Songs of praise and celebration ushered in the Spirit of God and enlivened the hearts of some 1,200 United Methodists gathered at the University of Redlands (Redlands, CA) for the 34th Annual Session of the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The theme was “Thirst No More” (#thirstnomore) based on John 4:1-42, with the purpose of providing an opportunity for the Conference to focus on the priority of Transforming Lives: personal discipleship.
Resident Bishop Grant J. Hagiya’s moving message in the Opening Worship enlightened those gathered with an introduction of the Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelistic, Shepherd, Teaching (APEST) framework from Alan Hirsch and challenged each local church to implement a discipling system this ministry year.
Guest of the Conference, Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Resident Bishop of the Florida Conference and President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, shared with us insight into the origins of the Fresh Expressions movement and delivered a touching message in the Memorial Service.
Guest of the Conference, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, Resident Bishop of the Ohio West Area of The United Methodist Church, delivered a passionate message at the Commission and Ordination Service in which he challenged all who were present to “learn the world about God.”
The following are highlights of the great work that was done at Annual Conference
Special Offerings – Those gathered gave generously to the following special causes:
Conversations on the Way Forward – In Plenary, two clergypersons and one lay person shared their story as it pertains to their discipleship, the church, and LGBTQI persons. Their telling of these stories was to set an example for how sharing might go in groups as members were organized into smaller rooms to share their own stories with one another.
Finances – The Council on Finance and Administration reported that Conference net spending did not exceed net revenue for the sixth consecutive year. An Apportionment Budget for Conference Ministries of $11,950,000 was approved for the 2019 fiscal year, an amount that is a 4% decrease from the 2018 budget amount.
Legislation – The great majority of legislation was passed through the Legislative Sections and by Consent Calendar. Details of each legislation item can be found on the Conference Secretary page.
Clergywomen – A special presentation was given by a diverse group of clergywomen as it pertains to the church and women. Statistics were presented which showed how men, predominantly, are appointed to the largest churches and are, in general, paid more compared to women clergy. Such statistics also included the fact that some 66 churches in our Conference have yet to receive a female pastor appointed to their community. At the end, clergywomen were invited to be recognized by those gathered. Later in the day, clergywomen gathered at the steps of the chapel to take a powerful group photo.
Commissioning and Ordination
The location for the 35th Annual Session of the California-Pacific Conference will be the University of Redlands (Redlands, CA). The official dates of the Session will be announced soon.