AC 2018: Thursday, June 14, recap

See more photos in the galleries at right

June 14, 2018

See photos from Thursday in the galleries at right 


RS-18-101 – OFFERINGS AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018 – approved and will be referred to the Committee on Rules for inclusion in the Conference’s Policies and Procedures.
  • The Offering during the Thursday Evening episcopal evening support Mission of Peace (MOP)
  • The Offering at the Ordination/Commissioning Service be designated for the Ministerial Call Fund
  • The Offering at the Saturday Morning worship be designated for (UMCOR) the United  Methodist Committee on Relief and designated for U.S. disasters.
  • UMCOR kits will be assembled and collected during Conference.
Approved suspending the rules in order to accept late reports from the Personnel Committee and the Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) for the Conference Journal.

Outgoing Equitable Compensation Chair David Nicol highlighted the portion of the resolution covering “Vacation, Sabbath, Continuing Education, Spiritual Renewal, and other Leave or Time Away ..." The recommendation, he said, was created in cooperation with the bishop and Cabinet in order to "clarify things we hope have already been true for clergy in the Annual Conference."
  • Every pastor in the Annual Conference shall be entitled to and shall be granted at least 4 weeks of working time (including 4 Sundays) of Vacation regardless of appointment status, time, or years of  service;
  • Every pastor in the Annual Conference shall be entitled to at least one day off from vocational ministry  during a normal work week, regardless of appointment status, time, or years of service. The Annual  Conference strongly urges clergy to do all in their power to keep at least one day of Sabbath apart from their Pastoral work in any given week as an example of practicing spiritual renewal, spiritual self-care, and Christian devotion. Clergy and congregations should feel empowered to support time away from  vocational ministry which reflects the secular weekend model of at least two days away from one’s vocation in any given week;
  • Every pastor in the Annual Conference shall be entitled to at least 1 week per year of Continuing  Education, but in accordance with their plan for Continuing Education may negotiate more, including  that it may include at least one month during one year of every quadrennium, in accordance with ¶ 350 of the 2016 Book of Discipline;
  • Every pastor in the Annual Conference shall be entitled to at least 1 week per year of Spiritual Renewal  in addition to Continuing Education and Vacation;
  • Every pastor in the Annual Conference shall be entitled to at least 1 week per year of Camp and Retreat Ministries service as part of their connectional ministry, which shall not be deducted from their  Continuing Education, Spiritual Renewal or Vacation;
Rev. Nicol has accepted an appointment in the Upper New York Conference. The Rev. Pat McHugh will serve as chair of Equitable Compensation.

Opening worship

The opening worship service was the annual Memorial Service. Guest preacher the Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill said “Death makes us mortal. Facing death makes us human.” Read the story

Budget presentation

Council on Finance and Administration Chair Rev. Ralph Howe and Conference Treasurer Bill Burnside presented the 2019 proposed budget. The budget vote is scheduled for Saturday. Read the story

Bishop Devadhar gives Episcopal Address

Speaking about the "elephant in the room", Bishop Devadhar said, “We do ministry together until we are unified. We do not become unified in order to get ministry done.” Read the story

Worship Design Team: Fabric and 'tiny altars'

The team talks about their process for designing the worship space. Read more and see photos

Laity Session

The 2018 Laity Session included music by the Medford, MA, Mosaic Chapel Praise Team, a skit about the founding of the United Methodist Women and a discussion about culture by Sally White, who is from Guyana. Read the story

Retirees honored

The 2018 class of retirees was recognized by the Board of Ordained Ministry. Bishop Devadhar asked the retirees each to offer a word of wisdom to the body. Here are a couple:

"With God all things are possible, so expect surprises."
"There's joy in everything God calls you to do - it might be painful joy, but it's joy."

United Methodist Men

New England Conference UMM President Tom Leach, spoke of his vision for recognizing and revitalizing men's ministry in the Conference, and sharing the resources available from the national UMM. He spoke about the UMM initiative, AMEND Together, to combat domestic violence. Learn more

United Methodist Women

The United Methodist Women's presentation focused on the work they are doing on maternal and infant mortality. The U.S. has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world. And African American women are at even greater risk. To highlight the issue, members told the stories of real women who died from complications that could have been prevented or treated. UMW is engaged in direct service as well as advocacy and education around this issue. 

Guests from Samnam Conference, South Korea

Bishop Young-Hwa Kwon, Samnam Conference of the Korean Methodist Church, brought greetings to the Annual Conference on Thursday evening. The bishop said he hoped President Trump's recent summit with North Korea would help bring about peace. "I invite you to continue to pray for peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula." 

Bishop Kwon and the Rev. Seok-Jae Jang, secretary of the Samnam conference, are guests at the 2018 Annual Conference session. The New England Conference and the Samnam Conference are working on a creating a sister conference relationship. Members of the Samnam Conference visited Annual Conference in 2016. Bishop Devadhar and a group from New England will again make a pilgrimage to South Korea this fall.

Greetings from GBHEM

The Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary of the General Board on Higher Education and Ministry, brought greetings from the board. Dr. Cape commended Bishop Devadhar for his service on the Central Conference Theological Education Commission, which oversees $10 million in grants to support theological education in the Central Conferences. 

History award presented

The Historical Society of the United Methodist Church (HSUMC) presented one of its annual Ministry of Memory Awards during the Annual Conference session on Thursday, June 14, 2018. The award recognizes individuals who have done outstanding work in the area of archives and history at the local church, annual conference, or jurisdictional level. The Rev. Pat Thompson, New England Conference Historian, presented the award to the Rev. Dr. John Topolewski, who is one of two recipients for 2018. The other award will be presented at the annual meeting of the HSUMC in July in Dayton, Ohio. Rev. Topolewski is a retired member of the Susquehanna Conference; he serves the Church of the Good Shepherd in Newport, NH. 

His wife, Nancy, spoke on his behalf, quoting Elie Wiesel, who said "God created man because God loves stories." In their decades of ministry, she said, she and her husband tried to "tell the stories of those in our care" and do the ministry of memory. 

The Annual Conference approved the inclusion of Rev. Nancy Topolewski’s complete remarks in the 2018 Conference Journal.