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2018 Session of the

MISSISSIPPI ANNUAL CONFERENCE of The United Methodist Church

2018 Pre-Conference Journal May 31-June 2, 2018 Jackson Convention Complex

LOVE • GENEROSITY • JUSTICE • APPRENTICESHIP


2018 Journal Mississippi Conference of

The United Methodist Church Uniting

The Mississippi Conference (1972) and

The North Mississippi Conference (1973)

Twenty-Ninth Session held in

Jackson, Mississippi

at Jackson Convention Complex

May 31 - June 2, 2018

Journal Editor — Leslie Bounds Conference Secretary — Trey Harper Statistician — Rex Wilburn All photos courtesy of the Mississippi United Methodist Communications


Table

of

Contents

Welcome Letter from Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr......................................................................................5 Welcome Letter from Rev. Andy Stoddard and Dr. Dorothy Terry, Annual Conference Chairs...............6 Welcome Letter from Rev. Trey Harper, Annual Conference Secretary......................................................7 Section I - Leadership A. Conference Nominations Committee.............................................................................................9 B. Annual Conference Officers.............................................................................................................9 C. District Leadership......................................................................................................................... 10 D. Annual Conference Leadership Groups....................................................................................... 11 E. Institution Trustees and Directors................................................................................................. 15 F. District Boards and Committees.................................................................................................... 19 G. Tellers.............................................................................................................................................. 29 Section II - Business of the Annual Conference (Section will be added after 2018 AC Session) Section III - Administry A. Council on Finance and Administration...................................................................................... 33 B. 2019 Budget Requests.................................................................................................................... 45 C. Board of Trustees.............................................................................................................................56. D. Board of Pensions............................................................................................................................58. E. Board of Medical Benefits...............................................................................................................67. F. Commission on Archives and History.......................................................................................... 70 Section IV - Connectional Ministry Updates....................................................................................... 73 Section V - Forming Spiritual Leaders A. Conference Lay Leader Report.......................................................................................................95. B. Board of Ordained Ministry Report.............................................................................................. 95 C. Commission on Equitable Compensation.................................................................................... 99 D. Higher Education and Campus Ministry.................................................................................... 102. E. Residency in Ministry.................................................................................................................. 103 F. Center for Ministry....................................................................................................................... 103 Section VI - Faith Community Formation......................................................................................... 105 Section VII - Episcopal Office A. Episcopacy Committee................................................................................................................. 109 B. Advocacy Reports........................................................................................................................ 110 C. Task Force Report......................................................................................................................... 111 Section VIII - Other Reports................................................................................................................. 115 Section IX - History (Section will be added after 2018 AC Session) Section X - The 2018 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference A. Consent Agenda........................................................................................................................... 129 Section XI - Resolutions and Petitions A. Regular.......................................................................................................................................... 131 B. Property......................................................................................................................................... 135 C. Changes in Charge Lines............................................................................................................. 140 Section XII - Conference Directory and Rolls (Section will be added after 2018 AC Session) Section XIII - Rules and Policies A. Standing Rules of The Mississippi Annual Conference............................................................ 145 B. Mississippi Conference Clergy Behavioral Policy...................................................................... 155


Section XIII - Rules and Policies, continued C. Parsonage Guidelines................................................................................................................... 157 D. Clergy Vacation and Days Off Policy.......................................................................................... 161 E. Safe Sanctuaries Policy................................................................................................................ 162


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The United Methodist Church

Mississippi Area + Episcopal Office

James E. Swanson Sr., Resident Bishop

Welcome to The 2018 Mississippi Annual Conference My brothers and sisters I welcome you to the 2018 Session of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. John Maxwell in one of his most recent books “Developing the Leader Within You” writes, “We have to be intentional about our lives and the path we choose to walk.” I believe Maxwell is right and that people become great in their endeavors if they are intentional. And one of the best ways to be intentional about being a “Disciple of Jesus Christ” is by following intentionally someone that is becoming or is already where we desire to be in Christ. This is practicing Intentional Discipleship. It finding those that can be your mentor so that you may become their Apprentice. No one becomes a mature disciple of The Christ by accident. It is an exercise of the will. Our Bible Passage for this year’s annual conference is this passage: “Fifty members from the group of prophets also went along, but they stood at a distance. Both Elijah and Elisha stood beside the Jordan River. Elijah then took his coat, rolled it up, and hit the water. Then the water was divided in two! Both of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to do for you before I’m taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Let me have twice your spirit.” Elijah said, “You’ve made a difficult request. If you can see me when I’m taken from you, then it will be yours. If you don’t see me, it won’t happen.” They were walking along, talking, when suddenly a fiery chariot and fiery horses appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went to heaven in a windstorm. Elisha was watching, and he cried out, “Oh, my father, my father! Israel’s chariots and its riders!” When he could no longer see him, Elisha took hold of his clothes and ripped them in two. Then Elisha picked up the coat that had fallen from Elijah. He went back and stood beside the banks of the Jordan River. He took the coat that had fallen from Elijah and hit the water. He said, “Where is the LORD, Elijah’s God?” And when he hit the water, it divided in two! Then Elisha crossed over.” – 2 Kings 2:7-14 CEB I ask that in preparation for us to be on one accord that you not only read this passage but all of chapter 2 of 2 Kings. In addition, I ask that you come praying for the Holy Spirit to fall upon all of our preachers and presenters and upon all of so that WE might surrender ourselves to be apprentices preparing for The Lord to employ us in God’s work. Hallelujah!!!! Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. Resident Bishop, The Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church


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Greetings from Rev. Andy Stoddard and Dr. Dorothy Terry, Annual Conference Chairs Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ! Once again, we are pleased to welcome you to our yearly family reunion of Mississippi United Methodists, our Annual Conference. It is always a joy to gather together here in Jackson for this yearly time of business, fellowship, worship, teaching, and planning. God has been good to us as Mississippi United Methodists, and we know that through God’s grace, that blessing will continue. In the last few years, each Annual Conference has focused on one of our core values here in Mississippi and this year we are focusing apprenticeship. As we think about this concept, there are two thoughts that come to our mind. First, who is it in our life that has mentored us? Who has poured into us? Who has shown us the love and grace of Jesus Christ? We each have someone in our live that has loved us enough to teach us. Who is that person for you? Second, who are you pouring into? Who you are you mentoring? Who are you showing the love and grace of Jesus Christ to? As we walk the road of discipleship, one of the surest ways that we can grow our own faith is to give that faith away. We will find that as we help others find Jesus, we will find Him more and more in our own lives. As we look forward to this session of the Mississippi Annual Conference, it is our hope that you are open to the Holy Spirit working in and through each of us. And, it is our hope as always that you leave this place with a renewed determination to be the Jesus example in your church and community. Again, welcome to this session of the Mississippi Annual Conference. Peace of Christ, Rev. Andrew “Andy” Stoddard and Dr. Dorothy Terry Mississippi Annual Conference Planning Committee Co-Chairs


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Welcome Letter from Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the 2018 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference, Greetings and on behalf of your Secretarial and Journal staff, we welcome you as we begin this time of prayerful preparation for our gathering at the Jackson Convention Complex, May 30 - June 2, 2018. This year’s gathering will remind us all of the importance of living a life that promotes and exemplifies our Core Value of Apprenticeship. We are the Body of Christ, and each member is important. But just as important as our connection and service, is also our ability to nurture the next generation of disciples. Disciples making disciples. As usual, upon arrival in the WEST ENTRANCE LOBBY go to your DISTRICT TABLE, check-in and receive your badge and any additional information. As usual, our Pre-Conference Day is full of exciting opportunities, so registration for Annual Conference will be open on WEDNESDAY, MAY 30th at NOON until 5 P.M. We will also be open THURSDAY, JUNE 8th from 8 A.M. until 5 P.M. (will be closed for Opening Worship) and FRIDAY, JUNE 9th from 8 A.M. until NOON. Please note that all GUESTS OF THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE (those attending who are not lay or clergy members) will need to check-in at the Hospitality Desk to receive a name tag and any additional information they may require. At check-in, offer a special thanks to your District Secretary. They deserve it! As in year’s past, as in year’s past, we will be using a THREE-COLOR BADGE CODE for our voting members. All LAY MEMBERS of the Annual Conference will receive the traditional GREEN badges. All CLERGY IN FULL CONNECTION will receive BLUE badges. All remaining, voting CLERGY will receive RED badges. If there is any question about your badge color, I will be on site to assist. We know that despite our best efforts mistakes will happen. With your patience and participation, we will do our best to correct these. Should it become necessary for any member (Clergy or Laity) to leave the Conference, we ask that you return your badge to the Conference Secretary’s desk or to the District Tables. Any reserve or alternate laity may pick up proper voting credentials at those locations All eligible members must be seated within the BAR OF THE CONFERENCE and be wearing their PROPER IDENTIFICATON (badges) in order to VOTE on the Business of the Annual Conference. The BAR will be set at the opening of the Business Session. We will also try to remind you throughout the sessions as needed for voting. During these days of worship and meeting, it is my prayer that we will continue to reflect on both our individual and communal call to grow the Kingdom by making Disciple for Jesus Christ. I look forward to seeing you there. Blessings, Rev. Trey Harper Secretary, The Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church


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S ection I

Leadership A. Conference Nominations Committee District Laity Clergy Brookhaven East Jackson Greenwood Hattiesburg Meridian New Albany Seashore Senatobia Starkville Tupelo West Jackson

Ora Franklin-Rodgers Darelene Dotherow John McClay Dwight Yates Sarah King Cheri Hobson Margo Porter Cheryl Denley Ying Woo Jerrold Hood Ron Phillips

Mike Evans Vicki Landrum Veronica Pritchard Paul Roller John Branning Kerry Powell Jon Kaufman David Huffman Paul Luckett Phillip Box Robert Paul McDonald

B. Annual Conference Officers Bishop Conference Lay Leader

James E. Swanson, Sr. bishop@mississippi-umc.org 320-E Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS 39206 (601) 948-4561 LaToya Redd Thompson Toyaredd03@aol.com 736 Monterey Road Pearl, MS 39028 (601) 842-8834

Administrative Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Faith Community Formation Timothy Thompson tim@mississippi-umc.org 320-E Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS 39206 (601) 948-4561 Director of Connectional Ministries & Communications Vickie White vwhite@mississippi-umc.org 320-C Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS 39206 (601) 354-0515 Treasurer/Director of Finance & Administration/Conference Benefits Officer David Stotts david@mississippi-umc.org 320-A Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS 39206 (601) 354-0515 Director of Spiritual Leadership Larry Hilliard lhilliard@mississippi-umc.org 320-D Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS 39206 (601) 354-0515 Conference Secretary Minutes Secretary Journal Editor

Trey Harper confsec@mississippi-umc.org P.O. Box 68, Forest, MS 39074 (601) 469-2604 Andrew Owen greggshorthand@gmail.com Leslie Bounds lbounds@bellsouth.net 4001 Glenn Wycke Cove, Brandon, MS 39042 (601) 573-8500


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Statistician

Rex Wilburn rwilbur62285@gmail.com 106 Hillcrest Drive, Houston, MS 38851 (662) 983-0574

Auditor

Horne CPA Group, Jackson

Chancellor

Clifford B. Ammons

Conference Coordinator for Lay Servant Ministries Cornelius Mozee 110 Harvey Circle, Brandon, MS 39042 (601) 825-5048 United Methodist Men, President

