2013 North Texas Annual Conference
North Texas Annual Conference
June 2-4, First United Methodist Church, Richardson, Texas
The 2013 annual conference of the North Texas Conference was interactive and productive. The meeting's move from a local civic center to a local church was well received by the 1,500 voters. The structure and flow of the annual gathering was transformed from report after report, to musical presentations and breaks for fun, in which delegates sailed paper airplanes into moving plastic kiddie pools.
Episcopal leader Michael McKee invited the annual conference to imagine the unimaginable. He gave them four goals to aim for:
- Imagine if each of us convened a guided conversation with parents and teenagers so that parents could tell their story of Jesus to their teenagers
- Imagine if 10,000 United Methodists in the North Texas Conference gave up one meal a week during Lent 2014 and donated that money to help eradicate hunger or poverty in their area
- Imagine if every church established a relationship with a public school and supported that school with volunteers, readers and mentors
- Imagine if each one of us worshipped this year at one of our new church starts; and let the church planter know you are coming as a prayer ambassador from your church
A strong emphasis on reaching young persons was a part of the conference. Princeton's Kendra Creasy Dean led North Texans into new water concerning the state of young Christians. "Moralistic therapeutic deism" describes a watered-down version of Christianity that lots of young people have, according to Dean. "They believe that being a Christian means being nice, being happy and God stays out of the way - unless needed. We can't condemn them for it because they got it from us," she explained.
In a bold move, plans were announced to eradicate poverty in two ZIP codes of the annual conference. The Center for Missional Outreach will begin efforts to end extreme asset poverty in two ZIP codes within the North Texas region. These ZIP codes represent the highest percentage of extreme asset poverty per capita. They are an urban ZIP code 75215 in south Dallas, and 75426 in Red River County found in East Texas.
There were two major legislative moves.
The North Texas Annual Conference voted to elect delegates to the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences at the 2014 meeting, as permitted in the 2012 Book of Discipline, para. 502.3.
Secondly, the Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) and the Committee on Religion and Race were reinstated and defined by name, function, connection and membership. This was done in accordance with the Judicial Council Decision 1225 dated Oct. 27, 2012.
- The Rev. Sheron C. Patterson, communication's officer for the North Texas Conference