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2010 East Ohio Annual Conference

2010 East Ohio Annual Conference Summary
June 14-17; Lakeside, Ohio

Members of the East Ohio Annual Conference came together in a time of confession, prayer, hope and healing. The 41st session was held at Lakeside, Ohio, on June 14-17 with Bishop John Hopkins presiding.

Featured speakers included Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Annual Conference; the Rev. Dan Bogre of GPS, a new worship service at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights; the Rev. Orlando Chaffee, North Coast District Superintendent and Dr. Scott Morris, the founder and executive director of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tenn. Dr. Morris is also the associate minister at St. John's United Methodist Church.

Bishop John Hopkins challenged the members of the East Ohio Annual Conference to turn the church inside out as he reminded the members of the children's rhyme, "This is the church, this is the steeple."

"When I was a child, I learned that my fingers were to be folded inside, meaning that the people of church were inside," he said. Claiming that the church can no longer afford to wait for people to come to the building, the people inside must take the faith to the people.

Preschoolers Sarah Jones and Atticus Stultz-Costello joined Hopkins on stage to teach the conference members the rhyme with new motions showing all the people outside the building.

"Have a heart for people who need hope and healing in your local community and around the world by building relationships. Believe in people because we know God believes in them," Hopkins said.

The conference members adopted the following resolutions:

  • Hope and Healing through Multicultural and Differing Abilities Acceptance
    This resolution calls churches to bring hope and healing in response to exclusivity and discrimination. It calls for greater awareness concerning diversity with development of ministries and to share these issues for the next three years with the compass groups.

  • Youth Led Worship
    This resolution asks that church offer youth the opportunity to have an annual youth-led worship service.

  • Rural Life Sunday
    This resolution asks that the conference designate the Sunday before the Ohio State Fair to celebrate Rural Life Sunday.

  • Youth Leader Contact Information
    This resolution asks that churches provide contact information for a youth leader in order to be informed about conference events.

A resolution asking the General Board of Church and Society to end its lobbying for government funded abortion and to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice was not approved.

After maintaining a flat budget for the last six years, the conference approved a $12, 168,020 budget for 2011, a decrease of 3 percent. Additional conference business included:

  • The ordination of 10 elders and recognition of 20 clergy who retired.

  • A challenge collection for missions totaled $40,356.74.

  • Donations totaling $7,562.75 will be divided equally among Global Health Initiatives, Conference Health Initiatives and the Bishop's Discretionary Fund.

  • 5,700 health kits, 600 school kits and nearly 500 cleaning buckets along with monetary donations of $3,574.00 were collected for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center.

The conference celebrated the fund raising efforts of two children, Logan Martens and Molly McNamara, who in 3 years have donated more than $7,000 to Nothing But Nets and Imagine No Malaria by selling organic lemonade during the conference.

Membership stands at 163,815 down 2.9 percent over the previous year while worship attendance stands at 66,799, up 4 percent over the previous year.

-Kay Panovec,
Director of communications