The Wilbur C. Ziegler Award for Excellence in Preaching is awarded each year at the New England Annual Conference session to a person who demonstrates excellence in preaching the whole Gospel, addressing both personal and social salvation. The 2019 honoree is the Rev. Dr. Jay Williams, senior pastor at Union UMC in Boston. Read more
Ophelia Hu Kinney, a lay leader at HopeGateWay in Portland, ME, brought the Annual Conference to its feet when she delivered this year's Laity Address on the guiding scripture Micah 6:8. Read more
One Matters Awards 2019
The One Matters Awards from Discipleship Ministries recognize churches that have gone from none to at least one baptism and/or profession of faith. Given in consultation with the Conference office of Congregational Development, each church receives $1,000 and a plaque. This year’s honorees are:
100 percent of Apportionments
- West Baldwin (ME) UMC – Tri-State District
- People’s UMC Newburyport, MA – Tri-State District
- Pearl Street UMC Brockton, MA – Metro Boston Hope District
The General Council of Finance and Administration recognized the New England Conference with a plaque for paying 100 percent of its General Church apportionments in 2018.
The Annual Conference approved a resolution not to use reserve funds to supplement apportionments to the General Church. The Conference had been using reserves to ensure apportionments were paid at 100 percent. With the passage of this resolution, the Conference will remit only the amount that is received from churches.
Bishop recognizes Cabinet members
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar took some time to recognize incoming and outgoing members of the Cabinet. Rev. Rene Perez has completed eight years as Central MA District Superintendent and will now serve Trinity UMC in Springfield.
Rev. Megan Stowe will be the new CMA District Superintendent. Vermont District Superintendent Jill Colley Robinson will take over Rev. Perez’s duties as Dean of the Cabinet beginning July 1.
The Bishop also recognized Rev. Jim McPhee, Tri-State District Superintendent, who is retiring.
Annual Conference approved the reduction of the number of districts from 9 to 7; the churches of the Tri-State District will be cared for by three DSs: Karen Munson, MME; Taesung Kang, NH, and We Hyun Chang, MBH, while the districts are being realigned.
United Methodist Foundation of New England
The president of the UM Foundation of New England, Jim Mentzer, is retiring on July 1, and he was recognized with a plaque presented by Bishop Devadhar. The Rev. Ted Crass will become the new foundation president on July 1. He was not able to attend the recognition on Saturday.
Lifetime of Discipleship Awards
The Preachers’ Aid Society presented two Lifetime of Discipleship Awards at the Saturday, June 15, session of Annual Conference. This award is offered in recognition of the many years of dedicated service by a lay United Methodist to the ministries, missions and prophetic callings of United Methodists in New England. Honorees are committed servants of Christ within the New England Annual Conference and have made significant contributions of time and talent to Conference related activities.
The 2019 honorees are Marcia Hoyt, Fisk Memorial UMC in Natick, MA, and Linda Reiber, Portsmouth (NH) UMC.
Marcia has served the connection and beyond in many ways including as a Board member and founder of FACE Children’s Center a mission of Fisk, as an officer for UMW at District and Conference levels, member of the Board at Cooper Community Center for over 15 years, a Board member of the United Methodist Economic Ministry for 3 years and an Equalization member of the New England Annual Conference. Marcia has also been the personal connection with many of the missionaries that Fisk has supported over the years.
Linda has served the greater UM connection in many different ways. Linda’s service has included serving on the Board of the Cooper Community Center for over 20 years including time as President and Treasurer of the Board, as a lay member from 2 different local churches to annual Conference, Southern NH District president of the UMW, conference president of UMW, chair of the Conference Committee on Leadership and co-Chair of the Conference Committee on Rules, assistant Dean of the NEC School of Christian Mission for 2 years and Dean for 2 years, a member of the National UMW advisory group as well as a member of the National UMW training Committee.
In celebration of their selection, PAS makes a $500 gift to a mission on the winner’s choosing. Marcia has designated half of her funds for the United Methodist Economic Ministry and half for the Cooper Community Center. Linda has designated half of her funds for Cooper Community Center and half for the UMW Legacy Endowment Fund.
