Thursday, May 30, 2013

Annual Conference: Day 1

After day one of my first ever Annual Conference I have to say... It's really not so bad.

I'm serving in the Upper New York Annual Conference. This is a conference which was four different conferences only a few years ago, and some of those conferences didn't even bring their full membership over. On top of that a new Bishop was appointed less than a year ago so this is his first Annual Conference with the UNYAC.

Despite the turmoils that can come with merging lots of conferences, and having a new person leading the proceedings day one was pretty alright.

My day at conference started off in an impossible to hear seminar for lay members that pretty much focused on how apportionments work. After we moved so we could kind of hear everything we got some wrong information on how the whole system works. Luckily we had enough people handy who were willing to guide others through the process.

If you're not United Methodist or you have no idea what apportionments are and/or how they work here's a handy explanation:

Apportionments are paid by churches to the larger church to keep all the support pieces of the church operating that don't have an actual congregation attached to them. The actual breakdown of apportionments is based on an individual dollar put into a collection plate. Of that dollar: $0.84 stays in the church that it was given in. $0.13 goes to Jurisdictions, Annual Conferences, and Districts. $0.02 goes to the general church and $0.01 goes to other general funds like the Advance, World Service Specials, and Special Sundays.

There. Not so complicated right?

The voting today went well too. A motion to make any votes regarding human sexuality to be made by ballot and not by a show of hands was quickly approved which was a great early motion to have. And the only motion that caused any sort of stir today had to do with an amendment to how the requirement of internet for clergy in their homes would be addressed. It was rather funny after the vote was ruled as passed by the Bishop there arose a great grumbling from the crowd. So they did a recount, and the Bishop again ruled it as passed.

When the only controversy in voting stems from internet access, it's a good day I think.

So that's day one of the UNYAC .

I'll try to post a recap as we go along of each day.