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2013 Kentucky Annual Conference

Kentucky Annual Conference
June 10-12, Covington, Ky.
Theme: "Reach the World, Thriving Faith Communities"

The Kentucky Annual Conference met June 10 -12, in Covington, Ky., at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Theme for the 2013 conference was "Reach the World, Thriving Faith Communities." Bishop Lindsey Davis presided.

Conference began with the Opening Worship and Service of Remembrance. Bishop Davis provided words of welcome, retired bishop Al Gwinn preached the sermon, "And Are We Yet Alive?" Seventeen clergy and seventeen spouses who died in the past year were remembered as part of the service. The service ended with Bishop Gwinn and Bishop Paul Leeland assisting Bishop Davis in serving Communion.

On Monday night, Bishop Davis presided over the Service of Commissioning and Ordination. Nine persons were ordained elders in full connection, and one was ordained as a deacon in full connection. Six were commissioned as provisional elders, and one was commissioned as a provisional deacon. Bishop Leeland gave the evening sermon and the Rev. Jerry Cappel, an Episcopal priest, provided ecumenical representation.

Tuesday morning began with morning devotion led by Conference Lay Leader, Lew Nicholls. Nicholls shared about his "Encounters with God," times in his life when he most needed God's peace, comfort and strength.

Tuesday morning was also a time of celebrating the service of eight retiring clergypersons in the conference. Bishop Gwinn preached the sermon, "Installed for Eternity," and representatives from the retiring class symbolically passed the mantle to representatives of the newly ordained class.

Tuesday afternoon brought us to the 4th installment of our Afternoon of Service. Over 900 United Methodist volunteers registered to serve at one of 47 projects, including a blood drive, landscaping, assembling health kits and many other opportunities to serve throughout the Covington area. New to our Afternoon of Service was the potato drop. The potato drop brought together not only volunteers from our membership but volunteers from other area churches, including a Baptist Church from the Covington area; employees from area hotels that we support during conference, and employees from the Northern Kentucky Visitor and Convention Bureau to bag and distribute over 40,000 pounds of sweet potatoes.

Tuesday night we gathered back at the convention center for our Mission Night Celebration. During the service, the Revs. Jamie and Lisa Williams were consecrated as missionaries of the UMC during the Mission Celebration. Jamie and Lisa are serving in the Belize/Honduras District of the UMC.

Bishop Leeland preached and the UNITY3N1 Mime Team from Coke Memorial in Louisville presented the scripture, Isaiah 61:1-2a through music.

The night's mission offering, contributed by congregations throughout the Annual Conference, will benefit Imagine No Malaria. Bishop Davis and the cabinet set a goal of $100,000 and the generous people of the Kentucky Annual Conference exceeded that goal and raised over $108,000.

The body also tended to the business of the Kentucky Conference. A report from the New Church Development team announced the intention of starting 40 new churches this quadrennium.Harry Denman Evangelism awards were also presented to Iosmar Alvarez (clergy), Mark Ray (laity) and Chloe Mitchell (youth). Iosmar Alvarez also accepted the award for "Most Professions of Faith" on behalf of his congregation, Fuente de Avivamiento, which had 103 professions of faith throughout the last year. We celebrated Thriving Faith Communities throughout the conference and heard about exciting relocation plans for our Versailles campus of the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children and Youth.

The 2014 budget was established at $9,134,067, an increase of $134,067 over the 2013 budget. Membership stands at 152,224, up 363 persons from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 56,315, down 366. Church school membership stands at49,379, up 909 people.

--Cathy L. Bruce, director of communications, Kentucky Annual Conference