2007 Ukraine and Moldova Annual Conference
June 28-July 1, 2007, Kiev, Ukraine
"Sharing" was the 2007 theme for the Eurasia Episcopal Area, which includes Ukraine and Moldova Annual Conference in Eastern Europe. And sharing was an appropriate theme for the conference, as total offerings have almost doubled this year.
Most of the important conference decisions related to finances.
The conference asked the financial committee and administrative council to continue work on the pastoral salary and benefit system. Delegates indicated that more information is needed in order to decide among various options.
Along with a significant increase in giving, the desire to be self-supporting has been actively discussed among churches this year. The conference voted on a 10 percent reduction each year in the amount of church program money received from abroad. The option is given for churches to reduce the amount more if so desired. At least one church announced it would reduce church program money by 25 percent each year. The amount of money taken from the individual church program will be transferred into the Conference Church Development Fund.
As a result of the March Leadership Training Institute led by the Rev. Adam Hamilton and members of the Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, Mo., churches were asked to reflect on why people should come to their church and to create purpose statements and strategic goals for the upcoming conference year. Pastors created a six-month preaching plan. This "homework" was then discussed in a plenary session of the annual conference as different churches shared their purpose statements, goals and results. Everyone was excited to learn of the progress and growth of fellow conference churches as concepts learned at the seminar were implemented at the local level.
The Ukraine and Moldova Conference was glad to fill out the Moldova part of the annual conference name by accepting into the conference The Great Commission United Methodist Church in Kishinev, Moldova. Pastor Leonard Chorny said the church intended to plant other United Methodist churches throughout Moldova, a country which borders Ukraine to the south.
Delegates elected to the 2008 General Conference were the Rev. Alexander Merzlikov and lay delegate Olga Tishkovetz. Delegates to Central Conference are the Rev. William Lovelace and lay delegate Vasilina Babich.
Average attendance in worship was up 83 from 414 to 497. Membership was up 18 from 462 to 480. People who are not church members but who have signed up to be on the contact list of the churches is up 369, from 378 to 747.