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2016 Tennessee Conference

The Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church met June 12-15 at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Officiating bishop:

Bishop William “Bill” McAlilly

Guest speakers:

Bishop Mike McKee (opening worship and service of ordination, commissioning, and licensing)

L. Gregory Jones (Three teaching sessions: “Christian Social Innovation”)

Memorable points or quotes by speakers:

“Grace is the absolutely free gift of God that costs me and you nothing but demands everything from us.” — Bishop Mike McKee.

"It is my hope and prayer that over the next four years we will build on the work that God is already doing, that we remember God's faithfulness throughout history as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We remember...that God has a mission. God's mission has a church. God's mission has a church. The church doesn't have a mission." — Bishop William "Bill" McAlilly.

Angela Overstreet (Director of Missional Engagement): “We don’t go there [the Congo] to bring God there, we go where God already is and where God is already working, and we join Him there in that work.”

L. Gregory Jones quoting Ronald Heifetz: “It’s as important to know what to preserve as to what to change.”

"We can do all the restructuring we want, we can do all the expansion of the Discipline we want but if we stay preoccupied on organizing for organizing sake and forget about the end then we've lost the whole gain. We can even raise up the best leaders you can imagine. We can covenant to stop whining about food and water. We can stop whining generally, but if we lose the sense that the end is our beginning then we've really lost."— L. Gregory Jones

“Recently it seems as though we are focusing on young people in the wrong way. Instead of seeing the endless amount of talent, leadership skills, and potential they possess, we choose to only see the ones who are walking away from the church… When we begin to focus on equipping young people instead of regaining the attendance of the ones who have left, we are giving those youth present in our ministries the tools to go out into their communities and recruit their friends themselves.”— Emma Sanders, president Conference Council on Youth Ministries.

Main actions enacted by the conference:

Support affirmed for:

  • Act of Repentance for Native Americans harmed at Sandy Creek (Event at Forest Hills UMC on 11/12/16)
  • The PACTO, a Covenant with East Mexico Conference.
  • Mission to the East Congo Annual Conference in July 2017 along with Memphis Conference clergy and laity
  • Grants for laity to launch Fresh Expressions in the community, outside of the church

Revisions were approved for Sexual Misconduct Policy for Church Professionals.

Cabinet Resolution was approved to study reducing the number of districts in the conference from seven down to five or six.

New Clergy Ordained, Commissioned and Licensed:

6 Ordained

12 Commissioned

19 Licensed

2 Deaconess

Statistics:

Number of people retired: 25

Membership stands at 117,881, down 619 from the previous year.

Worship attendance stands at 46,299, down 171.

Children in classes is up 77 from 2014.

Professions or reaffirmations of faith for 2015 were 1,703, down from 2014 by 171.

Hispanic/Latino membership is up.

Worshippers engaged in mission for 2015:  22,838, up from 2014 by 3,469.

Persons served by community ministries for outreach justice and mercy were 323,321 - up 5 percent from 2014.

Amy J. Hurd, director of communications, Tennessee Conference.