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2011 Kansas East Annual Conference

Kansas East Annual Conference
June 8-11, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kan.

Under the leadership of Bishop Scott J. Jones, the conference theme was "The Church United: Creating Community...Cultivating Connections." The theme continued the conference's emphasis on each of the four areas of focus identified by the General Conference in 2008.

The Rev. Gil Rendle, senior consultant with the Texas Methodist Foundation Institute for Clergy and Congregational Excellence and consultant to the Nebraska-Kansas Episcopal Area Transition Team, was the featured speaker.

Lay delegates elected to General Conference include Luke Wetzel, Olathe, and Oliver Green, Topeka. Clergy delegates to General Conference are the Rev. Adam Hamilton, Leawood, and the Rev. Rena Yocum, Edgerton. Hamilton will head the delegation. Lay delegates to Jurisdictional Conference include Courtney Fowler, Manhattan, and Bryce Bowers, Baldwin City. Clergy delegates to Jurisdictional Conference are the Rev. Gary Beach, Manhattan, and the Rev. Eduardo Bousson, Topeka.

Members of the Kansas East Conference participated in a five-finger ballot to test support for creating one new annual conference of the Nebraska, Kansas East and Kansas West conferences. Members in Kansas East were overwhelmingly in favor of moving forward with creating the new annual conference, with 90 percent of members expressing support. A formal vote is expected at conference sessions in 2012.

The conference adopted a spending plan of $5.062 million for 2012 and endorsed two resolutions for General Conference asking for changes in the language in the Book of Discipline related to homosexuality.

Jones commissioned nine into the ministry of elder or deacon, and ordained five elders received into full connection. The average age of those being ordained is 55. Eleven retired from ministry.

Membership stands at 70,796, down 378 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 30,725, down 1,158. Church school attendance stands at10,770, up 82 from 2009.

Lisa Elliott Diehl, area communications director