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2013 Southwest Texas Annual Conference

Southwest Texas Conference
June 6-9, Corpus Christi, Texas

Officiating bishop: Bishop Jim Dorff

Guest speakers: the Rev. Jaime Clark-Soles, associate professor of New Testament at Perkins School of Theology; the Rev. John McMullen, retired clergy, Southwest Texas Conference; the Rev. Jasmine Smothers, associate director of Connectional Ministries of the North Georgia Conference.

Memorable points or quotes by speakers:

"Love and unity are a sign of God's presence," Clark-Soles said. "They will know we are Christians by our love. Unity is a gift from God. Unity is possible only if we depend on Jesus, who wills this very thing for us." -Rev. Jaime Clark-Soles

"You are laying down the life of the Southwest Texas Conference for the sake of your Río Grande Conference friends, and you're doing so as equals," Clark-Soles said. "Even though you are four times the size of the Río Grande Conference in the makeup, the power structure will be 50/50. I think that takes courage, and that is not the way the world teaches us to be. The world teaches it is better to cling to power and dominate and alienate rather than share power to create and liberate. This is laying down a life in order to take it back up again in a more glorious fashion."

"I wonder what might be some of the grieving for the Southwest Texas Conference," Clark-Soles said. "I'm thinking it might be owning your own long-standing sense of identity. A 150-plus-year history, that's huge.

"Grieving, this kind, means giving up the way it's always been done. There is a loss of a sense of familiarity. The question becomes how can we move from that grief toward hope? That's a day in, day out question."

  • Main actions enacted by the conference: Closed a church, Genesis Center in Victoria
  • Resolutions adopted by the conference: None
  • Number of people ordained, commissioned or received into associate membership and average age: 26, average age 46
  • Number of people retired: 26
  • Membership stands at 117,045, down 1,688 from the previous year.
  • Worship attendance stands at 45,993, down 619.
  • Church school attendance stands at 54,720, down 2,092.

- Thomas Monahan, director of communications, Southwest Texas Conference