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2011 Rocky Mountain Annual Conference

Rocky Mountain Annual Conference
June 16-19, 2011, Denver

The Rocky Mountain Annual Conference gathered with the theme, "Harvesting Hospitality:
God's Kingdom at the Doorstep," June 16-19 at Denver Tech Center. Conference focused on the need for our denomination to seek out and practice acts of radical hospitality toward those living on the margins of society. The conference was honored to welcome the Rev. Rudy Rasmus, who gave the keynote address. He asked the audience to engage in the ministry of unconditional love and acceptance.

In the episcopal address, Bishop Elaine Stanovsky challenged the conference to work to create a culture of accountability, experimentation, and call for the upcoming year. In line with those sentiments, the bishop asked the conference to journey with her on a path of reconciliation for the atrocities committed against the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes by our Methodist ancestors at the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864, noting the upcoming 150th anniversary of the event.

The conference unveiled its new initiative, New Places for New People, aimed at creating supplemental funds for new church starts within the conference. The conference was able to pledge $22,930 per year for the next four years to go toward new church plants.

Conference participated in covenant groups throughout the weekend, returning to its Wesleyan heritage of connection and accountability. The small groups met three times over the course of the weekend, filling the entire event center with the sounds of heartfelt conversation and famous Methodist choruses.

The session closed with the ordination service featuring a rousing message from Bishop Stanovsky. She commented on the United Methodist history of finding and opening doors that were often considered impossible ventures.

For General Conference, the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference approved all petitions eliminating discriminatory language about homosexuality from The Book of Discipline. Also approved was the amendment concerning the "Prohibition of Bullying" in The Book of Resolutions.

Within the conference, the body approved the Safe Sanctuary policy for all conference and district events. The conference also passed legislation aimed at addressing immigration ministries within the local church and created a special offering for Hispanic Ministry.

We celebrate and honor the one deacon and three elders ordained at conference.
We celebrate and honor the delegates for 2012.

Clergy delegates elected to General Conference were: Brad Laurvick, Jessica Rooks and Trudy Robinson. Clergy delegates elected to Jurisdictional Conference were: Joel Kershaw, Eric Smith, Walter, "Skip" Strickland, Charles Schuster, Sione Tukutau, Bob Kaylor and Kent Ingram. Clergy alternates elected were: Carolyn Waters, Marv Vose and Emily Earnshaw. Lay delegates elected to General Conference were: Judy Hill, Kunle Taiwo and Diana J. Huerta.

Lay delegates elected to Jurisdictional Conference were: Gary Dyer, Philip Cardin, Elaine M. Johnson, U Kyaw Win, Rachel Marston, Mary Ann Tabor and Martha Conant. Lay
Alternates elected were: Doug Palmer, Brenda Moland and Dave Bates.

Membership stands at 65,847, up 68 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 31,136, up 238. Church school attendance stands at 15,707, up 145.
Confirmation class attendance stands at 730, up 37. The number of people reported touched by a ministry of outreach, justice and mercy stands at 198,079, up 46,511.

-Matthew Graham and Walter "Skip" Strickland, Rocky Mountain Annual Conference