2010 North Carolina Annual Conference
North Carolina Annual Conference
June 10-12, 2010, Greenville, N.C
The theme of the North Carolina Annual Conference, which met June 10-12 in Greenville, N.C., was "A Future with Hope ... Living for Jesus." Meeting one day less than previous years, one question was if all business could be completed and another question was if there would be a cost saving.
To accomplish the work in less time, several services or worship were combined and some items of business were presented together. The conference began with the combined Service of Holy Communion and All Saints Celebration. On the closing day, the Ordination, Fixing of Appointments and Sending Forth were held as one service.
All matters related to the budget were presented and discussed during the first day of conference and presented for final vote on the second day. In the previous years, some items were presented on different days, often making it difficult for members to visualize how all line items affect the overall budget.
An overview of the financial status in the denomination and the impact budget items have on the local church was presented by Christine Dodson, conference treasurer. And rather than presenting awards throughout the conference, all awards, along with the State of the Church Address, were presented the first evening.
Conference members saw photographs of the new conference headquarters in Garner, dedicated on June 6. The largest room and chapel was dedicated to the ministry of the late Dr. Sam Dixon, who died following the earthquake in Haiti.
Cashar Evans, trustee chair, reported that the $5 million building was paid for from the sale of the old headquarters in Raleigh and adjoining property. Conference offices will be closed June 21-25 while staff move to the new building. On June 28 all offices will be open in the new Garner headquarters.
Lay and clergy conference members saved about 30 percent over last year expenses for housing and meals. The conference realized a savings of about $30,000 by posting all reports and other materials on the Internet rather than printing and mailing them to members.
For the seventh year, the Insurance Committee reported that health insurance premiums, benefits and eligibility would remain the same. This was attributed to an increase in wellness and preventive care and claims being lower than anticipated. The committee cautioned the conference that an increase would likely be proposed next year
The approved conference budget was $20,345,625, an increase of $69,426 or 0.34 percent. Included in the finance report was a salary of $101,994 for district superintendents, a $639 per service year rate for retired clergy, and no change in minimum salary.
Resident Bishop Al Gwinn presided during the conference, delivered the State of the Church address and the sermon during the Ordination Service. Dr. Richard Hays, interim dean at Duke Divinity School, delivered the opening worship sermon and Dr. Tom Morris, a conference layperson and author of such books as "Philosophy for Dummies," delivered the laity address.
During the dinner break on the first day of conference, members packaged about 20,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now.
After the close of conference, members volunteered to paint and gut a kitchen for modernization at a campus ministries location, and to work on a wheel chair ramp.
In other items before the conference:
Twenty-nine clergy and spouses who have died since the last conference were remembered and 29 retiring pastors were recognized.
During the commissioning and ordination service, 21 were ordained Elders in Full Connection, two were ordained Deacons in Full Connection, nine were commissioned as Provisional Elders - Elders Track, and one was commissioned as Provisional Member - Deacons Track.
Members approved three resolutions: non-discrimination towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender individuals; endorsement of Comprehensive Immigration Reform nationally; and stopping human trafficking in North Carolina. Bishop Gwinn ruled four resolutions out of order because they would change the policy of the annual conference and should be made as motions.
During the conference, members committed a total of $375,457.39 to the Central Conference Pension Initiative, $7,933.15 to Stamp Out Malaria/Nothing But Nets, and $5,018.92 for lay ministries, primarily at annual conference.
Voted to meet next year in Raleigh, the state capital. Conference last met in Raleigh in 1965.
Membership stands at 237,495, up five from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 83,452, up 400. Church school attendance stands at 37,300, down 1,545.
NC Conference director of communications