2010 Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference
Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference
June 10-12, 2010, Princess Anne, Md.
"Reach Out to Serve" was the theme of the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference, held June 10-12 at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland. Bishop Peggy A. Johnson of the Philadelphia Area presided at the 226th session since the first Methodist conference convened on the Delmarva Peninsula. The theme reflected an ongoing emphasis on "healthy churches" engaged in making disciples.
Members affirmed The United Methodist Church's position favoring health care and insurance for all people. They made a commitment to ministry with the deaf and hard of hearing and set up a committee to promote funding for such ministries. They also voted to reach out more aggressively to persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers. A similar action promoted great concern for persons with mental illness and their families. International health was on the agenda in the form of continuing promotion of the United Methodist anti-malaria campaign. Peninsula-Delaware has to date given $105,000 to the Nothing But Nets campaign to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa.
The conference asked congregations to study "God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action," the pastoral Letter on poverty and disease, environmental issues, and violence and weapons. Local churches also were asked to study and advance Christian unity. A youth mission project to pack 10,000 UMCOR kits-school, health, and cleaning-was announced. A partnership between the conference and the Central Congo received renewed emphasis. Offerings went to support the Congo partnership, central conference pensions, Volunteers in Mission, and the work of the Board of the Ordained Ministry.
Conference and general church apportionments for 2011 will be held at the 2010 level of $5,752,290, partly because of a steep rise in clergy health premiums for next year. The conference in 2009 paid 100 percent of its World Service and general church apportionments for the 28th consecutive year. Achieving a balanced budget in 2011 will require significant reduction in allocations from the conference for district expenditures and no increases in minimum compensation levels. A resolution noted that the minimum compensation in the conference is among the lowest in the connection-$31,814 for a full elder-and asked that steps be made to work toward bringing the levels up to jurisdictional averages. The conference has some 300 active pastors serving some 490 local churches.
Peninsula-Delaware ordained 11 new elders and commissioned five provisional elders. Seven pastors retired. The memorial service honored 17 clergy, spouses, or surviving spouses who died during the past year.
Special preachers during the conference include Ray Buckley, interim director of the Center for Native American Spirituality and Christian Study in Palmer, Alaska, and the Rev. Fred Allen, director of Strengthening the Black Church of the 21st Century. The Rev. Lawrence H. Stookey, a retired professor of Wesley Theological Seminary, and his daughter, Sarah Stookey Kelly, led the study on the Letter to the Philippians. Johnson preached at the service or ordination.
Conference membership at the end of 2009 stood at 88,902, down 899 from the previous year.