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2013 Kansas West Annual Conference

May 22-24, Hutchinson, Kan.

The Kansas West Annual Conference met May 22-24 for its final regular session under the leadership of Bishop Scott J. Jones. The theme was "Moving Forward/Looking Back."

The conference celebrated its history from 1968-2014 throughout the session with a walk-through display, presentation of an historic quilt with ties to the conference, videos and a printed timeline brochure that was distributed.

The conference celebrated camping, campus ministry and church development projects funded through the conference's capital campaign, Bridges to the Future and its participation in the Imagine No Malaria campaign. As of May 1, 96 of the conference's churches raised $83,472.87 for the initiative since joining the campaign in 2012.

Members of the Great Plains Transition Team presented the draft plan of organization to conference members and took questions on the plan. Members also participated in facilitated table conversations about aspects of the plan. The transition team will review the information collected at a meeting later in June and work to prepare another draft of the plan for consideration at the Uniting Conference, Aug. 22-24 in Salina, Kan.

The conference adopted resolutions determining the fate of funds left in conference accounts at the end of 2013, recognizing clergy and laity for their ministries, and encouraging local churches to observe Red Ribbon Week in October. The conference also voted on four amendments to the United Methodist constitution. The results were not presented.

Bishop Jones commissioned 3 into the ministry of elder, received one into associate membership, ordained two deacons received into full membership, and ordained 7 elders received into full membership. The average age of those ordained elder and received into full membership is 40.4; and ordained deacon and full members is 35. Eleven retired from ministry.

Membership stands at 78,358, down 930 from 2011. Worship attendance stands at 30,089, down 636 from 2011. Church School attendance stands at 11,088, down 506 from 2011.

- Lisa Elliott Diehl, Kansas Area communications director