Andy Tentoni ummenms@gmail.com 82 Nottingham Lane, Columbus, MS 39705 (662) 328-2059

United Methodist Women, President

Dorothy Carter dotcarter0004@yahoo.com 1113 108th Street, Amory, MS 38821 (662) 256-5857

Methodist Foundation, Executive Director

Mike Hicks mike@ms-umf.org P.O. Box 2415, Ridgeland, MS 39158 (601) 948-8845

C. District Leadership District Abbreviations BRO - Brookhaven EJA - East Jackson GWD - Greenwood HAT - Hattiesburg

MER - Meridian NAL - New Albany SEA - Seashore SEN - Senatobia

STA - Starkville TUP - Tupelo WJA - West Jackson

1. District Superintendents

BRO Lindsey Robinson, P.O. Box 629, Brookhaven, MS 39602 (601) 833-1619 brookhaven@mississippi-umc.org EJA Connie Shelton, 860 E. River Place, Ste. 101, Jackson, MS 39202 (601) 944-0776 eastjackson@mississippi-umc.org GWD Mattie D. Gipson, 107 Grand Boulevard, Greenwood, MS 38930 (662) 453-0878 greenwood@mississippi-umc.org HAT Cynthia Cross, P.O. Box 2057, Hattiesburg, MS 39403 (601) 264-9181 hattiesburg@mississippi-umc.org MER Steven “Rusty” Keen, 6210 Highway 39 North, Meridian, MS 39305 (601) 483-6221 meridian@mississippi-umc.org NAL Raigan Miskelly, P.O. Box 686, New Albany, MS 38652 (662) 534-7733 newalbany@mississippi-umc.org SEA Jim Fisher, P.O. Box 6586, Gulfport, MS 39506 (228) 604-2300 seashore@mississippi-umc.org SEN Jim Genesse, P.O. Box 220, Senatobia, MS 38668 (662) 562-5865 senatobia@mississippi-umc.org STA Embra K. Jackson, P.O. Box 1329, Starkville, MS 39560 (662) 323-0198 starkville@mississippi-umc.org


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TUP Jimmy Barnes, P.O. Box 3957, Tupelo, MS 38803 (662) 842-8477 tupelo@mississippi-umc.org WJA Stephen Cook, 860 E. River Place, Ste. 101, Jackson, MS 39202 (601) 944-0776 westjackson@mississippi-umc.org

2. District Lay Leaders BRO Ora Franklin-Rodgers, P.O. Box 17414, Hattiesburg, MS 39404 (601) 408-2080 obfranklin1@gmail.com EJA Darlene Dotherow, 169 Pine Hill Drive, Brandon, MS 39047 (601) 825-6118 ddoth54@bellsouth.net GWD John McClay, 2317 Short Street, Greenville, MS 38703 (662) 335-2942 jwmmcclay@yahoo.com HAT Dwight Yates, 1185 Bolton Loop Rd., Beaumont, MS 39423 (601) 784-2252 dwightyates@att.net MER Andrew Richardson, 2373 CR 20, Rose Hill, MS 39356 (601) 692-8288 a_overlooked_r@yahoo.com NAL Buddy Wiltshire, 15 Wood Dr, Belmont, MS 38827 (662) 454-8835 mayorofbelmontms@yahoo.com SEA Vera Thomas, 13232 Dedeaux Rd., Gulfport, MS 39503 (228) 831-1497 wltrthom@cableone.net SEN Cristen Barnard, 25 Oakley CV, Senatobia, MS 38668 (662) 609-1246 cristencbarnard@comcast.net STA Hal Smith, 1012 2nd Ave. N, Columbus MS 39701 (662) 327-7276 halsmith@cableone.net TUP Bobby Thomas, 31 CR 415, Tishomingo, MS 38873 (662) 256-6158 jbthomas@wildblue.net WJA Tommie Cardin, 303 Bordeaux Dr., Clinton, MS 39056 (601) 924-9370 tommie.cardin@butlersnow.com

D. Annual Conference Leadership Groups (Annual Conference Boards, Committees, Commissions, Etc.) (* Indicates change from last year)

Administry Board of Trustees Tim Prather, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Carole Barham, Charlie Campbell, Bonnie Dillon, Maudine Eckford, Clarence Evans, Ed Jones, Ellen Short, Wayne Webb CLERGY: Tim Prather, Larry Maugh, Mitchell McDonald, Marjorie Walker Board of Pensions John Brian Jones, Chair (Laity) LAITY: Patricia Battle, Tommy Dyson, Niler Franklin, John Brian Jones, H.V. Neal, Loyce Searight, Cheryl Webb CLERGY: Jerry Beam, Joe Landrum, John McKay*, A.J Murray


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Board of Medical Benefits Grady Marlow, Chair (Laity) LAITY: Rita Anderson, Barbara Boome, Leslie Bounds, Jason McCoy, Bob Yates, Grady Marlow, Red Moffat, Sue Sullivan CLERGY: Curtis Bray, Beth Miller, David Shumaker Council on Finance and Administration Brent Wilson, Chair Pat McNulty, Audit and Review Chair LAITY: Donna Gilbert, Matt Gnemi, Kiah Hitt, Dan Kibodeaux, Laura Kinney, Sharolyn Miller, Lee Murphy, Sherry Russum, Chuck Stringer, Shannon Turner CLERGY: Fred Britton, David Cox, Jim Genesse, Mitchell Hedgepeth, Johniel Henry, Giles Lindley, Arthur Louis Johnson, Keith Keeton, Brenda McCaskill, Rochelle Minor Archives and History Conference Historian: Dr. Walter Howell LAITY: Buddy Hilliard, Matthew Henry, Virginia Matthews, D.C. Yates CLERGY: Jimmy Barnes, Jerry Mitchell, Marcus Thompson, Rob Webb Ex Officio: Sam Price

Connectional Ministries and Communications Commission on Communication Kevin Carter, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Jason Anding, Kay Barksdale, Chris Blount, Teresa Hope, Taylor Leddy, Yolanda Parris, Jimmy Spears, TJ Tate, Laura Walton CLERGY: Cheryl Farr, Tony Proctor, Eugene Stockstill, Michael Williams Resolution and Petitions Stephen Sparks, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: LaToya Redd-Thompson, Bob Wadsworth CLERGY: Martha June Kirby, Joey Shelton Ex-Officio: Trey Harper, Conference Secretary Standing Rules David Beckley, Chair (Lay) LAITY: Joyce Funchess, Earnestine Preston, Janice Tinsley CLERGY: Allen Dearing, Claire Dobbs Ex-Officio: Trey Harper, Conference Secretary Personnel Committee Zach Beasley, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Kathy Bridge, Andrew Richardson CLERGY: Sandra Thomas Board of Global Ministries (Formerly MSAC Missions) Sarah Jo Adams-Wilson, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Anita Alef, Sherry Boyd, Jennifer Calhoun, Bettye Coggin, Pat Oakes, Don Pratt, Tim Ross, Bobby Thomas, Connie Walters CLERGY: Allen McGraw, Randy Russ, Clint Ware Conference Secretary of Global Ministries Eric Sanford (Clergy) Health and Welfare Committee Marcus Gaut, Chair (Lay)


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Camping and Retreat Ministry Board Andy Stoddard, Chair (Clergy) United Methodist Committee on Relief Mellie Jordan (Laity) Volunteer in Missions Hollis Crowder, Chair (Lay)

Vital Congregations Committee BRO: Natchez: Grace EJA: Greer Chapel HAT: St. Paul GWD: Grenada First WJA: Parkway Hills SEN: Love Station STA: Columbus First SEA: Cedar Lake MER: Central TUP: Union Grove

Faith Community Formation Faith Community Formation Committee Chair: Steve Shirley (Laity) LAITY: Karen Geddie, Steve Shirley* CLERGY: Ben Barlow*, DeMario Benson, Ben Butler, Jimmy Criddle*, Josh Gray, Haywood Hanna, Wayne Hill, Wesley Pepper*, Jim Taylor

Spiritual Leadership Higher Education and Campus Ministry Kurt Appel, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Charlie Estes, Jill Gilbert, Renelda Owens, Walter Roberts, Anne Warren, Cheryl Sparkman, Dora Washington CLERGY: Chris Klingenfus, Trey Skaggs, Lance Presley Community College Representative: Melinda Bowlin College/University Representative: Tara Hayes Equitable Compensation Mike Hicks, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Edna Curtis, Jan Hitt, Hal Kittrell, John Reed CLERGY: Fitzgerald Lovett, Joe May, Rachel Pitts Residency in Ministry Anna Fleming-Jones, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Robert Sledge CLERGY: Ella Dedeaux, Wesley Pepper, Emily Sanford, David Schultz Board of Ordained Ministry Cary Stockett, Chair (Clergy) LAITY: Nancy Crews, Todd Cross, Jane Simmons, Cathy Stewart, Phil Sutphin, Earnestine Varnado, George Verall, Marty Wiseman CLERGY: Loye Ashton, Maxine Bolden, Chad Bowen, Ever Jean Burt, Paulette Buford, Pamela Cameron, Susannah Carr, Bruce Case, Mitch Cochran, Julie Collins, Jimmy Criddle, Amy Daniels,


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Dorothy Dickson-Rishel, Claire Dobbs, Darian Duckworth, Walter Frazier, Belinda Hardy, Johneil Henry, Daniel Herring, Terry Hilliard, Gary Howse, Vicki Hughes Johnson, Patrick Hutto, Rickey James, Sherry Johnson, David Lowery, Ethel McGee, Karie Sue McCaleb, Brenda McCaskill, David McCoy, Gloria McKinney, Tommy Miller, Albert Mosley, Lynn Mote, Robbie Murden, Amy Roller, Steven Owens, Allison Parvin, Rachel Pitts, Roger Puhr, Todd Watson, Bob Whiteside, Willie Williams, Scott Wright Committee on Investigation 2017-2020 CLERGY: Clare Dobbs, David Huffman, Joe May, Stephen Sparks LAITY: Joy Carr, Jean Reid Goodwin, Jesse Ross Alternates CLERGY: Bess Perrier, John Branning, Ricky Georgetown LAITY: Taylor Cheeseman, York Craig, Dorothy Redd, Linda Norwood, Ben Witt

Episcopal Office Committee on Episcopacy Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. , Resident Bishop LaToya Redd-Thompson, Lay Leader Beth Hartness, Episcopal Residence (Lay) Connie Shelton, Cabinet Representative (Clergy) Danny Rowland, Chair LAITY: Sondra Bell, Sandra Brown, Martin Butler, Tim Crisler, Chris Howdeshel, Aubrey Lucas, Lydia Smith-Roby, Sallie Whiteside CLERGY: Mattie Gipson, Ryan McGough,Emma Ward, Lindsey Robinson, Anna Fleming-Jones

Advocacy Ministries

Disabilities Group Eric Pridmore, Representative (Clergy)

Commission On the Status and Role of Women Susannah Carr, Representative (Clergy) Committee On Religion and Race Kathy Price, Representative (Clergy) Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns Warren Coile, Representative (Clergy) Committee on Church and Society Willis Britt, Representative (Clergy)


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E. Institution Trustees and Directors Millsaps College

