2009 Kentucky Annual Conference
The Kentucky Annual Conference
June 3-6, 2009, Covington, Ky.
The Kentucky Annual Conference was held in Covington, Ky. and was centered around the theme "Called by Christ, Sent by The Spirit: Effective Leaders."
Resident Bishop Lindsey Davis presided over his first annual conference as the new bishop. Davis was formerly a clergyperson in Kentucky prior to his election to the episcopacy 13 years ago.
Davis spoke during the combined opening worship and service of remembrance on June 3. His afternoon message was titled "Written on Our Hearts by the Spirit". He recounted the many different ways the 34 clergy and spouses being honored had answered the call of the spirit in service to Christ and His church. Holy Communion concluded the service, which was followed by the organizational session.
Bishop Michael Coyner, episcopal Leader of the Indiana Area, preached at the service of commissioning and ordination. During the service, five candidates were commissioned as provisional members on the elder track and two were received as associate members. Six candidates were ordained as deacons in full connection and 14 were ordained as elders in full connection. Coyner said the church is called to "Finish the Song," to continue the story that Jesus began.
After the opening day, each morning began with a time of devotion and Bible study. The Rev. Rick Bard, the Rev. Debbie Wallace-Padgett and the Rev. Tamara Brown, clergy from the Kentucky Conference, led the Bible studies
After Bible study on June 4, legislative committees were convened to hear and discuss reports from various committees and agencies related to the conference. During the retirement celebration, the conference paid tribute to seven 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, representative of the transferring of the responsibilities and dedication of the older generation to a newer generation.
During the conference, Michael and Sherri Tabaka-Morrissey, missionaries to Thailand, were introduced and delivered the opening prayer. The order of the day during the plenary session was discussion of and voting on the 32 constitutional amendments set forth from the 2008 General Conference. A majority of those casting ballots voted in favor of Amendments 8, 9, 19, and 22. The Kentucky Conference's results will be submitted to the general church for tabulation with the other annual conferences to come to an aggregate total.
Conference members enjoyed a free night on June 4. There were two service opportunities: "Cookout for Covington" at Immanuel United Methodist Church's Grace Campus in downtown Covington and "A Child's Own Book" distribution at Ida Spence Mission.
Worshipful Work dominated plenary sessions and legislative committee reports on June 5. In one item of special note, Michael Watts, conference treasurer, read a complimentary letter from the General Conference for being one of 17 churches to pay 100 percent of our apportionments. Also throughout the day, churches and individuals were recognized for their ministries.
During the Mission and Ministry Celebration, Coyner's sermon was "Open Doors Swing Both Ways." He shared stories of churches that are examples of Bishop Robert Schnase's "Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations": Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission & Service, and Extravagant Generosity. One church, which represented all of the practices, went from nearly closing to renewal, with ministries that help children from their neighborhood, dinners that serve food to the poor and worship that welcomes about 100 people weekly.
The Mission offering totaled more than $47,500 and is designated for the Central Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI), a long-term effort to provide financial security for retirees and their spouses in conferences outside the U.S.
The 2009 session of Annual Conference concluded with the closing plenary where conference members approved the 2009 budget and heard the report from the Task Force on Uniting Principles and District Lines. Davis also set the appointments for the upcoming year.
Membership in the Kentucky Annual Conference stands at 152,498 people, up 484 people from the previous year. Average worship attendance stands at 58,392 people, down 418 people from the previous year. Sunday school attendance stands at 29,170 down 1,596 people from the previous year while attendance in other Christian Formation Groups (small groups) stands at 16,342 up 1,809 from the previous year.