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2012 Kentucky Annual Conference

Kentucky Annual Conference
June 11-13, Covington, Ky.

Fellowship, worship, Bible study and celebration were the hallmarks of the 2012 Kentucky Annual Conference session, held June 11-13 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky. Bishop Lindsey Davis presided over the annual conference session.

The theme of the 2012 session was "Called by Christ, Sent to Heal." The conference was a little shorter than usual, convening for just three days this year.

Prior to this year's conference, Bishop Davis and the cabinet called for the churches of the conference to receive a special mission offering to benefit two ministries that are dear to the Kentucky Conference. We collected over $70,000, which will be divided between a medical clinic at Wesleyan Seminary of Venezuela and Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker programs at Red Bird Mission and Henderson Settlement.

Bishop Davis delivered the sermon, "Sent to Heal," during opening worship. Twelve clergy and 15 spouses who died in the past year were remembered as part of the opening worship. Bishop Charlene Kammerer of the Virginia Annual Conference assisted Bishop Davis with serving Communion.

Bishop Kammerer delivered the sermon at the Service of Ordination and Commissioning, where 11 provisional members were commissioned. Seven people were ordained as elders in full connection, and three people were ordained as deacons in full connection. One person was recognized as an associate member, and one person was recognized as coming from another denomination. The average age for the ordinands was 45.8 years old, and the average age for those commissioned was 38 years old.
The conference was blessed by the outstanding leadership of several other guest speakers. The Rev. Warren Lathem preached at the Mission Celebration, and the Revs. Mark Windley and Iosmar Alverez led us in morning devotions.

The conference recognized Mr. Michael Powell and the Rev. Aaron Mansfield as Denman Award winners. Morehead United Methodist Church experienced a 14 percent growth in attendance in the Rev. Mansfield's first year as pastor.

During our time together we also:

  • Celebrated a 1,000-plus member increase in the Kentucky Conference membership as well as an increase of more than 500 in our average worship attendance and an increase of more than 1,700 in our weekly Sunday school attendance.

  • Recognized seven churches that accounted for the most professions of faith in the conference.

  • Celebrated the planting of 15 new faith communities this quadrennium, including six Hispanic and three African-American congregations. The dream is to start 40 new faith communities over the next quadrennium. People from around the conference will be trained as coaches, and the New Church Development Team will work with the districts for these church plants.

  • Recognized 16 retiring clergy in the conference and celebrated their many years of ministry.

  • Raised over $11,000 to build a kindergarten building in Honduras.

In our business portion of conference we:

  • Adopted a resolution to encourage state and local governments "to restrain exorbitant interest by establishing a cap of thirty-six (36) percent for all small loans and any other protections necessary to protect individuals from lending abuse."

  • Adopted a resolution to drop the I-word. This resolution encourages people not to use the word "illegal" to describe people.

  • Passed a recommendation from the Board of Pensions to replace the current health plan for active clergy and retirees under age 65 with a Consumer Directed Health Plan (CDHP).

  • Approved a recommendation for the distribution of earnings from the Eastern Kentucky Health Education and Welfare Fund. The recommendations were:

1. Distribute $50,000 to Board of Pensions for the Healthcare Plan.
2. Distribute $50,000 to the Board of Ordained Ministry for ministerial education in eastern Kentucky. Included in that could be funding for the Appalachia Local Pastor's School .
3. $90,000 to fund ministries in eastern Kentucky.

  • Approved six proposals dealing with the $53 million unfunded liability of the retiree health plan. The six proposals would work toward cutting this liability in half.

  • Debbie Wallace-Padgett is a candidate for the episcopacy, endorsed by the conference delegation.

More than 700 people participated in the third annual Afternoon of Service. Participants volunteered at 18 off-site locations and at least 5 locations within the Convention Center. Volunteers did landscaping and painting, visited with nursing home residents, assembled heath kits and went on prayer walks, to name a few of the projects.

The 2013 budget was established at $9 million, remaining stable at the same level as the 2012 budget. Membership stands at 151,858, up 1,036 persons from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 57,028, up 457. Church school attendance stands at 48,470, up 1738.

- Submitted by: Cathy L. Bruce, director of communications with the Kentucky Annual (regional) Conference