Annual Conference 2016: Recap June 15 and 16

See more photos in the gallery at right

June 22, 2016

June 15, 2016 

Preachers' Aid Society hosts annual Clergy Luncheon

The luncheon which honors clergy who are retiring, who are marking the 50th anniversary of their ordination and this year’s clergy candidates was Wednesday, June 15. 

June 16, 2016

BOM makes stance on sexual orientation public 

The board of ordained ministry announced that they evaluate clergy candidates “based solely upon an understanding of their gifts for ministry and their readiness to serve Jesus Christ.” They do not consider sexual orientation or gender identity. 

No 'business as usual' to open Annual Conference 

The original schedule called for June 16 to begin with simultaneous clergy and laity sessions. In response to a call from many, including Conference leaders, who felt that the Conference could not just go ahead with “business as usual” after the mass shooting in Orlando, it was decided to begin by gathering everyone together. It became an open discussion about people’s pain around the shooting and the stance of the church. 

Memorial Service: Death is not the end 

Bishop Violet Fisher, retired, was guest preacher for this year’s Memorial Service remembering clergy and spouses. Bishop Fisher reminded those who are grieving that “death is not the end.” 

This year, Margaret Bickford marked her 20th year as Conference Biographer. She read the names of the honored dead during the Memorial Service. Margaret is stepping down, and the New England Conference is grateful for her faithful leadership in this important ministry.

Laity Address: Planting seeds of trust is 'messy' 

Ashley Renée Johnson, a member of Union United Methodist Church in Boston, is the winner of this year’s Laity Address Challenge. Johnson asked: “Are we courageous enough in our planting ventures to go to where God has already prepared the ground?” 

Resolution 'Action of Non-Conformity' is recommended 

Acting as a “Committee of the Whole,” Annual Conference members recommended a resolution titled “Action of Non-Conformity with the General Conference of The United Methodist Church,” which  states NEAC will not comply with discriminatory aspects of the Discipline. 

1,000 Health Kits packed during AC 

Thank you to all who helped pack 1,000 Health Kits and raised money to purchase toothpaste and for shipping the kits. People began packing kits at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, and the goal was met by Thursday afternoon! Also, $1,141 was raised toward toothpaste and shipping costs, so the toothpaste was fully funded.