** Indicates trustees to be approved by Methodist Conference in June 2018 * Indicates additional United Methodist trustees

Listing will be added after 2018 AC Session The Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, Inc. Board Membership 2018-2019 Class of 2016-2019 Class of 2017-2020 Class of 2018-2021 Rev. Zachary Beasley Mr. Turner Arant Dr. Joe N. Bailey, III Holly Springs Sunflower Tupelo Mr. Howard E. Boone Mr. Freddie J. Bagley Rev. Anna Fleming-Jones Madison Brandon Hazlehurst Rev. Joe Landrum Rev. Mitchell B. Hedgepeth Mr. Henry Holifield Crystal Springs Brandon Ridgeland Mr. Raymond Miller Mr. Charles Leggett, Jr. Mr. Tom McCormick Clinton Hattiesburg Gulfport Mr. Jesse L. Ross, Jr. Mrs. Kelly Riley Mrs. Jan Hitt Jackson Madison Meridian Dr. Ron Whitehead Mr. Walker Sturdivant Mr. John David Robinson Booneville Greenwood Ridgeland Rev. Jeff Shannon Rev. John Moore Mr. Ben Walton West Point Ridgeland Jackson Mr. Lester Myers Mr. Wade Watts Dr. Acie Whitlock, Jr. Inverness Madison Madison Rev. Tim Prather New Albany Emeritus Members Mrs. Alveria Crump Mr. Sherman Muths Rev. Prentiss Gordon

Mr. Bryce Griffis Mrs. RaLeen Haynes Dr. Fred McDonnell Mr. James McRae

Mr. Joe Charles Sanders Mr. O. B. Walton, Jr. Rev. Rayford Woodrick

Ex-Officio 2017-2018 Bishop James Swanson, Chairperson Rev. Stephen Cook, District Superintendent Without Vote Mr. Brent Wilson, CFA Chairperson Without Vote Rev. Vickie White, Connectional Ministries Without Vote

Rust College Listing will be added after 2018 AC Session Seashore United Methodist Assembly Listing will be added after 2018 AC Session United Methodist Children’s Homes of MS, LLC Listing will be added after 2018 AC Session


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United Methodist Senior Services of Mississippi, Inc. Class of 2019 Freida Burt Rev. Jimmy Criddle Bennie Daniels, Jr. Hamp Dye Rex Gillis Jolee Hussey Ellington Massey Rev. Joe May Ann Milam Rev. Joey Shelton

Members of the Corporation Class of 2020 Kaye Bernheim Randy Burchfield Fred Carlisle Steve Gresham Newt Harrison Harriett Hearn Frank M. Patty, Jr. Cheryl Penson Tom Pittman Larry Pupa Frank A. Riley, Jr. Sandy Slocum

Class of 2018 David Brevard Freida Burt Rev. Jimmy Criddle Lloyd Gray Sarah Sanders

Board of Directors Class of 2019 Hamp Dye Alice Gorman Rev. Joe May Cynthia Parker Rev. Chris Young

Class of 2021 Bruce Calcote Hargie Crenshaw Kenny Dill, Sr. Rev. Claire Dobbs Jackie Granberry Rev. Embra Jackson Margaret McKenzie Rev. Dwight Prowell Van Ray Richard Topp Dave Vincent

Class of 2020 Polly Bailey Paula Drungole Van Ray Frank A. Riley, Jr. Bill H. West

Officers Chair: Lloyd Gray Vice-Chair: Cynthia Parker Secretary: Van Ray

United Methodist Senior Services of Tupelo Area, Inc. United Methodist Senior Services Health Care, Inc. Board of Directors Class of 2019 Bill Hines Amy McFerrin Ann Milam Sally Enos Williams Sandra Wright

Class of 2018 David Brevard Randy Burchfield Kay Collins Dana Finch James Sloan

Class of 2020 Marshall Briscoe Dana Foster Paul Mize III Tom Murry Lowell Walker, Jr.

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Jon Stirewalt, Executive Director

United Methodist Senior Services of Clarksdale Area, Inc. Class of 2018 Shaw Johnson III Ellington F. Massey Thomas “Butch” H. Scipper Maggie Tyner Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO

Board of Directors Class of 2019 Diane Eubanks Jeanette Hamberlin Ed Peacock III Tom Ross

Class of 2020 Beth Pegram Pat Robinette Rodge Rodgers Neville Vanderburg


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Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating officer Monica Jennings, Executive Director

United Methodist Senior Services of Columbus Area, Inc. United Methodist Senior Services of the Golden Triangle Area, Inc. Class of 2018 Kathi Bean Sandra Depriest George Irby Theresa Miley Sandra Woodard

Board of Directors Class of 2019 John Davis Bob Howland Ellender McClure Bill West Jay Wiygul

Class of 2020 Jimmy Criddle Dennis Holliman Sammy Townsend Tom Waller

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Craig Hill, Executive Director

Aldersgate Retirement Community, Inc. – Lauderdale Senior Services, Inc. Meridian Senior Services, Inc. – Aldersgate Personal Care, Inc. Board of Directors Class of 2018 Class of 2019 Bill Crawford Leslie Dunn Hargie Crenshaw Chris Lauderdale Jeremy Hill Jo Beth Maranto Chuck Sanders Larry Pupa Ronnie Walton

Class of 2020 Tony Fouts Wanda Hastings Jeff McCoy Mark Scarborough Mina Beth Tonini

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Lawona Broadfoot, Executive Director & Regional Director – South

Hattiesburg Area Senior Services, Inc. Wesley Manor Retirement Community, Inc. Class of 2018 Bruce Calcote Linda Donnell Mary McCoy Juruthin Woullard

Board of Directors Class of 2019 Susan Donohue Ann L. Griffin Cliff Norman Lucy Sanguinetti Willie Sims

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Kim J. Pittman, Executive Director

Class of 2020 Linda Eaton Willis H. Lott, Jr. Nancy Shows Jeff Sims Richard Topp


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Seashore Campgrounds Retirement Home, Inc. Class of 2018 Emily Ann Allen Steve Allen Janie Bertucci Dennis Brooke Jeff Lawson

Board of Directors Class of 2019 Justin Crockett Michael H. Gilreath Diane B. Harvard Margaret McKenzie Rufus M. Smith

Class of 2020 Kaye Bernheim John L. Lipscomb Burt Patterson James Pat Smith David Vincent

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Anderson, Executive Director

Greene County Retirement Systems, Inc.

Class of 2018 David Allen G. L. Dearman Betty Leydecker

Board of Directors Class of 2019 Shelley Eubanks Jimmy Holcomb Steve Smith

Class of 2020 Victor Chatham Nell Gray Freddie Cecil Zehner

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Catherine Bradley, Executive Director

United Methodist Senior Services of Jackson Area, Inc. Class of 2018 Judy Bufkin Tom Joiner Bob Mayo Frank Sutton Davis Watts

Board of Directors Class of 2019 Ginger Carter Hamp Dye Marion Eifling Alice Gorman Isla Tullos

Class of 2020 Joel Horton Tom Kendall Vernon Muse Carol Walker Lester Walls

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Executive Director

United Methodist Senior Services of Clay County, Inc. Dugan Memorial Home, Inc. Class of 2018 Barbara Bryan Mary Jo Hill Stacie Moore Bruff Sanders Marc Stewart Ex-Officio Members

Board of Directors Class of 2019 Glenda Brinkley Kay Coggins Gale Griggs George Purnell Ben Rosenkrans

Class of 2020 Bucky Kellogg Kim West Eluster Wicks


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Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Shelley Tuggle, Executive Director

United Methodist Senior Services of DeSoto County, Inc. Board of Directors Class of 2019 Lee Ashcraft Frank Fairley Barbara Jepsen Alan Sims Billie Wilhite

Class of 2018 Tommy Borgognoni Jackie Collinsworth Jenny Gartrell Randy Hailey Tim Sexton

Class of 2020 Cheryl Denley Jean Dickerson Joe Frank Lauderdale Beth Owens Cheryl Ward

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Marsha Brasher, Executive Director

Martha Coker Home, Inc. Board of Directors Class of 2019 Janice Adams Robert B. Barton, Jr. June Crow Van Ray

Class of 2018 Floyd Griffin Helen Hendrix Penny Jackson John Simmons

Class of 2020 Emily Barton Debra Crook Rita Sanders Christy Vandevere

Ex-Officio Members Lloyd Gray, Chairman, MMSS Stephen L. McAlilly, President/CEO Alan Brown, Vice Pres./Chief Operating Officer Julie Hoffman, Executive Director

Wesley House Community Center, Inc. Listing will be added after 2018 AC Session

F. District Boards and Committees Brookhaven District Tellers Clergy: Mark Jones Lay: Charles Campbell District Leadership (SLI) Team Mike Evans Brandon Halford Ora Franklin Rogers Lynn Mote

Bonnie Dillon Greg Pittman Fitzgerald Lovett Bonnie Dillon

District Committee on Ministry Gene Horton Greg Pittman Ernestine Varnado

Lynn Mote Bill Barksdale Bonnie Dillon

Linda Fox Joe Landrum Susan Hood Joe Landrum

Jim Porter, Chair Mike Evans, Registrar Fitzgerald Lovett


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Chris Richardson Sara Lloyd

Ora Franklin Rodgers Dr. Bo Gabbert

Ed Youngblood

District Committee on Superintendency Mike Sahler Mark Fite Pat Smith Linda Fox Brenda Cager Ora Franklin Rodgers District Trustees Charles Campbell, Chair Johnny Crosby

Betsy Smith

Faith Community Formation/Building and Location Charles Campbell Betsy Smith Johnny Crosby Mike Evans Susan Allen, Chair Finance and Audit Charles Campbell, Chair

Debra Stamps

Michelle Parker Skip Atchison

Ryan Freeman

Ryan Freeman Fitzgerald Lovett

Tommie Hart

District Officers Leader: Ora Franklin Rodgers UMM: Larry Moreton UMW: Jimmy Sartin UMYF: Daniel Youngblood Lay Servant Ministry: Susan Hood

East Jackson District District Officers District Chancellor: York Craig District Lay Leader: Darlene Dotherow District Lay Servant: Melissa Grantham District Treasurer: Vicki Jones District Youth Coordinator: Cory Phillips District Missions Coordinator: Shelia Cumbest District Disaster Coordinator: Gary Glazier District Older Adult Coordinator: Nora Roberts District Servant Ministry Coordinator: Melissa Grantham District UMW, President: Dale Barnes District UMM, President: Carl Tudor United Methodist Youth President: Isaac Sanders Trustees Mitchell Hedgepeth, Chair; Bettye Ward Fletcher, Jim Taylor, Walter Collier, Nancy Lockhart (not confirmed) Finance 2018: Paul Young, Chair; Donna Gilbert 2019: Vicki Jones, Carolyn Anderson 2020: Haywood Hannah, Darlene Dotherow Committee On Superintendency 2018: LaToya Redd Thompson; Sandra Rasberry, Darlene Dotherow, District Lay Leader 2019: Vicki Landrum, Chair; Barbara Taylor, Malcolm Harvey; Brian Gomillion 2020: Brenda Britt; AW Crump


