NIC Annual Conference 2012
Celebrate God's Amazing Work!
The wave of the future of the Global United Methodist Church, is to bring back those who have, for a variety of reasons, left their churches. New church development and redevelopment has become a primary focus for the United Methodist Church. According to recent statistics, of the people looking for a new church 81% looked up churches on-line to find websites. 47% used some other electronic social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Obviously there is overlap. Some people use one or the other but many use both. Under Harvest 2020 Healthy Discipleship, some of the things that are recommended when revitalizing your church are to: visit start up churches (New Faith Communities), participate in small group cluster and Healthy Discipleship groups, attend boot camps, and network to build relationships throughout the broader community not just in your immediate area. Networking can include things like keeping an updated webpage with links to Facebook and Twitter pages. The conference has a "Find A Church" page that should be utilized. All of these electronic media networking sites are free of charge.
There is a huge push to get youth more involved and to have them take ownership in their groups. A Conference Council on Youth Ministries is being developed so that youth can plan and implement activities on the conference level. The closing service of annual conference was conducted by the youth. An 18 year old girl preached and gave a very uplifting and meaningful sermon! Seventy one people took part in leading the service with minimal assistance from the adults. Fostering the youth to have ownership will help our churches to grow as this is the time where we tend to loose members and they often don't return until young adulthood when they are getting ready to get married and/ or start a family. There is a complacency about feeling like this is "normal" but there has been great success in New Faith Communities in helping this age group of people to take ownership and to feel like they have a great deal to offer their congregations.
Some of the topics discussed and passed were: to support an end to mass incarceration, continuation of partnership with Bolivia, celebrating the centennial of Filipino Methodist in America, support for raising the minimum wage in Illinois, reauthorization of the Hyatt Boycott, Rainbow Covenant, special Sundays with Offerings for 2013, clergy and staff benefits, equitable compensation, approximately 7% decrease in budget for the conference was approved for the 2013 fiscal year.
General Conference information
The General Conference budget was decreased by 6.03% for the 2013-2016 fiscal years. In spite of the decrease, new line items were added. A new fund has been created to be used for theological education in central conferences and for the recruitment and training of young clergy in the United States. General Conference voted to end the guaranteed appointment for ordained elders, to make it easier to remove ineffective clergy. The reduction in funds will come from decreasing the number of delegates and the number of days the assembly meets. It will increase the use of technology to save costs. Agency boards were cut by 266 members (approximately 50% reduction).The apportionment formula will not change. It provides a percentage adjustment based on the economic strength in a conference, which is based on per-capita income in the area, and local church costs divided by the number of people in attendance.
Respectfully submitted by,
GleeAnn L. Kehr
LUMC Representative to NIC
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