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2014 North Carolina Conference

June 11-14, 2014 at Greenville Convention Center

Name of conference: The North Carolina Annual Conference met June 11-14 at the Greenville Convention Center. The theme for the quadrennium is a powerful image from Psalm 84, “Strength to Strength.” This year’s focus as part of this theme was “Thrive.”                                       

Officiating bishop: Bishop Hope Morgan Ward

Guest speakers: Dr. Gary Gunderson, Dr. Teresa Cutts, Dr. Ed Moore, Dr. Matthew and Nancy Sleeth, and Willona Stallings.

Memorable points or quotes by speakers:

“Mission is global, strategy is local.”— Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
“There is a powerful heartbeat in this community of the N.C. Conference.”— Dr. Gary Gunderson “Conferences don’t make disciples, God makes disciples.”— The Rev. Carol Goehring
“You are putting the Word into action by your giving. You gave more than $13 million dollars in outreach beyond the local church during 2013. Afterschool programs, food pantries and many other ministries of outreach are changing lives for the Gospel.”— The Rev. George Speake, conference statistician.
“Listen quietly to the little, little voice — you may be listening to God.” — The Rev. Lucho Reinoso, recipient of the Saints of God Award for Outstanding Christian Stewardship

“When you say yes to being a follower of Jesus Christ, you have no idea what will happen along the way.” — Dr. Frances M. Alguire

Main actions enacted and resolutions adopted by the conference:

Presented by long-time co-chairs of the Conference Unity Dialogue, the Rev. Paul Stallsworth and the Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman, “A Plea for Unity in the United Methodist Church” was offered as a gift for the North Carolina Annual Conference to consider. Moved, seconded, and passed overwhelmingly, “A Plea for Unity” was received and affirmed. Learn more about the Plea for Unity at http://nccumc.org/plea-for-unity/

Resolution 1: “Concerning Inclusive Language and Embracing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,

Transgender, Questioning (LGBTQ) Community” was postponed indefinitely.

Resolution 2: “Protection of God’s Creation” was adopted.

Resolution 3: “As You Have Done to the Least of These” was adopted including an amendment calling on all churches in the conference to pay at least $10.50 an hour to all employees.

Resolution 4: “Mental Health Care” was referred to the Disabilities Concerns Ministry Team.

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The North Carolina Annual Conference on Wednesday afternoon unanimously approved a $21,138,111 budget for 2016, an increase of 2.1 percent over the approved 2015 budget.

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and Dr. Reginald Ponder announced the creation of a $10 million dollar mission endowment for ministering to eastern North Carolina. The NCC Youth Service Fund gave $5,000 to the mission endowment and the Council on Finance and Administration gave a major gift of $1 million dollars to the fund. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward proposed the $10 million dollars is raised over the next six years.

The Conference joined in the efforts to end malaria with a commitment to raise $1 million. The NCC Youth Service Fund generously gifted the Imagine No Malaria Campaign with $1,000. And, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration made a major gift of $100,000 to start the campaign.

Recognized the chartering of Wakefield United Methodist Church in Raleigh with 400 chartering members and announced six new faith communities.

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Offerings and Mission Projects
Imagine No Malaria — $8,652.80

Stop Hunger Now meals prepared — 100,000
Stop Hunger Now offering for shipping— $6,226.69
School kits prepared—3,000

Greenville [NC] Community Shelter through a 5K run/walk — $1,360
Higher Education and Campus Ministries — $2,596.21

Offering for Laity Ministries—$3,571.11

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Clergy Statistics

Provisional Deacons: 2

Ordained Deacons: 2

Provisional Elders: 16 (average age — 41 yrs.)

Ordained Elders: 10 (average age — 44 yrs.)

Received into associate membership: 0

Licensed local pastors: 37

Retired: 29

Remembered at memorial service: 47

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Conference Statistics

Membership: 229,335, up by 271

Worship Attendance: 78,681, down by 1,062

Sunday School Attendance: 75,494, up by 471

Professions of Faith: 2,703, up by 5

Baptisms age 0-12: 1,487

Baptisms age 13 and  Older: 834

All Baptisms up by 834

Mary Andreolli, director of communications for the North Carolina Annual Conference