The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

Church Location and Building (Faith Community Formation) 2018: Gordon Herring, David Slaughter, Ben Butler 2019: David Lowery, Chair; Melissa Grantham, Haywood Hannah 2020: Mitchell Hedgepeth, Andy Stoddard, EJ Shepard, Kurt Appel Committee On Ministry (Clergy and Laity) 2018: Gary Glazier, Chair; Dorothea Garrett, Willis Britt 2019: Loye Ashton, Kevin Carter, Rita Anderson 2020: Karie Sue McCaleb, Registrar; Dorothy Redd, Trey Harper Ex-Officio Members Connie Shelton

Greenwood District District Officers District Lay Speaker: John McClay District Lay Speaker: Tela Collins UMM President: Gary Bouse UMW President: Erie Stuckett Young Adult (Age 18-30): Ethan Oltremari Youth (Age 12-17): Jack Wooten Board of Trustees and Finance Committee 2018: Detra Bishop, Charles Branch 2019: Brad Hodges, Frenchye Magee 2020: Tela Collins, Tom Potter District Lay Leader: John McClay District Treasurer: Larry Gnemi District Superintendent: Mattie Gipson District Secretary: Susan Clinkscales Church Building and Locations Committee 2018: Stephen Sparks, Brad Hodges, Will Wilkerson 2019: Walter Goldsmith, Terry Williams, Brenda McCaskill 2020: Detra Bishop Lay Leader: John McClay Committee on Superintendency 2018: Brad Hodges, Thelma Collins, Conrad Longfellow 2019: Turner Arant, Jennette Moore 2020: Tom Potter, Annie Williams, Billy Ray Stonestreet Lay Leader: John McClay Committee on Ordained Ministry 2018: Tom Potter, Willie Williams 2019: Billy Ray Stonestreet, Linda Conoway 2020: Jack Wooten, Henry Fant District Superintendent: Mattie Gipson Tellers Lay: Tela Collins Clergy: Annie Washington Ex-Officio John McClay, Tela Collins, Brenda McCaskill

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The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

Hattiesburg District District Officers Lay Leader: Dwight Yates Director of Lay Speaking: Henrietta Brown UMM President: Marvin Strahan UMW President: Henrietta Brown Youth: Walter Roberts Church Location and Building West Team: Mitch Guess, Leader & Chair; Bob Black, Mike Essary, Linda Dixon, Dwayne Mayo East Team: Donald Rogers, Leader; Johniel Henry, Louis Crumbley, Jr., Terry Herron District Superintendency Dwight Yates, Lay Leader; Kim Kay, Administrative Assistant Class of June 2015 - June 2018: Vicki Baldwin, Chris Winstead, DeBeth Hodges Class of June 2016 - June 2019: Paul Roller, Henrietta Brown, Jimmie Jones Class of June 2017 - June 2020: Carrie Mayo, Nance Hixon, Sam Britton Finance and Audit Scot Jones, Chair; Dwight Yates, Lay Leader; Richard Topp, Treasurer; Kim Kay, Secretary Board of Trustees Gene Carothers, Chair June 2015 - June 2018: Scot Jones, Chris Howdeshell June 2016 - June 2019: Gene Carothers, John Gavin, Haskins Montgomery June 2017 - June 2020: Carrie Mayo, Todd Watson Ordained Ministry Amy Roller, Chair; Todd Watson, Vice Chair; Corey Proctor, Secretary; Bruce Case, Registrar Class of June 2015 - June 2018: Linda Dixon, Amy Roller, Kathleen Shaffer Class of June 2016 - June 2019: Dixie Holder-Cummings, James McRee, Sessions Polk, Joan Holland, Corey Proctor Class of June 2017 - June 2020: Bruce Case, Annie McLean, Nance Hixon, Johniel Henry, Andrew LeBlanc, Glenn Freeman

Meridian District District Committee Leaders Lay Leader: Andrew Richardson Director of Lay Speaking: Sarah King UMM Representative: Mitchell Dawkins UMW President: Susie Harris UMYF President: Brandon Brown District Youth (Age 12-17): B.J. Branning District Youth Young Adult (Age 18-30): Tim Wise Committee on Property and Locations Class of 2018: Phil Sutphin (Chair), Rev. Ron Gomillion Class of 2019: Dorothy Gowdy, Carol Smith, Wink Glover Class of 2020: Rev. Cheryl Farr, Rev. Owen Gordon Committee on Finance Class of 2018: Rev. Chris Young (Chair), Jan Hitt Class of 2019: Janice Tinsley, Cheryl Sparkman, Zac Cox Class of 2020: Rev. Preston Jones, Sherry McFarland, John A. Brown


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Trustees Class of 2018: Mark Scarborough (Chair), Terry Pair, Oliver Peebles Class of 2019: Dorothy McGruder, Charley Westerfield, John Branning Class of 2020: Thomas Jones, Sylvia Hosch District Superintendency Committee Class of 2018: Lisa Young, Maurice Hall, Carole Barham Class of 2019: Rev. Gary Howse, Freeman Jones, Rev. Renay Dawkins Class of 2020: Dan Willis (Chair), Robert Turnage, Rev. Chuck Meador Ex. Officio: Andrew Richardson (District Lay Leader), Rev. Dayna Goff (DS) District Committee on Ordained Ministry Class of 2018: Rev. Ron Kitchens, Rev. Lannis May, Rev. John Wesley Leek, Rev. Steven Owens, Marvin Blanks, Rev. Bob Peden, Joyce Cox Class of 2019: Rev. Dale Moore, Rev. David Schultz, Don Pratt, Bobby Martin, Kiah Hitt, Rev. Marjorie Walker, Mary Simpson, Class of 2020: Rev. Hal Hall, Rev. John Branning (Chair), Rev. James Dye, Sarah King, Rev. Hiram Coker, Robert Hughes Ex. Officio: Rev. Susannah Grubbs Carr (DCOM Registrar), Rev. Dayna Goff (DS) District Tellers Clergy: Trevor Gore Laity: Mary Simpson  Nominations Committee Clergy: John Branning Laity: Sarah King Equalizing Delegates 1. Jan Hitt 2. Kiah Hitt 3. Sherry Morgan 4. Patricia Battle 5. Kenyatta Walker 6. Francis Gail Jones

New Albany District Laity District Lay Leader: Buddy Wiltshire Church Location and Building Rev. Mark Nail, Chair; Phyllis Colson, Rev. Walter Downs, Bill Glover,Vivien Richardson, Jimmy Watts, Rev. Rocky Miskelly, Dr. Steve Shirley District Superintendency Jerry Beck, Chair; Ann Holmes, Jack Ivy, Rev. Kerry Powell, Heath Coggins, Buddy Wiltshire, Kim Haynes, Helen Dixon, Rev. Eugene Stockstill Finance and Audit Barbara Gafford, Chair; Cheryl Prather, Vance Witt, Mary Tate Pannell Ordained Ministry Rev. Tim Prather, Chair; Rev. Jeff Lawrence, Rev. Eddie Willis, Rev. Bobby Dailey, Rev. Kerry Powell, Rev. Ricky Bishop, Camille Galloway, Ethel Grisham, Hugh Tate, Rev. Eugene Stockstill, Rev. Jason Franklin, Buddy Wiltshire, Rev. Warren Black, Rev. Tim Sisk, Rev. James Dye


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The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

Trustees Jim Jennings, Chair; Jean Dillard, Rachel Eaton, Al Fenger, Butch Cobb, Dennis McGaha, Rev. Jason Franklin, Johnny Coombs, Buford Baylis, Matt Harris District Officers District UMW President: Marilyn Colyer District Youth Coordinator: Robin South District UMYF President: Xavion Leatherwood District Director of Lay Servant Ministry: Kenneth and Barbara Wortham District Disaster Response Coordinator: Rev. Jim Petermann District Mission Coordinator: Lou Ann Staggs District Health Coordinator: Laura Gillom District Chancellor: Jim Greenlee Tellers for 2017 Annual Conference Clergy: Rev. Eugene Stockstill Laity: Kenneth Wortham

Seashore District District Board Of Ministry Rev. Ann Kaufman (Chair) Rev. Larry White Rev. Cliff Burris Rev. Dr. Victor Chatham Mr. Mack Douglas

Rev. Robbie Murden (Registrar) Rev. David Greer Rev. John McCay III Rev. Mary Stewart Mrs. Vera Thomas

Rev. Elijah Mitchell Rev. Dr. Eric Pridmore Rev. Larry Pickering Rev. Jim Curtis

Finance Mrs. Stacey Penny (Chair) Rev. Jeff Switzer

Mr. Tom McCormick Mrs. Vera Thomas

Mrs. Beth Dean Mr. Ford Kinsey

Superintendency Rev. Gary Knight (Chair) Rev. Beth Matthews Mr. Merlon Hines

Rev. Ella Dedeaux Mrs. Vera Thomas Mr. Halsey Cumbest

Mr. Ted Hearn Rev. Peggy Gibson

Trustees / Church Building & Location Rev. Kevin Bradley (Co-Chair) Mr. Eddie Appel Rev. Tom East (Co-Chair) Rev. Len McRaney Mrs. Stacey Penny Rev. David Buchholz

Mr. Robert Sharp Mr. Wayne Jones

District Leadership Team Rev. Ben Barlow Rev. Austin Hoyle Rev. Elijah Mitchell Mrs. Vera Thomas Mr. Keith D’Angelo

Mr. Andre’ DeBose Rev. Jon Kaufman Rev. Jeff Trehern Rev. Sherry Judy

Rev. Tanya Edwards-Evans Rev. Harrell Moore Rev. Kevin Bradley Mrs. Elaine Tinsley

Rev. Brad Sartor Rev. Jeff Trehern

Rev. Kevin Bradley

Faith Community Formation Team Rev. John McCay III, (Co-Chair) Rev. Rachel Benefield-Pfaff

District Officers Disaster/Missions Coordinator: Rev. David Newton Lay Leader: Mrs. Vera Thomas Lay Servant Ministry: Mrs. Maureen Fields


The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

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UMW President: Mrs. Elaine Tinsley UMM President: Mr. Keith D’Angelo District Chancellor

Senatobia District Cristen Barnard, Lay Leader Billie Wilhite, Lay Servant Ministries Mary Morrison, UMW Beth Owens, Chancellor Ordained Ministry Zach Beasley, Chair Adam Gordon, Registrar

Phillip Dearman Dwayne Scoggins

Charles Reed

Trustees Thomas Murphy Ray Urban

Hubert Foster David Huffman

Ray Weatherly, Chair

Superintendency Richie Bibb, Chair Christine Fielder

Louanne Cossar Zach Beasley

Joann Freeman

Finance and Audit Class of 2018: Sam Burton, Barbara Broome, Keith Mason Class of 2019: Keith Keeton, Chair; Carl Handy Class of 2020: David Beene, Jane Downs Glenda Rhodes, Treasurer Cheryl Denley, Staff Jim Genesse, District Superintendent Cristen Barnard, Lay Leader Church Buildings and Location Jim Genessee, District Superintendent Beth Owens Sonny Daniels

Cristen Barnard Zach Beasley Lee Murphy Ed Temple Scott Larsen

Connectional Ministry Team Cristen Barnard Billie Wilhite Kathy Kriese Sheykelor Hewlette Nathan Hickerson

