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2014 East Ohio Annual Conference


June 16-19, 2014 at Lakeside Chautauqua in Marblehead, Ohio

Name of conference: East Ohio         

Location of conference gathering: Lakeside Chautauqua in Marblehead, Ohio

Dates of conference gathering: June 16-19

Members in Attendance: 1,527 (732 clergy, 795 laity)

Officiating bishop: Bishop John L. Hopkins

Theme: “Jesus Is Calling Us In”

Guest speakers: Bishop Janice Riggle Huie

                          The Rev. Dr. Kenda Dean

                          The Rev. Dr. Rock Jones

  The Rev. Solomon Hill

                          The Rev. Janelle Kurtz

Memorable points or quotes by speakers:

“You can’t be a Christian alone. It’s being called into a community of faith that forms us and shapes us.” — Bishop John Hopkins

“Let’s get the theology straight first: Young people do not save the Church; only Jesus Christ saves the Church.” — The Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean

Number of people ordained this year — 15 (13 elders, 2 deacons)

Average age of the ordinands is 39 years old

Number of people commissioned this year — 5 (all elders)

Average age of those commissioned is 41 years old

Number of people retired this year — 28

Membership stands at 154,725 — down 3,525 from the previous year.

Average weekly worship attendance stands at 59,950 — down 1,346 from the previous year.

Church school attendance stands at 17,837 — down 1,327 from the previous year.

Professions of faith stand at 2,219 — down 243 from the previous year.

Baptisms stand at 1,793 – down 93 from the previous year.

Resolutions introduced during annual conference:

Resolution 2014-01

Promoting Justice and Peace in the Holy Land through Divestment and Boycott
This resolution asks that that the East Ohio Annual Conference work on implementing two related requests:  that the actions from the 2012 General Conference, and the actions from the 2009 Kairos Palestine Document be observed.  The 2012 United Methodist General Conference Resolution ¶6111, Opposition to Israeli Settlements on Palestinian Land, calls “on all nations to prohibit any financial support by individuals or organizations for the construction and maintenance of settlements; and also to prohibit the import of products made by companies in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.” There are nonviolent opportunities, (a) using thoughtful divestment — the process of selling an asset to further a goal, and (b) using thoughtful boycotts – to refuse to buy a product as a way of expressing strong disapproval.

Submitted by Martha E. Banks, delegate for Canal District United Methodist Women and supported by the executive committee of the Canal District United Methodist Women, East Ohio Methodists for Social Action and the Ohio Chapter, Interfaith Peace-Builders.

Resolution Failed.

Resolution 2014-02

Stem the Tide of Violence
This resolution encourages the conference to publish a pledge to take a stand against violence; to pray daily for peace and healing and to support local organizations which help children and youth gain esteem and the values of love, respect, honor and community.

Sponsored by The Pedaling Parsons.

Resolution adopted.

Resolution 2014-03

National Domestic Violence Awareness
This resolution asks that all churches in the East Ohio Conference be encouraged to designate a day during the month of October to present an activity that will bring awareness to the congregation about domestic violence.

Submitted by Joyce Hullett and endorsed by the AMEN, Domestic Violence Ministry at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Warrensville Hts. Ohio.

Resolution adopted.

Resolution 2014-04

Gay/Lesbian Inclusion and Same Gender Weddings
This resolution asks that the 2014 session of the East Ohio Annual Conference declare that it is our opinion that a United Methodist pastor should be able to officiate at any legal wedding.

Submitted by John R. Butchko, elder, East Ohio Conference

Resolution was tabled.

Resolution 2014-05

We Will Not Condone Violence in Words or Deeds
This resolution asks that the East Ohio Conference insist that all forms of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons are wrong and that every church and member of the East Ohio Conference be encouraged to speak out against violence in their local communities against LGBT people and other marginalized communities.

Submitted by Ed Hoar, Mid-Ohio District

Resolution as amended was adopted.

Resolution 2014-06

Call to Advocate for the Enforcement of the Human Trafficking Laws in Ohio
This resolution asks that the conference secretary send a copy of this resolution to the Ohio Legislative Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, majority and minority leaders of both houses, the Ohio Governor’s Office and to the Ohio Attorney’s General office; and that clergy, lay and local churches support this resolution.

Resolution submitted by Youth Annual Conference 2014

Resolution as amended was adopted.

— Rick Wolcott, director of communications, East Ohio Conference