News & Notes from 2012 Annual Conference

Each summer, clergy and lay representatives from United Methodist congregations in Arizona, southern Nevada, and one church in California gather under the leadership of Bishop Minerva Carcano for worship and holy conferencing.  This year’s Conference was held in Glendale on June 23rd-26th.

  1. The Annual Conference opened with a Service of Remembrance for pastors and pastors’ spouses who’ve passed away in the past year…
  2.  Support for our camping ministries is needed from churches and pastors…
  3. The giving of local churches in 2010 to their apportionments was up by 3% over 2009, and an increased number of churches gave 100%…
  4. With careful spending, the Annual Conference is enjoying a budget surplus this year…
  5. The Strategic Direction Committee shared the new Strategic Direction being worked on for the Annual Conference…
  6. Bishop Carcano presented Bishop Lawrence McClesky of Africa University with a check in the amount of $100,000 to complete the Desert Southwest Annual Conference’s funding a Chair of Health Sciences Endowment.  SUMC recently collected $535 towards this cause…
  7. A resolution supporting “20/20: Visioning an AIDS-Free World” was approved…
  8.  A motion requiring churches to develop an action plan to assist youth experiencing mental illness passed…
  9. Pastors on minimum salary will be paid at different levels based on their designation as elders, associate members, or full-time local pastors.  Previously, all three designations had the same minimum salary…
  10. Several properties of closed United Methodist congregations are for sale…
  11. Jim Nibbelink and Rev. Jane Tews were elected as the Desert Southwest Annual Conference’s Lay Representative to the 2012 General Conference.  They will also serve as delegates to the 2012 Western Jurisdictional Conference, along with three other laity and three other clergy…
  12. 35 churches from the Annual Conference will do church revitalization work with a church consultant, with the Annual Conference paying half the cost…
  13. A 2012 Annual Conference budget with an increase of less than 1% over 2011 passed…
  14. A resolution supporting “Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy” work by our churches passed…
  15. A statement against the practices of an organization called the Institute of Religion and Democracy passed…
  16. A resolution supporting the “Commitment to Kindness” passed…
  17. A petition against the location of the George W. Bush Policy Institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University failed…
  18. The Annual Conference approved several petitions asking the 2012 General Conference to change portions of the United Methodist Book of Discipline in regards to homosexuality.  The first petition requests the deletion of a sentence from the Book of Discipline stating that the practice of homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching;” the second petition requests the elimination of the prohibition of practicing homosexuals from serving as ordained clergy; a third petition would remove the sentence that prohibits homosexual union ceremonies from taking place in United Methodist churches and prohibits our clergy from conducting such ceremonies; and a fourth petition would remove a section prohibiting United Methodist funds from being contributed to “any gay caucus or group”…
  19. Three new pastors were commissioned: Sarai Case, Ann Thomas, & Brian Schlemmer.  They must serve for at least three years and fulfill certain requirements before they can be ordained….
  20. Rev. Jerellen Wilkerson was ordained to ministry of Word, Sacrament, and Order as an Elder, while Rev. Isaac Choh was ordained to a ministry of Service as a Deacon.
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