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2010 California-Pacific Annual Conference

California-Pacific Annual Conference
June 17-20; Redlands, Calif.

More than 1,700 laity and clergy from across Southern California, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan gathered at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif., for the 2010 California-Pacific Annual Conference. This year's theme continued the conference's vision "To Be the Cup Overflowing," with this year focusing on new ministries, one of the denominational Four Areas of Focus.

During opening worship, Bishop Mary Ann Swenson proclaimed, "We come in the spirit of Jesus Christ to order the life of our church." She told those gathered, "I am still hopeful and my hope is fueled by your faithfulness."

This was the 26th annual conference session of the California-Pacific Annual Conference, which was created out of the Pacific and Southwest Annual Conference. This session marks the 159th session since the organization of The Pacific Conference in 1851, the oldest of the merging annual conferences.

The conference welcomed the Rev. Eun Pa Hong, senior pastor of Bupyeong Methodist Church of Korea. Bupyeong has a membership of approximately 4,000 adults and 2,200 children. Hong led the annual conference in traditional Korean Tongsung Kido morning prayer each day at 5:45 a.m. At his church in South Korea, average morning prayer attendance is 4,200. "The early church gathered together to pray," Hong said. "When we are obedient to be in prayer, God will work," he added.

During the 2009 annual conference session, a motion was approved to devote a significant amount of time on the agenda for United Methodist gay and lesbian families to share their stories with the annual conference. Seven different presentations titled "Telling Our Stories" were received during plenary sessions. The speakers represented a range of ages and included married couples and long time partners; clergy and laity; gay, straight and transgender; family members; men and women.

The conference voted to establish five essential ministry teams to carry out the work of the annual conference.The vote commenced a yearlong process in which 48 existing conference boards, committees and agencies, will come together around leadership, new ministries, justice, resources and "the ministry of navigation." The result of this process will be a proposal to the 2011 Annual Conference, which will detail the responsibilities, membership, staffing and accountability for each team.

Members adopted a 2011 apportionment budget of $12,471,668, representing a 3.31 percent decrease from 2010.

More than 175 youth participated in the annual Youth Day with the theme, "Greater Things Have Yet to Come," based on Romans 10:14-15.

During the service of commissioning, ordination, and sending forth, Swenson welcomed Bishop Murray Finck, bishop of the Pacifica Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which includes 127 congregations and more than 60,000 baptized members in Southern California and Hawaii.

During the 17th annual conference missionary luncheon, the conference was presented a plaque from The Advance for the highest amount of designated giving and highest amount of missionary support in 2009 in the Western Jurisdiction of the UnitedMethodistChurch.

In other business, conference members:

  • Collected offerings: UMCOR for Southern US storm relief, and Haiti and Chile earthquakes, $4,404; Seraphim Manor, providing safe sanctuary, education and housing aid to victims of domestic abuse in Southern California $2,688; Tongan ministry$447; Youth Service Fund, $1,795; United Methodist projects in Tanzania being sponsored by the Pasadena District $5,384; and, new ministries of Leadership in El Salvador $3,262;

  • Passed a resolution titled, "Welcoming the Sojourner," in support of Bishop Minerva Carcano and the leadership of the Desert Southwest Conference in their opposition to Arizona's recent immigration legislation; and,

  • Passed a resolution making the development of Hispanic Ministries a priority of the annual conference.

During the conference session:

  • Bishop Swenson ordained seven elders in full connection; commissioned 10 as probationary elders, ordained one deacon in full connection, and commissioned four as probationary deacons; and

  • Celebrated the retirement of 18 active clergy.

Membership stands at 81,194, down 2,173 from the previous year.Worship attendance stands at 48,584, down 309 from the previous year.Church school attendance stands at 12,364, down 410.

Dr. Larry R. Hygh Jr.,
Director of Communications