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2010 Yellowstone Annual Conference

June 10-13, 2010 Billings, Mont.

The forty-second session of the Yellowstone Annual Conference was held June 10-13 at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Billings, Mont. Denver Area Bishop Elaine Stanovsky presided. Bishop Jessica Crist of the Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, preached at the opening Memorial and Communion Service and was guest participant during conference sessions.

This year's conference theme was "Harvest Time: Leading Fruitful Ministries." The Roll Call registration cards showed a total of 90 clergy and 95 laypersons.

Conference 2010 officially adopted the UMC's Four Areas of Focus to guide and drive its mission and ministry over the remainder of the 2009-2012 quadrennium. The conference went on record in support of the repeal of the death penalty in three states, portions of which are embraced within Yellowstone Conference boundaries: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Beginning July 1 of this year, the 15 UM churches of the Yellowstone Conference that are located in the state of Wyoming will be served by the Rocky Mountain Conference DS who serves all the other UM churches in Wyoming, a sign of the permeable boundaries that increasingly characterize the relationships of these two conferences.

Conference members adopted a budget for the year 2011 that represents an 8.75 percent decrease from the current year's budget while committing Yellowstone to 100 percent support of general church apportionments.

In addition to Bishops Jessica Crist and Elaine Stanovsky, preachers at conference worship services included the Rev. Morias Quissico (General Board of Global Ministries), originally from Mozambique, and the Rev. David Valera (director of connectional ministries in the Pacific Northwest Conference), originally from the Philippines.

Bishop Stanovsky commissioned one male provisional member and ordained two male elders, the approximate average age of all three is 43.

The total membership of Yellowstone's churches stands at 14,279, down 550 from last year. Worship attendance stands at 7,090, up 14. Church school attendance stands at 1,476, down 204.

Bob Phelps, co-editor of Yellowstone's on-line newssheet, The YAC Connection.