Wayne Winter David Huffman Mary Morrison Linda Hankins Ed Flynn

Grady Marlow Sherranne McGraw Kris Dorr Alecia Fischer Allen McGraw

Starkville District District Committee on Ordained Ministry 2019 George Buell/Registrar, Marty Wiseman, Darian Duckworth, Ozell Landfair 2020 Sarah Sanders, Jake-Adams-Wilson, Emile Lovely, Becky Smith 2021 Bob Whiteside, Ann Walker and Scott Wright/ Chair Finance Committee 2019 Letitia Jackson, Mike Dowd/Chair 2020 Lenora Hogan, Ann Walker 2021 Marilyn Ashford, Charles Hull, Jason McCoy Ex-Officio: Mona Howell and Pam Simmons


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The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

Superintendency Committee 2019 Annie Kelly, Elmarie Brooks, Jamie Bailey/Chair 2020 Marty Wiseman, TJ Tate, Curtis Bray 2021 Rochelle Ashford-Minor, Asylee Gardner Ex-Officio: Hal Smith Trustees 2019 George Verrall/Chair, Eddie Hinton, 2020 Lenore Griffin, Keith Williams 2021 William Oakley, Rubye Bowie, Paul Luckett Church Location & Building Committee Antra Geeter, Doyle Pendley, George Buell/Chair, Ron Jefferson, Gene Bramlett, Sarah Sanders Ann Bradley Faith Formation Committee George Buell/Chair, Jake Wilson-Adams, Sarah Windham, Butch Stokes Disaster Recovery Oktibbeha County: Winston County: Mike Dowd/Chair Lowndes County: Lee Burdine/Vice Chair, and Paul Luckett Noxubee County: Andy Pearson Webster County: Vickey Patterson Attala County: Scott Wright District Spiritual Leadership Team Sandra Brown, Hall Smith, Sarah Windham, Gene Bramlett, Leevel Yarbrough, Sarah Sanders, Jeff Shannon, Scott Wright, Governor Mays District Personnel Committee Jimmie Whitt/Chair, Curtis Bray, Hugh Griffith, Percy Jackson, Lee Burdine District Grievance Committee Curtis Bray, Hugh Griffith, Jimmie Whitt District Leadership Committee Dr. Embra Jackson, District Superintendent Mrs. Pamela Simmons, Administrative Assistant Mr. Hal Smith, District Lay Leader Rev. George Buell, Church Building & Locations Committee Chair TBA, Chair Missions Rev. Jamie Bailey, District Superintendency Committee Chair & District Statistician Mr. Lamar Dumas, District UMM President Mrs. Maudie Benton, UMYF President Rev. Mike Dowd, Finance Committee Chair Mrs. Julia Pendley, Education Mrs. Gwen Sisson, District Communicator Mr. Amando de la Cruz, International Ministry Mrs. Alberta Hendrix, District Lay Servant Ministries Director Rev. Sarah Windham, Lay Ministries


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Tupelo District District Officers District Secretary and Program Administrator: Kristin Partin District Treasurer: Ben Orr District Lay Leader: Barbara Howell District Lay Servant Ministries Coordinator: Kathy Box District UMCOR/UJVIM Coordinator: Darrell Sanderson District UMM President: Tray Wyatt District UMW President: Kathleen Smith District Youth President: Jackson Finch District Communications Coordinator: Kristin Partin District Director of Children’s Ministries: Sherry Jenkins District Director of Youth Ministries: Jonathan Hester District Missions Coordinator: Eric Sanford District Chancellor: Jason Herring District Statistician: Joe Coggins District Trustees Darrell Sanderson, Chair; Pedro Clay, James Ford, Thomas Griffith, Cully Hartsell, Truman Thompson, Carol Pruitt, Ellen Short, Rex Wilburn District Committee on Church Buildings and Locations Darrell Sanderson, Chair; Pedro Clay, James Ford, Thomas Griffith, Cully Hartsell, Carol Pruitt, EllenShort, Bobby Thomas, Truman Thompson District Committee on Ordained Ministry Chad Bowen, Chair; Terri Armstrong, Fred Britton, Ever Jean Burt, Perry Carr, Betsy Collums, Tim Green, Dianne Harris, Jerrold Hood, B. B. Hosch, Mary Hutson, Minnie Leeper, Elbrist Mason, Gloria McKinney, Roger Puhr, Truman Thompson District Committee on Superintendency Faith West, Chair; Lee Anne Barnes, Judy Carnaggio, Rob Gill, Bessie Givhan, Mary Jo Heard, Barbara Howell, Don McCain, Marty Polk, Darrell Sanderson, Truman Thompson District Finance Committee Roger Puhr, Chair; James Agnew, Terri Armstrong, Chad Bowen, Bob McGee, Darrell Sanderson, Gerald Wages, Faith West

West Jackson District Dr. Stephen Cook, District Superintendent District Officers District Chancellor: Briggs Hopson, III District Lay Leader: Tommie Cardin District Associate Lay Leaders: Libby Kendall, Marci Turner District Lay Servant Ministry Coordinator: Ann Coleman Associate Lay Servant Ministry Coordinator: James Young District Treasurer: Vicki Jones District Team Leader: Rachel Pitts District UMW, President: Gloria Lee District UMM, President: John Reed United Methodist Youth: Michael Williams


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The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

District Disaster Coordinators: Jim Moss (Laity) and Frank Newell (Clergy) District Mission Coordinator: Anzette Thomas District Older Adult Coordinator: Renee Neblett Trustees 2017-2018: Jim Hall, Chair; Tim Allen 2018-2019: Larscie Ellis 2019-2020: Herbert Terry; Dwight Braylock Finance 2017-2018: Tommy Dyson, Chair; Trey Jones 2018-2019: Bill Burrow, Marci Turner 2019-2020: Jesse Ross, Ann Coleman Committee On Superintendency 2017-2018: Larry Sappington, Jim Stirgus, Jr., Angie Williams, Tammy Brown 2018-2019: Joe May, Chair; Freddie Logan, Bobbie McDonald 2018-2019: Kathy Price, Brenda Thornburg, Charles Bryant, Sr. District Board of Church Location and Building 2017-2018: Demario Benson, Paul McDonald 2018-2019: Dwight Prowell, Chair; Minta Davis 2019-2020: Scott Carter, Quandra’ Swayze, Jason Zebert Committee On Ministry (Clergy & Laity) 2017-2018: Terry Hilliard, Chair; Lance Presley, Registrar; David McCoy, Walt Frazier 2018-2019: Kenneth Jones, Rachel Pitts, Pam May, Iely Mohamed, Philip Messner 2019-2020: Panela Cameron, Bert Felder, Tommy Stephenson, Diane Braman, Dawn Flowers Faith Community Formation 2017-2018: Demario Benson, Dwight Prowell, Chair 2018-2019: Mitch Cochran, Vera Hall, Jason Zebert 2019-2020: Lauren Porter, Jim Moss, Eric Davis 2018 Tellers Jerome Wilson, Clergy; Ella Dumas. Lay 2018 Equalizing Pauline Stewart, Jimmie Whitt, William Lloyd, Julia Jefferson, Ella Dumas, Brittany Radford-Clark


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G. 2017 Annual Conference Tellers District Laity Clergy Brookhaven East Jackson Greenwood Hattiesburg Meridian New Albany Seashore Senatobia Starkville Tupelo West Jackson

Charlie Campbell Carolyn Anderson Tela Collins Marcelean Arrington Mary Simpson Buddy Wiltshire Shandrell Moye Bernice Sykes Ella Dumas Wes Parton Dot Portis

Mark Jones Barbara Taylor Annie Washington Linda Dixon Trevor Gore Eugene Stockstill Tonya Edwards-Evans Dwayne Scroggins Jerome Wilson Eric Sanford Larry Sappington


The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

S ection II

Business of the Annual Conference Section will be added after 2018 AC Session

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S ection III

Administry A. Council on Finance & Administration Report #1 1. Organization and Responsibilities and Recommendations As defined in Section 611 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, the purpose of the Council on Finance & Administration shall be to develop and administer a comprehensive and coordinated plan of fiscal and administrative policies, procedures, and management services for the annual conference. The Mississippi Conference Council on Finance and Administration shall have an executive committee comprised of the following six individuals: council chair, council vice-chair, chairs of the sub committees on benevolence, clergy support, and administration, and the conference treasurer. The Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) has examined the financial and administrative policies and procedures of the annual conference, including the whole process of agency and institutional funding and apportioned mission share allocations for local churches. Herein are our recommendations of procedures and policies to be followed by the Mississippi Annual Conference.

2. Annual Conference Member Responsibility (2016 Discipline paragraph 247.14 & 251.2) Lay and clergy members of the Annual Conference have the disciplinary responsibility of interpreting the conference mission and ministry plan and funding plan adopted at Annual Conference to their congregations. This includes telling the story of our shared ministries across Mississippi and around the world and funding at 100% the apportioned mission share for each congregation. Before Annual Conference ■ Pray for your work as a member to Annual Conference. ■ Learn about the items that will be presented at Annual Conference by studying this Pre-Conference Journal. ■ Share this information with the leaders of your church so that you will be able to wisely engage as a member of Annual Conference. ■ Lead your local church governing body in studying the proposed Conference budget. Come to Conference prepared to ask questions, propose any changes that the governing body suggest, and be prepared to vote on the budget. After budget approval, be prepared to support the decision of the Annual Conference body. At Annual Conference ■ Attend the sessions of Annual Conference and learn all you can about the scope of our shared ministry through the United Methodist Church. ■ Be engaged in approving a budget that will fund our denominational shared ministries. After Annual Conference ■ Report to your local church council on actions of the Annual Conference as soon as possible, but no later than three months after the close of conference (Par. 251.2). ■ Interpret to your church and charge conference “…the importance of the apportioned mission shares, explaining the causes supported by each of them and their place in the total program of the church. The World Service Fund is basic in the financial program of The United Methodist


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Church. World Service apportioned mission shares represent the minimum needs for mission and ministry of the worldwide United Methodist Church.” Conference benevolences represent the minimum monetary needs for mission and ministry in the Mississippi Annual Conference (Par.247.14). ■ Support and encourage payment of your apportioned mission share at 100%. Payment in full of these apportioned mission shares is the first benevolent responsibility of each congregation (Paragraph 247.14). ■ Continue educating your congregation throughout the year about the ministries supported by the apportioned mission shares. Resources The following resources are available to help you interpret the apportioned mission shares to your church: ■ Annual budget tabloid prepared by the conference treasurer ■ Mississippi United Methodist web site www.mississippi-umc.org ■ Sharing God’s Gifts web site www.umcgiving.org

3. Conference Expenditures Internal control and accounting policies adequate to properly safeguard the assets of the conference have been examined by the CFA. The controls and polices are on file in the treasurer’s office and are available for review during normal business hours. CFA believes the controls and policies are currently adequate but the council pledges to review them annually and update them as needed.

