artist Joe Castillo

“We live in the place that society sees as a contradiction. These contradictions resonate within us as we mourn the loss of brothers and sisters in Christ who are yet united with us as members of Christ’s body. (Romans 12:4). Unlike the cold, lifeless stones that adorn gravesites, the faithful remain forever ‘engraved on the palm’ of God's hand.’ ”— The Rev. Lori Stefferson, Superintendent of the State College District.

“Today the Annual Conference and I repented on a large scale before representatives from the Commission on Native American Ministries. We repented not only for our Church’s role in past atrocities, but also for current ignorance and injustice inflicted upon Native Americans.”— Morgan Robinette, Teen writer for the Daily LINK

Main actions enacted by the Conference

A resolution to designate and celebrate May as a mental health awareness month along with a                special offering, to recognize September as Suicide Prevention Month, and a mental illness    awareness week in October with a designated day of prayer. The resolution was adopted.

A resolution that the Loan Fund and its Board of Directors be related to the Conference Council                on Finance and Administration as a subcommittee along with stipulations related to                membership was adopted.

A resolution for the discontinuance of Forest Emmanuel Church was adopted.

A resolution called the Dream Care Initiative was approved. The resolution lists The Susquehanna Conference as an endorser of the Dream Care Campaign to expand Pennsylvania's CHIP program to provide health care to all children.

Number of people ordained, commissioned or received into associate membership

               Number of people ordained - 3

               Number of people commissioned - 7

               Number of people retired - 29

Membership stands at 146,171, down 4,265 (2.8 percent decline)

Worship attendance stands at 57,065, down 3,950 (6.5 percent decline)

Church school attendance stands at 18,815, down 1,398 (6.9 percent decline)

Annual Conference 2016 Offerings (Received by report time)

               Youth Service Fund: $ 8.086.29

               Cup of Water Fund: $ 23,455.61

               Mongolian Mission: $ 20,247.44

               Bishop's Partners in Mission - $ 49,035.18

               Bishop's Partners in Mission - Mission Central - $ 1,684.00

               Bishop's Partners in Mission - Imagine No Malaria - $ 850.00

— Gerald (Jerry) Wolgemuth, director of Communications, Susquehanna Conference