The West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church held Annual Conference June 7 – 10, on the shores of Lake Erie, Lakeside, Ohio. Over 1600 Lay and Clergy gathered to worship, approve a budget, hear reports of mission and ministry, and elect delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences (Denominational Conferences held every four years). As I reflect on our time together, I share with you some of the highlights of this year’s Conference:
Two years ago West Ohio Conference set a goal of 3.5 million dollars for the eradication of Malaria on the continent of Africa (Imagine No Malaria). At the start of the Conference, West Ohio was short of the goal by a little over $250,000 (includes pledges and cash). The offering from Tuesday morning worship went to “Imagine No Malaria”, collecting $403,733.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Long, Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, was our teaching pastor, leading us in a refreshing look at the four Gospels.
Bishop Palmer inspired us in worship, under the theme of “Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given”, reminding us we are the Body of Christ, privileged to be a part of God’s redemptive work in the world.
We honored retirees (the retiring class, collectively, had over 700 years of service), ordained, and commissioned clergy.
We Elected 8 Clergy, and 8 Lay representatives to General Conference, and an additional 8 Clergy, and 8 Lay representatives to Jurisdictional Conference.
It was reported that West Ohio Conference led the denomination in Advance Special giving (Missional support given above and beyond apportionment giving), giving $2,568,210 in 2014.
Bishop Palmer read and fixed the appointments of all Clergy. Cathy, Dave Weaver and I are privileged and honored to return to Hyde Park for another year of ministry.
God continues to refresh, empower, and inspire God’s church. In God’s grace we partner with God to bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven! See you in Church!