Green Mountain College
In 1834, Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT, was founded by the former Troy Conference. The college announced that it was closing this spring after 185 years. The Annual Conference remembered the college with a video. Watch the video
The Annual Conference received three offerings:
Licensed Local Pastors
- Mission Celebration for the Mission of Peace: $3,447.30
- Memorial Service for NE Camperships: $ 4,330.32
- Service of Ordination/Commissioning for the Ministerial Education Fund: $3,404.75
The Annual Conference recognized newly licensed local pastors. They are:
Christine (Christy) Wright
Licensed ad interim and recognized were:
Setting of Appointments
Bishop Devadhar announced the appointments for 2019-2020 in an email to the Conference. See the list
Clergy elected two NEJ alternates
Cristian De La Rosa
Laity elected one NEJ delegate
And three NEJ alternates
Uchenna Joan Awa
Find a photo and complete list of the 2020 Delegation
Open Spirit Task Force
The Annual Conference on Thursday, June 13, approved 19-210 COMMISSIONING THE OPEN SPIRIT TASK FORCE "to examine whether and how United Methodists of New England might align with, create, or form a new church body in the Methodist tradition (independently or in collaboration with others)."
The resolution stipulated that the Committee on Leadership/Nominations would report on the Task Force membership before the close of the session.
Leadership/Nominations Chair Bonnie Marden reported that some 60 people had been nominated and invitations would go out to 35 people asking them to join the Task Force.
Marden said its expected that working groups, subcommittees, etc. may include some of those nominated who are not named to the Task Force itself. The committee will report further once people have responded to the invitations, she said.
Conference Secretary, Conference Statistician re-elected
Conference Secretary Rev. John Blackadar and Conference Statistician Joy Mueller were re-elected to their positions for another term.
More than 1,500 laity in the New England Conference and others signed a statement in response to the 2019 General Conference. The Annual Conference approved including the text of the statement in the 2019 Conference Journal. The Journal will be published later this summer. Find the statement here
Unless otherwise noted, the text of the legislation can be found in the Pre-Conference Materials
RS-19-101 MINIMUM CASH SALARY RESOLUTION – Approved
RS-19-208 INCREASING TRANSPARENCY REGARDING HATE CRIMES – Approved
RS-19-212 ASPIRING TO LIVE INTO NONCONFORMITY – Approved with an amendment to line 36:
“Therefore, the 2019 session of the New England Annual Conference hereby expresses our
affirmation of aspiration to
the principles of the 2016 Action of Nonconformity, …” A second amendment
added the text of the Cabinet
and Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM
) statements on General Conference 2019 to the text of the resolution.
RS-19-215 ASPIRING TO “DO NO HARM” – Approved
RS-19-216 RESPONDING TO EMERGING EXPRESSIONS OF METHODISM
– A substitute motion was approved
(click the link to see the full text) with an amendment
adding “hierarchical structures” to the following: Therefore, the New England Annual Conference endorses the proclamation of Our Movement Forward, adding our voices to the uncompromising call to end discrimination and oppression for LGBTQIA+ people, persons of color, and trans people, hierarchical structures
and the many other forces of oppression against which we still labor.
RS-19-217 TO BOYCOTT GENERAL CONFERENCE 2020 – The bishop ruled this resolution out of order, but allowed one of the makers, Pastor Will Green, to present the resolution for discussion on the floor without a vote.
RS-19-301 EXCLUDE GOVERNMENT DEBT OF COUNTRIES INVOLVED IN PROLONGED MILITARY OCCUPATIONS – Approved
RS-19-302 AMEND THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE TO EXCLUDE THE GOVERNMENT DEBT OF COUNTRIES INVOLVED IN PROLONGED MILITARY OCCUPATIONS – Approved
RS-19-303 STATEMENT OF CONSCIENCE FROM THE NE ANNUAL CONFERENCE – Approved
RS-19-305 PETITION TO AMEND: POWERS OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE – Approved
RS-19-306 RELATED TO VOTING RIGHTS AND CLERGY MEMBERSHIP STATUS – Approved