Resources > Annual Conference 2011 Annual Conference 2010 > Annual Conference 2009 > Bible Online > E-Mail Groups > Grants > Graphics Library > Job Opportunities > Mission Opportunities > Online Courses > Outreach/Evangelism > Pastor/Staff Parish Relations > Publications Stewardship > Talent Bank > Conference E-Mail

Thursday Morning Session

Bishop Tim Whitaker of the Florida Conference, and a long-time member of the Virginia Conference, welcomed clergy and lay members to the 229th session of the conference on behalf of Bishop Charlene Kammerer whose is home recovering from illness. The Rev. Raymond Wrenn, attending his 71st conference, led the opening prayer, along with Ms. Hannah Perez of the Eastern Shore who is attending her first conference.

Roanoke District Superintendent Steve Hundley welcomed the gathering to his district. He presented organizing motions, including establishing the bar of the conference and the agenda was approved.

The Rev. Bob Blinn, conference secretary, moved the election of Bev Myers and Delano Douglas as assistant secretaries of the conference. They were elected, as was Neill Caldwell as editor of the Journal.

From left, Bishop Tim Whitaker and Steve Bray.

The Rev. Stephen G. Bray, chair of the Rules Committee, presented recommendations from his committee. Kevin Sabo presented a motion about election of nominees for General Conference. The motion was approved by a two-thirds majority vote. The Rules Committee report was adopted as amended.

A time of worship followed with song leaders Jim and Denise Bennett. Denise, who is a chaplain at The Hermitage in Richmond, read Scripture from Matthew 10:7-8. Click here to listen to Denise's story (mp3). She took the story of Leo Tolstoy's Martin the Shoemaker and updated to "Marty, the guy in the shoe shop." A customer invited Marty to church, but Marty said he had nothing to say to God. But the customer replied, "But maybe God has something to say to you." The customer persisted with invitations to Marty. One day Marty agreed to "get him off his back." When Marty went, he discovered he really liked it. He started reading the Bible every night and he read the story of Jesus visiting Simon the Pharisee and the woman washing Jesus' feet with her hair. Marty thought, "What would I do if Jesus visited me." Would I be like Simon or the woman? Marty heard a voice telling him he was going to receive a visitor. He kept looking out the window. He saw Gus, a Vietnam veteran who "wasn't quite right." It was cold and snowy so Marty invited Gus in to warm up. When Gus was leaving, Marty invited him to church. After lunch, Marty was looking out the window and saw a young mother in a thin jacket with a baby wrapped in a blanket. They were waiting for the bus. He invited the pair in to stay warm. He brought his wife's fur coat for her. Late in the afternoon he saw a kid running by with Mrs. Ferguson of the mom and pop store chasing after him. Marty caught up with the boy who had just stolen from the store.He begged them not to call the police explaining he was stealing to feed his grandmother. Mrs. Ferguson hired the boy to stock the low shelves. But Marty was disappointed he still hadn't seen Jesus. Then he read, "Whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done for me." Maybe Jesus had come, after all.

A clergy and lay ballot was taken for election to General and Jurisdictional Conferences.

The Rev. Gregory Duncan of the General Commission on Religion and Race explained the monitoring process that would be taking place during conference to raise awareness of the ethnicity, gender, age groups and handicapping conditions of participants. Claire Adams of the Commission on the Status and Role of Women also addressed the gathering and said they would also be watching the election process of delegates.

The Rev. James Sprouse gave the report of the Equitable Compensation Commission. The report was approved.

The Rev. Al Lynch spoke from the floor about a mailing that went out from a group in the church about delegates they recommended for election. The Rev. Lynch asked if the body could address mailings such as these. Technically there had not been a violation of the rules.

The Rev. Sallye Bowen of the Board of Trustees presented her report. There were no recommendations but two addendums. The report was approved.

The Rev. Tom Berlin presented a recommendation from the Committee on the Episcopal Residence. The committee recommends that the current residence be sold and that the conference trustees be authorized to either purchase or remodel an existing home that meets Virginia Conference Parsonage Guidelines and ADA guidelines, and is energy-efficient, or buy a lot and build a new residence. A building committee would be named by July 1. The bishop would name tne committee with consultation from the trustees. The recommendations were approved.

The Rev. Jeff Mickle brought the report of the Board of Ordained Ministry. The adoption of two sets of guidelines was presented - one for ths use of social media and one for counseling by clergy. The guidelines were adopted. The full report was adopted.

The Rev. Myrtle Hatcher, dean of the Cabinet, highlighted issues in the report of the Cabinet. She mentioned the redistricting process of 18 to 16 districts. She highlighted the new faith communities and the emergence of younger clergy serving these communities. She recognized through change comes new creation. Minutes questions 14, 15 and 16 were reviewed and adopted.

All Things New: Stories of Mission, were heard with special visitors. Glenn Rowley, director of mission for the conference, introduced Terry Stacey, the director of the Helping Hands Ministry Youth Mission Camp, Gloucester County, Va., who presented a video on its ministry. Rowley then introced Sarah Gardner, director of KidzJaM (Jesus and Me) at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Midlothian. She brought her son, Matthew, and Lori Beach, associate pastor at the church. Sarah told about the purchase of mosquito nets, making blankets for nursing homes, assembling UMCOR school kits, baking cookies for prison ministries, stocking the food pantry, and planting beans at Shalom farms.

Dot Ivey introduced 17 sisters and brothers from Brazil who are visiting. They are children and adult leaders from the Shade and Fresh Water project, a partner ministry with the Virginia Conference. The group presented a handmade tablecloth for Bishop Kammerer with a cross and flame embroidered into it.

Olivia Hinton, conference president of United Methodist Women, presented her report. She highlighted many mission projects in which women around the conference are involved.

The Rev. Alan Combs and C.J. Adcock presented a report on Ministries with Young People. Click here to listen to their report (mp3). They told about some upcoming events and showed a video about a blog that enourages young people to step out of their comfort zones and embrace the callings on their lives (Revolution). An event called LEAD will be held later this summer to help young people discover their gifts and enact their faith in worship, spiritual formation and outreach.

Tom Joyce, assistant to the bishop, thanked the annual conference planning committee for its months of work leading up to the session. The Rev. Cheryl Simmons chaired the committee this year.

The results of Clergy Ballot Number 2 were given. No one was elected.



The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark, and the use is supervised by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church. Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the GCFA, Attn: Legal Department, PO Box 340029, Nashville, TN 37203-0029; phone 615-369-2334; fax 615-369-2330

Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
Click here for directions to the Center