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2009 North Central New York Annual Conference

North Central New York Annual Conference
May 28-30, Liverpool, N.Y.

"New attitude" encouraged during North Central New York Annual Conference session

Bishop Matthews encouraged members of the North Central New York Annual Conference to live the "new attitude" that comes with a relationship with Jesus Christ during his episcopal address.

During his opening worship message, "It's A New World," Matthews, shared scriptural and personal examples of how the "attitude change" that comes with a relationship with Jesus Christ can make a difference when lived out in our congregations, communities, and throughout the world.

This is the first North Central New York Annual Conference Session led by Matthews. He was assigned to the New York West Area, which includes North Central and Western New York Conferences of The United Methodist Church last July, assuming leadership in September of 2008. His offices, currently in Rochester, N.Y., will be relocated to Syracuse, N.Y. later this year.

Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton, resident bishop of the Michigan Area, brought the message during the memorial communion service in addition to leading a Bible study during annual conference session.

Also present was Bishop Daniel Wandabula, resident bishop for the United Methodists of East Africa, whose sister was ordained.

Eight clergy retired, three were received into full connection and one was commissioned.

Pat Curtin, Robyn Hays, and Vicki Putney were elected to serve on the Joint Distributing Committee as were alternates Judy Alderman, Richard Barton, and Penni Farrington.
The committee will have power and authority to allocate the pension responsibility involved in the creation of the new Upper New York Conference, new Pennsylvania Conference, and expanded New England Conference out of the current New England, North Central New York, Troy, Western New York, and Wyoming Conferences, taking into consideration the pension responsibility involved.

A zero increase budget totaling $4,023,763.00 was adopted for 2010. The body elected Patricia A. Curtin as treasurer of the North Central New York Conference for the remainder of this quadrennium.

The annual conference directed that one Sunday in September be designated annually and observed as Christian Education Sunday and that a Christian Education Sunday Offering be received. Twenty-five percent of the offering will remain in the local church to fund education ministries locally. The remainder will be sent to the annual conference where 15 percent will fund "Violet's Garden" grants and the balance of 60 percent will be used by the conference education resource ministries team to help train and fund education ministries across the conference.

The Fabius United Methodist Church was discontinued.

Floyd "Duff" Powell and the Rev. William Mudge were named recipients of the 2009 Denman Award for Evangelism.

Members of Annual Conference raised $9,000 to send two youth on the Mission of Peace They also gave $12,326.90 to assist the ministries of the Syracuse Westside Urban Mission and the Utica Eastside Mission; support the national UMCOR warehouse at Sager Brown in Louisiana and Mission Central, the regional warehouse in Mechanicsburg, PA.; and to be used in connection with the offering of the Wyoming Annual Conference, to strengthen their partnership with Haiti.

When members of conference voted to receive an impromptu offering for the Central Conference Pensions Fund, Bishop Matthews encouraged all to "dig deep," and $5,302.07 was collected. Since the inception of the Central Conference Pension Fund, North Central New York has supported an action originally proposed in 2000 by the Rev. Robyn Hays, to donate the Cokesbury check to the Central Conference Pension Fund each year. The motion for this year's offering came upon learning there would not be a Cokesbury check due to the current economic situation.

Membership stands at 72,234 down 2,249 from the previous year. Average weekly worship attendance stands at 2,776, down 49 from the previous years. Average weekly Church school attendance stands at 14.7, down .5.

- Marilyn J. Kasperek