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2011 Yellowstone Annual Conference

It happened this year at annual conference...

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 services 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 in attendance.

Conference 2010 officially adopted the UMC's Four Areas of Focus to guide and drive our 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 the three states, which have portions within the Yellowstone conference boundaries: Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Beginning July 1 of this year, the 15 Wyoming United Methodist churches, which are part of the Yellowstone Conference, will be served by a Rocky Mountain Conference district superintendent who serves all the other United Methodist churches in Wyoming. This will be a sign of the permeable boundaries that increasingly characterize the relationships of the two annual conferences that constitute the Denver Area.

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, originally from Mozambique, and The Rev. David Valera, originally from the Philippines.

Bishop Stanovsky commissioned one provisional member and ordained two elders. The approximate average age of all three was 43.

The total membership of Yellowstone's churches stands at 14,279, down 550 from last year. Worship attendance stands at 7090, up 14. Church school attendance stands at 1476, down 204.

Bob Phelps, co-editor of The YAC Connection.