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2012 Kansas East Annual Conference

Kansas East Annual Conference met June 6-9 at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., under the leadership of Bishop Scott J. Jones. The theme was "The Church United: Working for Wellness" continuing the conference's emphasis on each of the four areas of focus identified by the General Conference in 2008.

Featured speakers for the conference were Rev. Dr. G. Scott Morris, founder of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tenn., and Rev. Cynthia Harvey, deputy general secretary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Morris spoke about addressing health issues in the United States and Harvey focused on addressing health globally.

The annual conference kicked off participation in the Imagine No Malaria fundraising campaign and announced a goal of 100-percent local church participation in the campaign by the end of 2013.

The conference celebrated camping, campus ministry and church development projects funded through the conference's capital campaign.

Members of the Kansas East Conference voted June 7 on a motion to create one new annual conference with the Kansas East and Nebraska annual conferences. In simultaneous announcements live-streamed June 9 from the Kansas East and Nebraska annual conference sessions, Jones and Nebraska Bishop Ann Sherer-Simpson reported the vote had passed. Kansas East cast 478 votes, with 415 yes votes, 62 no votes and 1 abstention.

Conference members adopted a resolution setting Wichita as the location for the episcopal residence and office for the new Great Plains Episcopal Area through 2016.

The conference adopted a budget of $5,072,714 for 2013. This represents a .2-percent increase over the budget for 2012. The conference also adopted a petition to continue raising funds for the Ethnic Minority Church Endowment until the fund reaches $750,000 through special askings; directing the conference's Board of Church and Society to develop a faith and science curriculum for the local church, and a petition to discontinue the conference's Commissioned Lay Speaker program in favor of the Certified Lay Minister program.

Bishop Jones commissioned five into the ministry of elder or deacon, welcomed two into associate members, and ordained seven elders received into full connection. The average age of those being elected to full membership is 42. Eight retired from ministry.

Membership stands at 69,955, down 841 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 30,689, down 36 from the previous year. Church school attendance stands at 10,574, down 196 from 2010. Lisa Elliott Diehl, area communications director