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2009 Yellowstone Annual Conference

Yellowstone Annual Conference
June 11-13, 2009 Billings, Mont.

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky presided over the 41st Session of the Yellowstone Annual Conference, her first experience in that role since election to the episcopacy. Delegates had been invited to bring to conference supplies from their churches for health kits which were then delivered to the new UMCOR West Center in Salt Lake City. They also had been urged to arrive in Billings a day early in order to work on community service projects at the city's Food Bank and a Habitat for Humanity site. The mission focus continued throughout the conference.

Special offerings were received for the UMCOR West center, for the conference's Angola partnership, initiated by previous Bishop Warner Brown, and for the Central Conference Pension Initiative. In recent history, the Cokesbury pension check to Yellowstone had averaged $2,000. A special offering for the initiative at conference this year amounted to $2,072 which the Board of Pension has pledged to match.

In aggregate votes, the Constitutional Amendments were largely approved overwhelmingly, showing Yellowstone's general desire to be part of a worldwide church. The most opposition was registered against Numbers 2, 17, 15, and 19.

The position of a new part-time Youth Ministry Coordinator was established, a new Youth Ministry Team was organized, and Sue King was elected as Director of Connectional Ministries, a position which had been vacant for the preceding conference year. The projected 2010 Conference budget represents a 1.94 percent decrease over the current year.

According to the statistician's report, as of Dec. 31, '08, Yellowstone showed a membership of 14,279, compared with 14,833 the previous year. Conference attendance: 93 laity, 99 clergy.

-Bob Phelps