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2012 Rio Grande Annual Conference

Rio Grande Annual Conference
June 14-16, 2012
San Antonio, Texas

Southwest Texas Conference: 813-Yes 87%, 111-No 11.9%, 11-Abstain 1.1%

Rio Grande Conference: 142-Yes 75%, 47-No 24.87%, 2-Abstain 0.13%

The mandate to unify will next be presented to the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in mid-July seeking permission to enter into a process of designing and developing the new conference for completion no later than 2016.

During the past conference year, the Unification Steering Team a group comprised of leaders from both annual conferences, developed the action plan inviting the two Episcopal area conferences to consider how a "new bold conference" might best reach those persons not yet in our churches.

While standard statistical reporting reflected decreases, various reports and presentations from the District Superintendents and the Common Table reflected an increase of local church outreach ministries and missional engagement throughout the conference and particularly in the urban and Texas / Mexico border areas.

The ministry of the clergy was celebrated during a joint Service of Retirement and Ordination as well as the Communion and Memorial service.

Retiring clergy honored were Alvaro Guzman, Alicia Tovar, Alejandro Hinajosa, and Gloria Salazar. Bishop Jim Dorff and Bishop Joel N. Martinez jointly celebrated the ordinations of Julio Valenzuela, Lorenza Andrade Smith, Zhenya GurinaRodriguez, and Nohemí V. Ramirezas Elders in Full Connection. Rev. Dr. Roy D. Barton and Rev. Gregorio Valenzuela were memorialized as accounts of their ministry contributions to the Rio Grande Conference and The United Methodist Church were commemorated.

Primary business items were:

  • The Commission on Equitable Compensation presented an 8% minimum salary increase for 2013. It is hoped that this would be a first step to help move the conference to have a comparable minimum salary as the sister conferences it overlaps over the quadrennium.

  • Delegates approved a total budget of $1,373,891, of which $736,269 is apportioned to the local churches, an increase apportioned amount of $61,147 from the previous year.

The annual conference agreed to return to University United Methodist Church, San Antonio for the 2013 annual conference, June 13-15.

Conference membership stands at 13,563, down 282 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 4,480, down 117. Church school attendance stands at 1,801, down 148.

- Abel Vega, Jr., Director of Connectional Ministries