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2013 South Germany Annual Conference

South German Annual Conference
June 12 -16, Oberursel and Karlsruhe, Germany

Theme: "What Do You Believe?"

The 11th South Germany Annual Conference gathered June 12-16 in Oberursel und Karlsruhe with Germany Episcopal Area Bishop Rosemarie Wenner presiding. Participants focused on the theme - "What Do You Believe?" - several times during the conference.

In the opening worship service, Pastor Barry Sloan, director of evangelism, preached on Acts 2:42 and emphasized that in the early church, fellowship and the teaching of sound doctrine went hand in hand. The teachings of the Bible, according to Sloan, do not just want to give us information; they also want to change us as individuals and as churches.

On Friday afternoon, we heard from six speakers, who presented different denominations and beliefs. We heard from a Muslim, an atheist, a pastor from the Korean church, a Catholic, a Methodist and someone from the German state church. In the group discussion that followed, we discussed how we could engage in dialogue with the different groups.

Another theme at this conference was the appointment system of the Methodist Church. The superintendents of our church presented a paper and discussed the strengths and problems of this system. The paper stressed that many interests are in conflict when an appointment is made and that these interests cannot all receive equal consideration. The superintendents ask for trust as the cabinet tries to consider all factors when making appointments. In other business, the conference voted to continue funding the adult education program, "Essen & Mehr" ("Food and More"), even if the government stops subsidizing the program.

The conference honored five retiring ministers this year and ordained two women as ministers.

Statistics:

Membership (confessing members), 16,462, down 186 members or 1.13 percent

Baptized members, 13,392

--Dr. Jonathan Whitlock, conference communicator