Report from Annual Conference
The 2015 Virginia Annual Conference was held June 19-21st in Roanoke, VA. This gathering brought together approximately 1100 lay members and 800 clergy from the United Methodist churches across Virginia. The Annual Conference is a time of celebrations of clergy ordination and appointment, a time to discuss important issues relevant to the church’s policies and administration, and a time to worship and fellowship together. This year it was also a time to elect delegates to the United Methodist Church General Conference to be held in 2016 as well as to Jurisdictional Conference.
This year’s Annual Conference included:
- Bible study and discussions focused on the conference’s theme, From Members to Disciples, Bishop Cho urged all churches to do more to make a clear discipleship roadmap;
- Collection of 42,743 kits for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief);
- Celebration that the Virginia Conference has to date saved 86,454 lives from malaria as a part of the Imagine No Malaria campaign;
- Ordination of 24 new elders, licensing of 31 new local pastors including Arum Kim; commissioning of 21 provisional elders; and recognition of the work of 45 retirees.
- Election of lay and clergy delegates to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference;
- Voting on petitions and resolutions. Petition 14 to petition the 2016 General Conference to change the UMC Book of Discipline to remove the incompatibility clause regarding homosexuality was a topic of extensive discussion. The petition carried with 989 delegates voting for removal; 868 voting against removal; and 40 abstentions. The Annual Conference also approved a resolution encouraging all church boards and agencies to follow investment practices that are aimed at mitigating climate change by avoiding investment in thermal coal mining companies and considering investment in companies that develop and use renewable energy sources.
- Numerous overviews and celebrations of a variety of ministries across the Virginia Conference.
Pastor Marg, Pastor Abi, Pastor Drew, Suzanne and Glen Bottoms, Curt Silvers, Ed Baird, and Cathy Liverman participated in this year’s Annual Conference. All who participated would be glad to share more details, and more information is available at www.vaumc.org/AC2015.