What’s happening today (Monday, June 10) at Annual Conference?

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By Jessica Brodie

Annual Conference returns to Greenville, South Carolina, this year for its second full in-person session post-pandemic.

Key on this year’s agenda is the conference Council on Finance and Administration’s recommendation of a proposed $11.7 million budget for 2025.

CF&A will introduce the first reading of its budget today (Monday), with the final vote slated for Wednesday.

The budget is 15.4 percent (or $2.3 million) less than 2023’s $15.6 million budget and estimated to be 13.3 percent of average net funds.

CF&A noted the reduction is because of apportionments estimated to be lost because of this year’s separating churches (those names and number to be announced Tuesday).

CF&A has said churches will only be apportioned for a budget of $10.9 million, as $800,000 from 2023 separating churches will help offset what churches need to contribute. Conference Trustees granted $2.4 million from the separating church fees to reduce the apportionment burden to the remaining churches. This amount will be applied in installments until used up.

In addition to a praise-filled opening worship preached by Resident Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, today will see a host of organizational and introductory motions and reports, including the presentation of the consent calendar, a report from the Committee on Nominations, information on quadrennial conference officer nominations and elections, the reports of the Cabinet and the Conference Lay Leader, and a presentation of the resolutions before the body this year.

This year, the Committee on Resolutions and Appeals received seven resolutions, all included in the Annual Conference packet. Of the seven, only one of the resolutions was deemed by the committee as properly before the body—A Resolution for Debt Forgiveness for Direct Billing Arrearages.

Submitted by Dr. Reginald Lee, the Rev. Keith Hunter, the Rev. Martin Luther Quick, the Rev. Velma Haywood, Michael Woodham and Kathy Tisdale, the resolution calls on the conference to forgive approximately $3.3 million in debt, plus or minus current arrearage, in direct billing charges owed by churches experiencing tremendous hardship.

One other resolution is recommended by the committee to head to Connectional Ministries and to CF&A, on “LGBTQ+ Inclusion: Expressing Gratitude and Commitment to Next Steps.”

The five other resolutions submitted were deemed out of order (read the reasoning in full at Worldwide Regionalization, Encouraging Leadership with Integrity, Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Reconciling Ministries Network, A Resolution Reaffirming Our Doctrinal Standards and Heritage, and A Resolution for the Preservation and Revitalization of Black Methodist Churches.

Today will conclude with a report from the Board of Ordained Ministry that also celebrated those commissioned and ordained at last night’s service, as well as celebrates those who have completed the Licensing School of Pastoral Ministry and licensing them as local pastors.

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