A. Annual Conference Per Diem Each pastoral charge shall provide for the lodging and meal expenses of their pastor(s), lay members(s), deacon(s) in full connection, and diaconal minister(s) attending Annual Conference. The clergy and diaconal ministers in special appointments shall have their expenses paid by the agency served. The Conference Board of Pension shall pay the per diem for the Surviving Spouses attending annual conference. Per diem paid by the conference will begin with the opening session of Annual Conference and end with the closing session. Per diem paid by the annual conference shall be at the following rate: sixty dollars ($60.00) per night for lodging when staying in a motel/hotel and ten dollars ($10.00) per meal. There will be no reimbursement from the annual conference for travel. As members of the Annual Conference who are not appointed to a local church, the following persons attending Annual Conference shall receive per diem paid by the conference. a. Retired Clergy – Not appointed to a local church b. Clergy receiving Disability Income from Wespath Benefits/Investments and on medical leave but not appointed to a local church c. Retired Diaconal Ministers – Not appointed to a local church d. Diaconal Ministers receiving Disability Income from Wespath Benefits/Investments and on medical leave but not appointed to a local church e. The Annual Conference Secretary in consultation with the Bishop and Extended Cabinet determines the required number of equalizing members. The equalizing members as named by the Annual Conference Secretary will be paid per diem by the conference. f. Seminary students who are candidates for ministry and approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry, except those students who serve churches within the bounds of the conference. g. Special cases approved by the cabinet.

B. Conference Compensation The pay period of clergy appointed at annual conference shall begin on July 1. Compensation is to be paid as earned. In no instance shall compensation be paid in advance by the conference or any entity amenable to the annual conference.


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Salaries of District Superintendents and conference personnel, clergy and exempt lay, shall be given priority and paid in equal monthly installments paid semi-monthly. Travel expenses in the work of the conference shall be paid on voucher at the rate established by the Internal Revenue Service for business miles. Required documentation for conference business shall be the following: purpose of travel, mileage, copies of hotel bills, documentation for meals, receipts for car rental and fuel, parking, and tolls. In situations where travel is outside the conference bounds, rental cars should be requested only when their use will be more economical than public transportation or when a special situation applies, e.g., excessive material to carry, out-of-the-way location, extensive local travel. The conference treasurer is hereby authorized to withhold funds from the salaries of annual conference personnel for the purpose of investing said funds in tax deferred programs and for payment of salary reduction reimbursement plans in keeping with Internal Revenue Service policies when such request is made by conference personnel.

C. Compensation for District Superintendents, Directors and Senior Staff The Mississippi Conference shall provide equal compensation packages for the district superintendents. Compensation shall be defined as cash salary and housing. The cash salary amount is determined annually by the CFA. The district shall provide funding for the housing and utilities of the superintendent if no parsonage is provided. In the event there is no parsonage provided, the housing allowance shall be 25% of the superintendent’s cash salary. The 2018 utility allowance provided by the district to all superintendents shall be $6,120. The district shall also maintain, equip, and fund the operation of a district office, including all elements of compensation for an administrative assistant or other lay/clergy employees. The Conference Personnel Committee shall recommend the compensation of their Directors/Senior Staff to the Council on Finance and Administration. None of these compensation packages shall exceed the District Superintendent’s compensation package. CFA will determine the compensation of the Treasurer/Director of Finance and Administration. The salary shall be remitted semi-monthly from the conference treasurer’s office. Non-exempt employee’s compensation shall be determined on a weekly basis as provide by the DOL and paid on a bi-weekly basis. Travel, continuing education, and reimbursable expenses shall be paid after vouchers have been submitted with appropriate documentation. There is an accountable reimbursement policy applicable to all conference employees. Salary budgets are approved by Annual Conference. The appropriate personnel committees and directors are hereby authorized to review and fix annual compensation by November 30 within the Annual Conference authorized budget in accordance with the Employee Handbook..

D. Moving Expense The church receiving a new pastor shall consult with the incoming pastor to negotiate the moving expenses of the pastor. The moving expenses of incoming conference personnel shall be paid from the conference funds. The moving expenses of an incoming district superintendent shall be paid by the district from district funds. Moving expenses for a retiring minister or a minister going on disability shall be paid by the conference treasurer in an amount to cover his/her approved expenses as defined below in an amount not to exceed $1,800. The move of a minister’s surviving spouse and immediate family following the death of a minister serving an appointment, shall be paid by the conference from the conference fund in an amount not to exceed $1,800. The conference payment will be limited to actual documented cost. A maximum of $1,800 will be available toward the prorated cost of moves outside the bounds of the conference. The allowable reimbursement will be based on mileage inside the conference bounds divided by the total mileage of the move. The approved costs as described above multiplied by the percentage will determine the reimbursable amount. Moving expenses can be paid within one year of retirement, disability, or death of ministers.


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The moving expenses for student pastors returning to the conference for an appointment shall be paid from their place of residence at the seminary to the annual conference line in an amount not to exceed $1,800. The local church receiving such pastor shall pay the moving expenses from the conference line to said local church parsonage. The conference payment shall be paid from the conference fund and shall cover the actual documented costs. The moving expenses of an effective member of another annual conference initiated by the bishop and the cabinet transferring into this conference shall be paid from the conference fund from his/her place of residence to the annual conference line up to a maximum of $1,800. The local church receiving such transfer minister shall pay the expense from the conference line to said local church parsonage. If the minister initiates the move, he/she shall pay the expense to the conference line and the local church receiving such transferred minister shall pay the expense from the conference line to said local church parsonage.

E. Task Force Expenses The expenses of persons called by the bishop for meetings shall be referred to the CFA for funding at the usual rate for conference committee meetings unless otherwise provided.

F. Travel Reimbursement–Conference Committees and Boards Conference agencies, boards, and committees receiving church funds have both a fiduciary and stewardship responsibility to determine that all expenditures are reasonable, necessary, appropriate, and directly related to their mission. In compliance with IRS regulations the conference shall pay travel to volunteers at the rate established by the IRS for charitable travel on a per-mile basis by the most direct route. No mileage is to be allowed for persons attending meetings who are otherwise allowed travel expenses in connection with their positions in the church. No mileage is to be allowed for persons attending meetings in the town of their residence. No mileage is to be allowed for persons attending conference committee meetings at Annual Conference who are members of the annual conference. It is strongly recommended that travel to meetings be by carpool. Travel shall be paid for conference meetings only if the meeting is within the bounds of the annual conference. Travel to meetings out of the conference bounds should be approved by the chairperson of the sponsoring conference committee, agency, or board. The following documentation shall accompany the request for reimbursement: purpose of travel, copies of hotel bills, documentation for meals, receipts for car rental, parking and tolls. Rental cars should be requested only when their use will be more economical than public transportation or when a special situation applies, e.g., excessive material to carry, out-of-theway location, or extensive local travel. No reimbursement will be made for lost time that is incurred by a person attending conference meetings. All in-travel meal subsidies shall be paid at the maximum of $10 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $10 for dinner. To receive a meal subsidy during travel, the duration of the trip must be more than 24 hours. This does not apply to meals arranged by a board or agency during a meeting of the group. A group meeting all day or longer may arrange for a meal to be served at a higher cost if necessary. Any request for meal reimbursement, other than the allowances stated, must be accompanied by actual receipts. Cash advances shall be kept to a minimum. If an advance is needed, the request shall be made on the Conference Voucher, and approved by the chairperson of the sponsoring conference committee, agency, or board. Advances should be for specific trips or events and shall be settled by the person within one week of the termination of a trip or event. A form acceptable to the Internal Revenue Service to verify meeting travel expenses for income tax credit as a donation is available in the conference treasurer’s office. This can be used to document travel dates. The volunteer should contact their tax advisor for properly handling those unreimbursed expenses.


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G. Capital Expenditures As a matter of policy, the CFA will not include proposed capital building expenditures as a part of the regular budgetary process of the annual conference. Capital needs should be serviced through special appeals and/or capital campaigns.

4. Conference Operating Reserve/Authority To Borrow The Executive Committee of the CFA is authorized to use the conference reserves for emergency situations as determined by the committee. Additionally, the Executive Committee of CFA is authorized to borrow up to $500,000 for emergency needs and shall be reported to the full CFA at its next meeting.

5. Formula for Establishing Apportioned Mission Shares The statistical information provided by each local church pastor at the end of the year shall be used to provide the base for each church’s share of the conference mission share budget. The last two years of available statistical data will be used in computing a resulting fraction that will become the local church’s index, and represents its proportionate share of the budget. (Divide the average amount spent by the local church on the statistical line items 41a through 47 over the last two years by the amount spent by all churches in the conference on those items to compute the church’s index.) Appeals for changes in Apportioned Mission Shares made because amounts were incorrectly reported shall be made to Council on Finance and Administration through the Conference Treasurer provided the church paid 100% of their 2017 mission shares. This appeal shall be made before January 1, 2019. The CFA will continue to study the Apportioned Mission Share formula to determine a fair and equitable allocation based on receipts rather than expenditures. This supports the Stewardship emphasis of the Conference. A. The base years for the 2019 Apportionment process shall be 2016 and 2017 and shall be the following line items taken from the pastor’s year-end statistical report in EZRA. ■ Line 41 a: Senior Pastor’s Base Compensation ■ Line 41 b: Associate Pastor(s) Base Compensation ■ Line 41 c: Deacon’s Base Compensation ■ Line 42 a: Housing Benefits for Lead Pastor ■ Line 42 b: Housing Benefits for Associate Pastor ■ Line 42 c : Housing Benefits for Deacons ■ Line 43: Pastor and Associates reimbursements ■ Line 44: Pastor and Associates cash allowances (non accountable) ■ Line 45: Salary and benefits for all other church staff and diaconal ministers ■ Line 46: Current Expenses for Local Church Program ■ Line 47: Local Church Operating Expenses B. New Church starts are asked to tithe their offerings raised above conference support during their period of development. New Churches shall be apportioned for the first time beginning in the year after their consecration as a new congregation. C. The CFA recommends the continuation of the Merit Award program. The categories to be recognized are: (1) churches paying 100% of every Apportioned Mission Share (Conference and District) line item and 100% of Clergy Benefit Invoices by the close out date of January 8, 2019 and (2) churches that increased their overall giving percentage in 2018 over the 2017 percentage paid to overall apportioned missions shares. A generosity certificate signed by the bishop will be given by the district superintendent to each church qualifying for the Merit Award. D. Churches who did not pay any portion of their mission shares in the previous year are asked to tithe their offerings. E. Churches who did not pay their mission shares in full are asked to determine a method by which they increase their percentage over the previous year.


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6. Church and Campus Ministry Grants All annual conference boards, committees, commissions, agencies, churches or individuals related thereto, making application for General Church funds and/ or other grants administered by any conference or jurisdiction, or general agency of The United Methodist Church or any other United Methodist entity, shall first furnish copies of such applications to those conference officers/staff charged with the role of consultation in paragraph 719 of The 2016 Book of Discipline. An accounting of actual use of grant funds must be presented to the granting agent and a copy to the conference treasurer’s office within 90 days of the final distribution of funds by the local church or Campus Ministry.

7. Investment Policy All investment funds of the annual conference, under the control of the conference treasurer and CFA, shall be invested under the direction of the Council on Finance and Administration with priority given to the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation and Wespath Benefits/Investments.

8. Depository In accordance with Section 616 of The 2016 Book of Discipline, the CFA has designated Trustmark National Bank as the depository for all checking accounts of the conference, pension and medical benefits funds.

