2011 Louisiana Annual Conference
Louisiana Annual Conference
June 5-8, Centenary College, Shreveport, La.
More than 1,000 United Methodists from around the state gathered for the 2011 annual conference.
"With the Poor" was the theme for this year's event, supporting the denominational focus of "Ministry with the Poor." Galatians 2:10 served as the inspirational Scripture. Worship services, which included ordination/commissioning, a memorial/communion service and a Tuesday night "Love Feast," centered on serving the poor, inclusion and "drawing the circle wide."
The concern for eliminating worldwide poverty was woven throughout the conference, particularly as delegates reflected on the May 14 conference-wide "Day of Caring" that coincided with the denomination's "Change the World" initiative. More than 210 United Methodist churches statewide participated in a variety of poverty-related outreach programs that day.
Participants celebrated the conference's recognition by the denomination as having the largest number of local churches participating in the "Change the World" event of all conferences worldwide.
Special offerings taken at this year's session emphasized the elimination of global poverty. The offering from Tuesday night's "Love Feast" was designated for ministry with the poor, with each congregation sharing a financial commitment toward ministry that will be expended in 2011-12. The total, which is still growing, is more than $1.2 million.
Food items were also collected and donated to a Shreveport food bank. An offering from the delegates attending the Sunday night memorial service garnered $6,291 to be used in the United Methodist Committee on Relief response to the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan.
The Rev. Tom Hazelwood of UMCOR and the Rev. Darryl Tate, director of the Louisiana United Methodist Disaster Response Ministry, celebrated the conclusion of conference response to the hurricanes of 2005 and 2008.
Two persons were ordained elder in full connection with the conference, and two individuals were ordained as deacon in full connection. Two elders were brought into full connection by having their orders recognized from another denomination. Five were commissioned as probationary elders, and one was commissioned as probationary deacon. Twenty-one retirees were honored during the Wednesday morning "Passing of the Mantle" service.
Marcia McFee, who is guiding the 2012 General Conference worship committee, served as worship consultant and leader for the session. Guest preacher was the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, who serves as senior pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in southwest Florida. His congregation focuses on outreach to the poor and persons in recovery.
Delegates elected for the 2012 General Conference include the following laity: Dr. Sarah Kreutziger, New Orleans; Buzzy Anding, Baton Rouge; Olivia Pruett, Sulphur; Pete Aguila, Baton Rouge; and Carolyn Dove, Many. Clergy delegates are the Revs. Ellen Alston, Alexandria; Andy Goff, New Orleans; Pat Day, Shreveport; Larry Miller, Baton Rouge; and Bernie Johnson, Baton Rouge. Alston heads the delegation.
Delegates elected for Jurisdictional Conference include the following laity: Edna Hickman, Baton Rouge; Dr. Terrel DeVille, Ruston; Rachel Scott, Shreveport; Tim Hebert, Houma; and Rob Fairly, Baton Rouge. Lay Alternates are Dr. Anita Crump, New Orleans, and Henry Stamper, Baton Rouge. Clergy delegates are the Revs. Katie McKay Simpson, Baton Rouge; Fred Wideman, Baton Rouge; Don Avery, Shreveport; Ramona Lynn Bethley, New Orleans; and Larry Stafford, Monroe. Clergy Alternates are Juan Huertas, Baton Rouge, and Lynn Malone, Ruston.
Membership stands at 120,910, up 257 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 41,036, down 610. Church school attendance stands at 16,410, down 349.
To view the episcopal address and the lay leader's address and view Facebook coverage of the conference, visit www.la-umc.org
--Betty Backstrom, director of communications, Louisiana Annual Conference