2010 Arkansas Annual Conference
Arkansas Annual Conference
June 6-9, Hot Springs, Ark.
The Arkansas Annual Conference, under the leadership of Bishop Charles N. Crutchfield, met June 6-9, 2010 in Hot Springs, Ark. The theme, "Imagine: Transforming the World Together," was woven throughout the gathering.
Bishop Nukulu Ntanda Ntambo from the North Katanga Conference, Democratic Republic of Congo, was the featured speaker. The close relationship between the two conferences was evident as Arkansas United Methodists presented Ntambo with $35,000 for the digging of water wells. Ntambo shared his hope that 100 wells would be dug in 100 villages in North Katanga within two years. To date, the Arkansas Conference has provided support for 26 wells. The wells now cost $8,000 per well. The funds presented to Ntambo will allow four additional wells to be constructed.
Crutchfield's episcopal address focused on the need for the church in Arkansas to take a wilderness walk of faith to discern Gods plan for the conference in changing times. This message was also shared by Rev. Gil Rendle, consultant to the conference and adviser to the Imagine Ministry task force. The task force was created by Crutchfield last year to examine the state of the church, gather data and input from every local congregation and to bring recommendations for 21st century ministry to the 2011 Annual Conference gathering.
The conference adopted a resolution for churches to evaluate their environmental impact of facilities, determine their carbon footprints and to work toward institutional sustainability practices to reduce their carbon footprint.
A second resolution was adopted for the people and churches in Arkansas to extend hospitality to those who are strangers and immigrants. The resolution was amended so to ensure that churches remain within the bounds of state and federal immigration laws.
Crutchfield commissioned seven into the ministry of elder, ordained 15 elders and one deacon received into full membership and recognized one associate member. Thirteen people retired from ministry. Membership at the end of 2009 stood at 136,223, down 1,757 (1.27%) from 2008. Worship attendance stood at 54,529, down 245 (.45%) from 2008. Sunday school attendance stood at 21,918, down 4,497 (17.02%) from 2008.
The conference adopted a 2011 budget of just over $14 million.
-Martha Taylor, Director of Communications