Next Tuesday afternoon, June 11, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson will bang the gavel and the 153rd session of the North Georgia Annual Conference will begin. The theme for this year’s Annual Conference is “One With Each Other.” As with all Annual Conferences, various committees will make their reports, motions will be presented, amendments to the motions and amendments to the amendments will be offered, votes will be taken and decisions will be made.
There will also be clergy retiring and clergy commissioned and ordained. This year, we celebrate with our own Rev. Kathy Brockman as the Bishop places her hands on Kathy’s head, ordaining her as an elder and affirming the fact that Christ has set Kathy aside for a life of ministry in the Church. It has been my experience that this is one of the highest moments in the life of anyone who has been called by Christ for the work of ordained ministry.
We also celebrate with Rev. Calissa Dauterman, who will be commissioned as a deacon this year. As you know, Calissa will be coming to Dunwoody UMC on July 1 as our Minister of Worship and Communications. This sets her on a path towards ordination and is another of the high moments in a minister’s life. When you see her, you will want to congratulate her.
One of the interesting things that will take place this year is the election of delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church. This happens once every four years. This year, we will elect 11 clergy and 11 lay delegates to General Conference. We will elect an additional 11 clergy and 11 lay delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference. These delegates will be elected by the members of the Annual Conference.
The members of the Annual Conference consist of all clergy and an equal number of laity. Every church is given one lay member to the Annual Conference for every clergy person who serves that church. Until this month, we had six clergy, therefore as a church we will have six lay members to the Annual Conference. These lay members to the Annual Conference are elected by the Charge Conference, and our next Charge Conference will be held on August 19, 2019. For clergy who serve in extension ministries beyond the local church, there are District At-large members.
The Lay Members to the Annual Conference from this church are JoAnn Akers, Jim Anchors, Jay Pryor, Neal Purcell, Dick Thayer and Bette Whitley. Alternate Lay Members are Sid and Kenney Linton and Barbara Anchors. At-large District delegates are Ann and Johnny Stone and Jack Whitley.
I noted above that the theme for this year’s Annual Conference is “One With Each Other.” You don’t need me to tell you of the divisiveness that we have seen in our denomination and to some extent in our own church. I hope you will hold every member of the Annual Conference, lay and clergy, in your thoughts and prayers, and that you will pray that all will be guided by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
As always, I want to thank you for the privilege of being your pastor.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dan Brown