Connectional Table supports consideration of youth/young adult ministries staffer

January 30, 2017

Update: Feb. 6, 2017:  The Connectional Table authorized the release of the $5,175 in the Conference AIDS Fund to the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. The Conference AIDS Fund was created to support local church programs serving those suffering from or working to prevent HIV/AIDS. During the past eight years, however, there have been no requests for these funds. From June 2015 through May 2016, a concerted effort was made to determine if there were any church programs that would benefit from these funds. As there was no response, the Connectional Table unanimously approved closing the accounts by forwarding the funds to the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund (Advance #982345).

The Connectional Table held its first meeting of 2017 on Jan. 19.
 
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar brought several items to members for consideration.
 
During his annual Days on the District, Bishop Devadhar spoke about his goal of hiring a full-time conference staff person to coordinate with youth and young adult ministries across the Conference. The Connectional Table supported the bishop approaching the Conference Council on Finance and Administration to discuss the proposed position.
 
Members approved using $2,000 from the Connectional Table budget to send a representative from New England to the United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT) in May 2017 in Minneapolis.
 
UMEIT is a ministry of the Council of Bishops Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR). Its purpose is to gather together Methodists who are interested in ecumenical and interreligious ministry, to provide them with networking opportunities, and to train them in current trends and practical applications. Bishop Devadhar would like to send a representative from the Conference Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns.
 
During the Imagine No Malaria campaign, the bishop’s wife, Prema Devadhar, sold donated jewelry at Annual Conference to raise money for INM. Now that the campaign is completed, she would like to continue this ministry to raise money for youth programming in the Conference. Members of the Connectional Table supported the continuation of the jewelry sale; the specifics of how the money will be allocated will be determined after further discussion. Learn more about the jewelry sale.
 
Bishop Devadhar told Connectional Table members that he has nominated Steven Dry, a lay member of the Connectional Table, for the Council of Bishops’ Ecumenical Plunge. Each bishop was invited to nominate one person from his/her Conference for the Ecumenical Plunge, which is being offered through OCUIR.
 
The Ecumenical Plunge will give 20 United Methodist young adults (ages 18-35) the chance to be part of a two-year formation opportunity. The first year will include a pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey and Taize (which will coincide with the NE Taize pilgrimage July 17-31, 2017). The second year will include a pilgrimage to a global interreligious site of each participant’s choice.
 
The Connectional Table also authorized the Conference Board of Global Ministries to review and renew the list of Advanced Specials to be brought before Annual Conference. The Conference has been approving Advance Specials every four years. This was not done last year, and the list now needs to be reviewed and brought before Annual Conference in June. Any donations made to the ministries currently designated as Advance Specials continue to go to those in the interim.
 
The Connectional Table will meet next on March 9. Among the agenda items for that meeting is a discussion of the budget requests for 2018. Details for making a budget request will be available soon. Watch the website and e-news for that information.