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2007 Kansas East Annual Conference

June 6-9, 2007, Baldwin City, Kan.

The Kansas East Annual Conference met at United Methodist-related Baker University in Baldwin City under the leadership of Bishop Scott J. Jones. The theme was "Equipping the Body of Christ." Conference members celebrated raising $147,184 for the Global AIDS Fund, which is nearly $2 per member in the conference.

The Rev. Gregory Jones, dean of Duke Divinity School, was the keynote speaker. The conference commissioned 10 Project Transformation interns. Project Transformation is a nine-week internship for college students in which they serve in urban congregations and explore Christian leadership. The model came from the North Texas Annual Conference. Five will work at University United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Kan., and five will work at Wesley Heights United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo.

The body adopted a resolution authorizing the conference to conduct a $5.35 million capital funds campaign to support infrastructure for Camp Chippewa and campus ministry and church development for new and existing congregations. The Bridges to the Future campaign will begin this summer. Members adopted policies governing a program to offer Growth Grants to existing local churches in the Kansas East Conference. This program was established in 2006, and applications for the more than $130,000 available will be distributed later this summer.

The conference adopted a spending plan of $5.17 million for 2008 and a resolution establishing a process to implement the Certified Lay Minister designation established by General Conference 2004.

The body also adopted and referred to the 2008 General Conference: three petitions related to Judicial Council powers, conflicts of interest and election of members; one related to teaching evolution and intelligent design; three petitions related to homosexuality and the church; one petition related to the church's position on armed conflict; one petition in support of the National Plan for Hispanic-Latino Ministry; and one resolution concerning stem cell research.

The conference received a check for $5,732 from the United Methodist Publishing House and voted to contribute the entire amount to the Central Conference Pension Fund.

Bishop Jones commissioned eight into the ministry of elder or deacon, ordained two deacons into full connection, ordained four elders into full connection, received two elders into full connection whose orders for ministry were previously recognized, and recognized the orders and received into probationary membership one elder from another denomination. Ten retired from ministry.

Clergy delegates elected to the 2008 General Conference are Marilyn Gregory of Independence; Adam Hamilton of Stilwell; and Eduardo Bousson of Cummings. Lay delegates elected to General Conference are Luke Wetzel of Olathe; Oliver Green of Topeka; and Judy Atwood of Manhattan.

Clergy delegates elected to the South Central Jurisdictional Conference are Gary Beach of Manhattan; Mark Holland of Kansas City; and Rena Yocum of Edgerton. Clergy alternates are Kay Scarbrough of Manhattan; David Livingston of Burlington; and Jan Todd of Topeka.

Laity elected to the South Central Jurisdictional Conference are Nancy Brown of Stanley; Jada Hodgson of Parker; and Thaine Hoffman of Topeka. Lay alternates are Yvonne Sudduth of Wetmore; Stephanie Seth of Silver Lake; and Hazel Steely of Hiawatha.

Membership stands at 73,695, down 1,267 (1.7 percent) from 2005. Worship attendance stands at 32,241 down 835 (2.5 percent) from 2005. Sunday School participation stands at 11,911, down 166 (1.3 percent) from 2005.

--Lisa Elliott Diehl