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2008 Kentucky Annual Conference

June 1-4, 2008, Louisville, Ky.

The theme of the Kentucky Annual Conference was "Let the Redeemed Say So."

Bishop Ann Sherer of the Nebraska Conference spoke during the opening worship on Monday morning. The Conference Praise Band led conference members in songs of praise and worship, and the celebration choir, under the direction of Michael Bolden, sang the anthem.

Later in the day, a Service of Remembrance was held for 12 clergy and 20 spouses. The Rev. Terry Faris, retiring superintendent of the Corbin District, delivered the sermon, "The Blessing of Family."

Legislative committees met in the afternoon to discuss conference business.

Bishop Al Gwinn of the North Carolina Annual Conference preached at the Service of Commissioning and Ordination Monday evening. During the service, 10 people were commissioned and 12 people were ordained three as deacons and nine as elders.

Tuesday began with a time of devotion led by the Rev. Isabel Soberal. The Rev. Leonard Sweet led Bible study on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. On Tuesday, Sweet talked about five ways of weathering the storms.

During the morning plenary session, several legislative committee reports were presented. Conference Bishop James King recognized the Four- and Five-Star Pastors, presenting special medals to the Five-Star pastors. After lunch, a retirement celebration was held, and the conference paid tribute to 14 clergy members who are retiring from active ministry. Two members of the retiring class and two members of the newly ordained class participated in a passing of the mantle ceremony, representing the transfer of responsibilities and dedication of the older generation to a newer generation.

In the afternoon plenary session, pastors from the Uganda Conference brought greetings and expressed appreciation to the Kentucky Annual Conference districts for their gifts.

Tuesday evening was a time of celebration. At the Mission and Ministry Celebration, a short play titled "When God is Hungry" was presented, and The Hope for Africa Children's Choir sang and danced. The day closed with recognition of the ministry of the bishop and a reception for Bishop King and his family.

The closing of the conference began with a devotion led by the Rev. Hunn Choi and further Bible study with Sweet. During morning plenary, Christine Harman and Debbie Wallace-Padgett, lead delegates to the 2008 General Conference, presented a report from General Conference. During the afternoon plenary session, conference members discussed and approved the 2009 budget and heard the report from the Task Force on Uniting Principles and District Lines. The 2008 session of annual conference concluded with the closing worship, including a sermon by Bishop King and the setting of appointments.

The mission offering totaled $55,037.78 to be used for the Kentucky East Africa Initiative, the Red Bird Missionary Conference and for Katrina Recovery Mississippi Annual Conference.

Membership in the Kentucky Annual Conference stands at 152,459 people, up 330 people from the previous year. Average worship attendance stands at 58,810 people, down 1,605 people from the previous year.

--Cathy Bruce