9. Local Church Bonding Local churches are reminded that all church treasurers, financial secretaries and others handling church funds are now bonded under the conference-wide insurance program, provided the church has acquired their insurance through the conference-wide plan. Any church that is not in the conference wide program shall provide at its own cost the bonding as required by the 2016 Discipline paragraph 258 (4) b. Churches not on the conference plan shall submit annual proof of bonding by January 31 of each year to the Conference Treasurer.

10. Mailing Lists Mailing lists will be made available to United Methodist agencies and institutions from the Office of Communication and Connection as it is practical.

11. Special Appeals CFA urges institutions to work to encourage local churches to pay the Apportioned Mission Share before they request any special funding. Permission for conference wide solicitation must be obtained at least 180 days in advance of the mailings, etc. from the Council on Finance and Administration. The CFA executive committee may issue this approval. Agencies and institutions that are not United Methodist must have approval from CFA to solicit funds from the churches within the conference.

12. Golden Cross Offering CFA recommends that Golden Cross Sunday be expanded to include the Clergy/Diaconal Fund in the following manner. Golden Cross Funds are in support of the health and welfare ministries within the annual conference. This offering shall provide financial support to care for sick persons, older persons, children and youth, and people with disabilities. Special emphasis shall be given to aiding those ministries that provide direct financial assistance to persons in need. Assistance for lay people shall be accessed through the Conference Communication and Connection office. Funds available for clergy families shall be administered in the Clergy/Diaconal Fund under the guidelines as established by the Mississippi Conference District Superintendents. This special Sunday offering shall be shared leaving half in the local church receiving the offering and the other half remitted to the conference treasurer’s office. The Conference Treasurer shall place 75% for lay assistance and 25% for clergy assistance through the Clergy/ Diaconal Fund.


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13. 2019 and 2018 Special Day Offerings 2019

2018

January 20 January 27 February 17 March 31 May 5 May 12 June 16 July 28 September 22 October 6 November 24 December 8

January 14 January 28 February 18 March 11 April 15 May 13 May 27 July 19 September 23 October 7 November 25 December 9

Special Day Offering *Human Relations Day Golden Cross Sunday Methodist Rehabilitation Center *UMCOR Sunday *Native American Sunday Mississippi Methodist Senior Services *Peace with Justice Sunday Conference Emergency Preparedness Sunday The Baddour Center *World Communion Sunday *United Methodist Student Day The Methodist Children’s Home *Denotes General Church Offering

14. Accountability of Agency/Institution Receiving Apportioned Mission Shares

CFA follows a funding process that requires accountability, responsibility, and communication. During an annual review of agencies and institutions by the appropriate conference committee to which they relate, each agency and institution shall consider as part of their board responsibilities other funding options beyond conference Apportioned Mission Shares. The Council on Finance and Administration requires that each institution requesting funds of the next annual conference present a budget request as designed by the benevolence sub-committee for 2020, duly signed by the chairperson and secretary of the board of directors or trustees indicating that said budget has been approved by the governing body. The budget request is due by November 1, 2018. Boards, agencies, committees, or institutions of the conference not presenting a formal request properly signed by November 1, 2018 will not be considered for funding by CFA for the 2020 budget. The amount made available for the conference programmatic operation shall be determined by the percentage of Apportioned Mission Shares received during the preceding year. Annual conference committees, boards and conference administrative and programmatic budgets shall not be spent in excess of the approved budget adjusted downward to the percentage achieved by line item in the previous year. When the actual receipts exceed that amount, the limitations shall increase as the percentage increases. Excluded from this are the 100% required items and other contractual items. Boards, committees, institutions, and agencies who receive turnaround funds may request an advance on their budgeted funds but it shall be considered and ruled on by the executive committee of CFA and shall not exceed 90% of the percentage paid into the conference for their cause in the preceding year. All United Methodist agencies, community centers, camps, and affiliated institutions are strongly encouraged to develop donor support outside the Mississippi Conference budget. They are also encouraged to keep administrative costs at a minimum percentage of the organization’s budget (as close to 20 percent as possible).

15. Agency/Institution Audits The CFA acknowledges the differences in audit, review, and compilation reports issued by certified public accountants. The following descriptions continue to be approved by CFA: A. Audit - A financial audit is a systematic examination of financial statements, records and related operations to determine adherence to generally accepted accounting principles, management policies, or stated requirements. The examination of the records includes analytical procedures


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and verification of pertinent source documents to substantiate the financial statements. An audit provides the highest level of assurance that financial statements are fairly stated. B. Review - A review involves inquiry and analytical procedures that provide the accountant with a reasonable basis for expressing limited assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the statements for them to be in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. There is no requirement for the accountant to gather any evidence to corroborate the inquiries and analytical procedures, unless he becomes aware that the information is incorrect, incomplete or otherwise unsatisfactory. A review provides a limited level of assurance that the financial statements are fairly stated. C. Compilation - A compilation involves presenting in the form of financial statement information that is the representation of management without undertaking to express any assurance on the statements. To compile financial statements, the accountant should understand the industry and nature of the business in which the client is engaged, including the form of its accounting records, the qualifications of its accounting personnel, the basis on which the financial statements are to be presented, and the form and content of the financial statements. The accountant is not required to make inquiries or to perform any procedures to validate the information provided to them. A compilation provides a minimum level of assurance that the financial statements are fairly stated.

Comparative financial statements, and the accompanying opinion of a certified public accountant, shall be presented by each agency/institution to the Council on Finance and Administration by July 15 for calendar year entities and within 195 days of the close of the fiscal year for entities with a year ending other than December 31. These statements must be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. A copy of the accounting firm’s management letter must be provided if one was issued. Disbursement of approved funding shall be contingent upon receipt of the previous years’ financial statements. Any discrepancies or irregularities noted by the auditor or the CFA audit committee must be corrected in order for funding to be released to the agency/institution.

Audited statements will be required when annual Apportioned Mission Share revenue requested is $200,000 or greater. For entities with annual Apportioned Mission Share revenues requested of less than $200,000, the Audit Committee may accept an alternative engagement with a CPA. The alternative engagement will consist of reviewed or compiled financial statements (as defined above). The CFA Audit Committee may request additional agreed-upon procedures after review of the alternative engagement.

If a recipient of conference funds past calendar/fiscal year’s report is not available by July 15, a copy of an internally prepared report, along with an engagement letter from the CPA engaged to do the report shall be submitted. The internally prepared report shall at minimum be a Statement of Activities and Balance Sheet. This report must be presented by July 15.

Regardless of budget, any agency required by federal or state law to have an audit will be asked to submit their audited statements to the conference. Only reviews or audits performed by an independent licensed CPA or CPA firm enrolled in a quality peer review program that received an unqualified opinion in its most recent peer review report will be accepted. No internal audits will be accepted. Failure to submit required financial statements by July 15 shall be referred to the full CFA Council and could result in the holding of all funds for the current year due the entity, beginning August 1, until such reports have been submitted and reviewed by the Audit Committee of the CFA.

All United Methodist institutions affiliated with the Mississippi Annual Conference are required to submit financial statements to the CFA, even though funds are not received from the conference.


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The following are exempted from submitting the above-mentioned financial statements although a compilation statement from the reviewing body must be presented: ■ Campus ministry units shall report under section 6 above unless they are receiving conference capital campaign funds which require audited financial statements ■ Clergy Spouses

16. Guidance for the Audit of the Local Church The Audit Requirement The Book of Discipline 2016 (Par. 258.4 (d)) requires an annual audit of the financial statements of the local church and all of its organizations and accounts. ■ A local church audit is defined as an independent evaluation of the financial reports and records and the internal controls of the local church by a qualified person or persons. ■ The term “audit” is not intended to impose the need for all churches to engage CPA firms to perform financial statement audits (under GAAS). ■ The procedures followed and the level of reporting can differ depending on facts and circumstances of each church. The Mississippi Annual Conference has based its requirement on the previous available three year average of funding receipts as reported in the statistical data of the Pastor’s annual report. The Purpose of an Audit The purpose of an audit is presented below: ■ Independently verify the reports of the treasurer(s) and financial secretary. ■ Follow the money and test how it is treated at different steps. ■ Document that donated and earned funds of the congregation have been used as stipulated by the donors. ■ Reviews - accounting controls (systems that reduce the possibility of loss, embezzlement or errors). ■ Segregation of duties (assurances that more than one person is involved in critical steps in handling money so that there can be checks and balances). ■ Reasonableness of systems and procedures in the light of all factors, including the size of the church and its budget. A local church’s unique circumstances may suggest that additional steps should be taken. It is important to document the financial processes of your particular local church as required in The Book of Discipline 2016 paragraph 258.4 (c). Definitions: ■ Independent Audit – The discipline states the need for independence on the part of those conducting the annual audit. Independent means that the auditor must not be subject to control or influence by anyone who has responsibility for the financial accounts and records of the local church. There should not be even the appearance of a relationship that may dilute the perception of the independence of the auditor. An independent auditor is one who is unrelated to those with financial responsibilities in the church. If a CPA or accounting firm is chosen, the firm should be unrelated and separate from those with financial responsibilities in the church. ■ Internal controls – policies and procedures that are followed to help minimize financial risks by helping to deter potential fraud, detect errors or omissions, and protect innocent workers. ■ Internal control policy – a policy prepared for a church that documents the processes and procedures to be followed to help safeguard the financial assets of the church. ■ Permanently restricted funds – donations to the church for a particular purpose where the original gift is not spent but the earnings on the gift can be used for that purpose. ■ Temporarily restricted funds – donations to the church that come with stipulations that limit the use of the funding to a specified purpose. The funding can be spent but just for the intended purpose.


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Unrestricted funds – donations made to the churches that are for the general use in the ministry of the church.

Selecting an Auditor for the Local Church The type of auditor selected and the type of audit performed at each church year will be determined based on the amount of total funds received by the church. The amounts will come from Table 3 as reported in the statistical tables. The base year amount will be the average of the available three preceding calendar years as documented in the statistical tables. In general, the following guidelines should be used to determine the type of audit (i.e., if a certified public accounting firm should be hired to perform the audit or if an independent volunteer will be adequate). The auditor’s report(s) and financial statements shall be presented to the District Office by June 30 for the preceding church accounting year and in the charge conference report. 1. For churches with average funding receipts less than $250,000, an independent qualified member of the church or other qualified volunteer from another church can perform the audit procedures using the Fund Balance Report and audit guide developed by the General Council on Finance and Administration Audit and Review Committee. The auditor shall also review and evaluate internal controls and report the results directly to the church finance committee. Other procedures may be considered necessary based on the nature and activities of each specific church. 2. For churches with average funding receipts between $250,001 and $1,500,000, every year (1) a Financial Statement Review shall be conducted in accordance with Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review (SSARS) and (2) there shall be an Agreed upon Procedures (AUP) engagement completed by the external Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the State of Mississippi. The results of both shall be reported directly to the church finance committee. As part of this type of engagement, the auditor shall be engaged to communicate any internal control deficiencies that are identified during the procedures. 3. For churches with average funding receipts over $1,500,000, a financial statement audit conducted in accordance with general accepted auditing standards (GAAS) shall be completed every year and reported on by an external Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Mississippi. The report shall be delivered to the church finance committee. The Finance Committee shall report to the Administrative Board (or other governing body) the results of the annual audit.


