2007 Kansas West Conference
May 23-25, 2007, Hutchinson, Kan
The Kansas West Annual Conference, under the leadership of Bishop Scott J. Jones, met around the theme "Serving All Leading Together," or SALT. The theme was celebrated during opening worship communion as conference members were invited to bring forward and place a piece of impure salt on the tables before them in exchange for a piece of pure salt. Hutchinson, the site of the conference session, is the location of several salt mines.
The work of United Methodists in responding to the tornados and flooding of early May were recognized and celebrated. An annual conference offering benefited the Rebuilding Kansas Churches Fund to assist churches with interrupted ministries or with buildings that were damaged or destroyed.
The body adopted a resolution authorizing the conference to conduct a $4.2 million capital funds campaign to support infrastructure for camping and campus ministry and church development for new and existing congregations. The campaign, Bridges to the Future, will begin this summer. The conference adopted a $5.7 million budget for 2008.
Conference members also adopted resolutions: 1) establishing a process to implement the Certified Lay Minister designation established by the 2004 General Conference; 2) calling for support of Zimbabwe; 3) establishing a Rural Life Sunday with offering for the Rural Division of Kansas Ecumenical Ministries; 4) authorizing sale and purchase of a district parsonage; and 5) declaring September Open House Month.
The conference received a check for $8,649.13 from the United Methodist Publishing House and voted to contribute the entire amount to the Central Conference Pension Fund.
Bishop Jones commissioned six into the ministry of elder or deacon, received two into associate membership, ordained one deacon received into associate membership, ordained one deacon received into full connection, and recognized the elders' orders for a deacon in full connection transitioning back to elder status. Seventeen retired from ministry and two were recognized for service to The United Methodist Church.
Clergy delegates elected to General Conference were: the Revs. Pat Ault-Duell, A. Mark Conard, Cheryl Jefferson Bell and Lance Carrithers. Lay delegates elected were: Dixie Brewster, Penney Schwab, Mollie Haberer and Kim Moore.
Membership stands at 84,966, down 830 (.97 percent) from 2005. Worship attendance stands at 35,712 down 634 (1.7 percent) from 2005.
--Lisa Elliott Diehl