Gary Locklear, Conference Lay Leader, welcomed the laity to 2019 Annual Conference by sharing that every chair, doorpost, microphone, and table were anointed and prayed over on Tuesday evening. Daily morning prayer is held each morning at 7:45am and all are welcome to participate.
Offering a devotional focused on Jairus and his daughter, Home Missioner Steve Taylor asked those gathered, “Who is it that disrupts your religious project? That is the person who Jesus stands with and takes the risk of having himself be rejected.” He shared Jesus’ perspective, “Who stands with me stands with her, because this is where I’m standing.” Jesus said to the woman, “You are healed, go and BE healed.” Taylor said the woman’s disease “was held in place by those around her and that once a person has been touched by love, you cannot be unworthy again.”
Christine Dodson, Conference Treasurer, oriented those gathered to the 2019 AC Workbook distributed at registration and explained a few things about Robert’s Rules of Order and about the voting process. An in-depth voting training was planned for the afternoon plenary session. She also warned that if it is needed, voting may extend the session hours on Friday night. All of those voting must be present inside the convention center main meeting space to be able to vote.
All of the laity candidates for delegate to the 2020 General Conference were given the opportunity to introduce themselves, state their ID number, church, and district.
John Hall, Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries, reminded the laity that every person who receives God’s call is always a lay person. He invited the laity to consider attending the variety of classes exploring Lay Servant Ministries and attend any class offered, regardless of the district in which it is held. There is a one-day Day of Discernment, Prayer, and Study scheduled at the NC Conference building in Garner on Saturday, July 27. More information about this event is available on the conference website at nccumc.org/laity/lay-servant-
JoAnn Barbour, the Conference UMW President, noted that this is the 150th anniversary of the United Methodist Women and shared many of the ways that UM Women work together to improve the lives of every person and especially women, children, and youth. She invited participants to attend the Annual Meeting on October 12 and visit the Mission-U display (located in the East Concourse Gallery) for more information on the educational resources offered this summer at Mission U (nccumw.org/missionu/).
Barbour celebrated three programs:
- Partners in Ministry program in Laurinburg (pim-nc.org) which is now recognized as a UMW National Mission Institution.
- MATCH program which gives incarcerated mothers opportunities to bond and spend time with their children while in prison.
- Emma Norton Services which supports homeless women especially those with mental illness or addiction
“UMW is not just an organization, it is a movement, often going against the grain. We must not underestimate the power given to us.”
UM Men President Wally Mills shared that the UMM local chapters have given great support to disaster recovery and made a sizable donation to the Youth Storm Fund campaign. He invited those gathered to Duke Day on Oct. 12 and an upcoming power breakfast on Friday morning, June 14 at Jarvis Memorial UMC. He asked that those interested in being involved in UMM communications, contact him.