Second Day Highlights include reports from The Board of Ordained Ministry, the Connectional Ministry, Discipleship, and Stewardship.
The Board of Ordained Ministry addressed clergy seminary indebtedness and the inception of a new million-dollar endowment to help pastors repay student loans. Carol Goehring lifted up the purpose and process of Connectional Ministries; Christine Harmon invited conference members to participate in the many online learning opportunities; and Steve Taylor reminded members of the opportunities for lay ministry through the Deaconess and Lay Missioner programs. Taylor also highlighted mission seed funds for new ministry through the conference. Goehring announced the opportunity for 12 more congregations to grow in discipleship through SHIFT/The Disciple-Making Way.
Upon recommendation from the Safe Sanctuary Committee, members voted to add “vulnerable adults” to the Conference Safe Sanctuary Policy, require all churches to have a Safe Sanctuary Policy in place by 2016 Conference, and approved all Finance, Insurance, Equitable Compensation, and Pension Reports.
Celebrations of both Goehring’s ministry as director of Connectional Ministries and Taylor’s ministry as Director of Missions punctuated their moves, respectively, into the positions of Corridor Superintendent and the Connectional Ministries director. The Rev. Jaye White will become Coordinator of Missions.
Rev. Larry Chandler and Trey Harris spoke about their experiences as Native Americans in North Carolina. In a moving witness that elicited a standing ovation, Chandler spoke of his challenging journey as a Cherokee in North Carolina and finding himself in the care and acceptance of a local UMC congregation. Both Chandler and Harris serve local congregations and shared the impact of their own pastoral ministries in the NC Conference.
Elections: 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegations
Eight clergy and eight laity comprise the 2016 delegation for each Conference. As of Wednesday, the laity delegation to General Conference was completed, while clergy will elect two more delegates.
Laity: Gary Locklear, Emily Innes, Duncan McMillan, Christine Dodson, Mack Parker, Steve Taylor, Eston C. Brinkley, and LaNella Smith.
Clergy: Gray Southern, Elizabeth Hood, Timothy Russell, Leonard Fairley, Lisa Naa Yebuah, and Robert Bergland. Two more clergy to be elected.