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Report #2

2019 & 2018 Apportioned Mission Shares Budget 2019 Budget

2018 Budget

1. UM Number 1 Avenue of Giving 1 World Service

$

1,564,630

$

1,592,784

$ $ $ $

246,905 40,297 46,566 333,768

$ $ $ $

277,080 45,000 52,000 374,080

$ $ $ $ $ $

950,000 399,807 1,687,124 519,700 205,000 3,761,631

$ 1,168,560 $ 545,000 $ 1,643,960 $ 555,000 $ 270,000 $ 4,182,520

$ $ $ $

2,534,988 600,000 257,450 3,392,438

$ 2,351,971 $ 650,000 $ 314,700 $ 3,316,671

$ $ $ $ $ $ $

850,000 528,459 290,000 210,798 145,000 47,176 2,071,433

$ 850,000 $ 537,969 $ 290,000 $ 214,591 $ 145,000 $ 48,025 $ 2,085,585

Camp Lake Stephens Camp Wesley Pines Seashore Assembly Gulfside Assembly MS UM Camping And Retreat Centers Subtotal

$ $ $ $ $

125,370 125,370 90,893 30,000 371,633

$ $ $ $ $

130,000 120,000 80,000 35,000 365,000

7. UM General Church Administration 24 Episcopal Fund 25 Administration (General Church) 26 Southeast Jurisdiction Programming 27 Interdenominational Cooperative Fund UM General Church Administration Subtotal

$ $ $ $ $

463,351 185,787 14,000 41,329 704,467

$ $ $ $ $

471,688 189,130 14,000 42,073 716,891

$ 12,200,000

2. MS UM Extended Ministry 2 Community Centers 4 Choctaw Mission 5 United Methodist Hour MS UM Extended Ministry Subtotal

3. MS UM Conference Clergy Support 31 32 8 9 10

Board of Medical Benefits PRHB Board of Pensions District Superintendents Fund Spiritual Leadership Formation Equitable Compensation MS UM Conference Clergy Support Subtotal

4. MS UM Annual Conference Leadership 11 Annual Conference Administration 12 Faith Community Formation 13 Connectional Ministries/Communications MS UM Annual Conference Leadership Subtotal

5. UM Higher Education Support 14 15 16 17 18 19

Campus Ministries (MS) Ministerial Ed Funds (General Church) Millsaps College (MS) Back College Fund (General Church) Rust College (MS) Africa University (General Church) UM Higher Education Support Subtotal

6. MS UM Camping And Retreat Centers 20 21 22 23

Budget Grand Total

$ 12,633,531


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Report #3

Funding Report of the Clergy Benefits Paragraph 1507 (2) of the 2016 Discipline states “the Conference Council on Finance and Administration shall report to the Annual Conference the amounts computed by the board that are required to meet the needs of the pension, benefit, and relief programs of the conference.” In accordance with that requirement, the following financial needs for the clergy pension and health benefits program are presented to the CFA. For direct invoice purposes, clergy shall mean active, retired, supply or lay ministers. 1. Pre-82 Pension Program ■ The past service rate for 2019 shall be increased to $554 per service year. The 2012 General Conference required that any increase in the PSR will require immediate funding. To increase the PSR to $554 in 2019 requires an additional payment of $147,928 on 12-31-2018. ■ The Pre-82 payment for 12-31-2019 is $1,284,697. The funding of this payment shall come from the (1) direct invoicing of churches served by retired and supply clergy and (2) apportioned mission shares. The balance will come from current Pre-82 reserves. ■ The direct invoice rate and computation base for non-active pension plan clergy will be the same as charged to clergy in the active plans as described below. ■ This funding plan does call for apportioned mission shares of $545,000. 2. MPP Program ■ There are no additional payments for 2019. 3. Funding for 2019 for Pension Programs that became effective 1-1-2014 ■ Full Time Clergy: The conference will cover all full-time clergy as defined by the 2016 Discipline and the General Board of Pension plan under the Clergy Retirement Security Plan (CRSP). This plan provides a defined benefit and a defined contribution. The cost of this plan will be 15.50% billed to the salary paying entities. Below is the breakdown of the 15.50% billing rate. a. The defined benefit will be funded by billing the churches 9.25%. b. The CRSP defined contribution plan provides a 2% of plan compensation for each clergy. The clergy are given the opportunity to receive up to an additional 1% if they will contribute up to 1% of their plan compensation to their UMPIP account. The billing rate to fund this defined contribution will be 3% and any amount of the 1% not matched by a clergy will remain in the fund for reserves. c. The .25% shall continue to be billed to fund the reserve for the unpaid balances. d. Eligible clergy as defined by the Plan will be covered for the Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP) welfare benefits of death and disability. The billing rate for this plan shall be 3%. e. The base on which the billing will be due shall be the total package of the clergy adjusted by a 25% increase of those clergy living in a United Methodist provided parsonage. ■ Less Than Full Time Clergy: Defined Contribution for those serving ¾ time shall be 9% and those serving ½ time or less shall be rate 6% a. The conference shall provide a 5.75% defined contribution to the UMPIP account of each active clergy serving less than full-time as defined above. b. There shall be an additional .25% billed to each church to provide funding for the unpaid balances of this conference plan. c. For clergy serving ¾ time, the Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP) death and disability benefits are now available to them. The cost to the local church will be 3%. The definition of ¾ time is the same as for the health benefit coverage as defined below in the Health Benefits Program in item 2 below which states total compensation is 75% of the minimum salary for a Local Pastor as defined by the Equitable Compensation Commission


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d. Prior to 2018 there was an additional billing of 2% to all churches served by clergy serving less than full-time to provide for future market declines in their CRSP plan for the period 1-1-2007 to 12-31-2013. The Board believes there are adequate funds in reserve to cover any required payments. The Board will review this percentage annually. e. The base for the compensation shall be the same as in 3 (e) above. This shall be funded by direct invoicing the amount to the local church served by the pastor. 4. Health Benefits Program a. The 2015 Annual Conference session approved moving over a 3 year period beginning in 2016 to a direct invoice method for the employer share of health benefits. Beginning in 2018 the full required amount was direct invoiced to all churches whose total compensation is 75% of the minimum salary for a Local Pastor as defined by the Equitable Compensation Commission. c. The 2018 rate was 11.0% and will continue for 2019. The base on which the billing will be the same base used for the pension benefit billing. d. The Conference Board of Medical Benefits recommends that the Post Retirement Benefit end accruing benefits on June 30, 2020. All who have earned and are receiving the benefit on that date shall continue to receive the benefit. Those who retire after that date will not receive any benefit. 5. Aggregate Billing Rates The Clergy Benefits will be invoiced in one statement. The aggregate rates for pension and health benefits are as follows: a. Full Time Clergy-Active, Retired and Supply 26.5% b. ¾ Time Clergy-Active, Retired and Supply 20% c. ½ Time Clergy-Active, Retired and Supply 6%

B. 2019 Budget Requests Detailed Budgets for Line Items as Referenced SECTION 1: NUMBER 1 AVENUE OF GIVING Fund 1: World Service When United Methodist congregations pay their apportioned mission shares they participate in God’s work around the world and right in their own parish. The World Service Fund is the heart of our local churches’ ministry together. World Service is God’s people reaching out in love and compassion in the name of Christ. It represents a call and a challenge to each United Methodist. As The Book of Discipline 2016 states, the full payment of the World Service Fund is each congregation’s “first benevolent responsibility” (Paragraph 812). For 2017-2020, the four program areas’ primary focus are: 1. Calling and Shaping Principled Christian Leaders: Our 2020 Vision looks forward to a United Methodist Church creating a culture of call in every faith community, equipping leaders as they help shape disciples’ faith for the transformation of the world. 2. Creating and Sustaining New Places for New People: Our 2020 Vision looks forward to a United Methodist Church with 1,000,000 new disciples who profess their faith through renewed and new faith communities around the world. 3. Ministry with Poor People and Communities: Our 2020 Vision looks forward to a United Methodist Church with 400 vibrant, flourishing, and transforming communities addressing issues of poverty and ministry with the poor, particularly with children.


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4. Abundant Health for All: Our 2020 Vision looks forward to a United Methodist Church that can reach 1 million children with life-saving interventions. We will be supporting this ministry through our General Church mission shares totaling $1,564,630.

SECTION 2: ANNUAL CONFERENCE EXTENDED MINISTRY Fund 2: Community Centers This apportioned mission share line item funds six community centers around the conference that provide vital ministry and service to children, youth, and adults. The centers serve the poor and disadvantaged by offering affordable childcare, and after-school care and other children’s programs, training and educational opportunities, abuse prevention and intervention, summer enrichment, older adult services and other ministries. The Leadership Team through its Association of Mission Institutions and the Benevolence Sub Committee has oversight responsibility for this budget request. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $246,905. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Bethlehem Center, Jackson $ Edwards Street Community Center, Hattiesburg Good Shepherd Center, Vicksburg Moore Community House, Biloxi Saint Andrews Mission, McComb Wesley House, Meridian

36,000 35,820 53,730 35,820 32,238 53,297

Fund 4: Choctaw Mission The Choctaw Mission is an historic attempt to help meet the needs of the members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Since the Methodist presence among the Choctaw people in 1827, the Choctaw Mission has had spurts of progress and countless challenges over the years. With the three churches no longer under the umbrella of the Choctaw Mission, the purpose is to be a place for prophetic leadership, spiritual enrichment, educational and cultural preservation. Just as these grounds have been a haven for mind, body and spirit throughout its history, the Choctaw Mission will continue to minister to the needs of the communities, nurture spiritual growth, and provide training and leadership development to the communities. The Choctaw-based center is a sacred space honoring Choctaw culture, encouraging partnerships and providing Christ-centered programs to empower young people and inspire families by promoting both individual growth and collective enrichment for the people to live viable fruitful lives. In this new era, it is envisioned that the Choctaw Mission through its improved governance will create policies that will provide a healthy agency with progressive leadership. Operationally, we aspire to attain financial sustainability to support the efforts of the Choctaw Mission and make changes to the physical plant to provide new programs and enhance the existing programs. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $40,297.

Fund 5: United Methodist Hour The mission of the United Methodist Hour is to, through media and technology, proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and to resource the local church to live faithfully and boldly in the world. Core Values: 1. We believe in the Bible as the living breathing Word if God in action. 2. We believe that faith in Christ is sufficient for transforming lives, both present and eternal. 3. We believe in the promise and potential of the Local Church as the “hope for the world”. 4. We believe in the medium of technology as a means for reaching the unchurched, dischurched, and under-resourced with hope and a future. 5. We believe in the “servant life” as the hands and feet of Christ. 6. We believe in the unconditional love and forgiveness of God and in our responsibility to express that to the world.


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We will be supporting this ministry through our apportioned mission shares totaling $46,566.

SECTION 3: MS CLERGY SUPPORT Fund 31: Fully Insured Medicare Supplement Access to a fully insured Medicare supplement plan has been established for the retired clergy who meet the qualifications of Medicare. The apportioned mission share dollars provide for a retiree credit based (1.) On years of service in Mississippi (2.) Participant in the active plan five years prior to retirement from the conference. Retiree credit for surviving spouses who were on the plan with their clergy spouse and whose clergy spouse died before 1-1-08 is also funded by the apportioned mission shares. The apportioned mission share funding for the retiree part of the plan is $950,000 and is paid by all churches. Based on the 2018 Annual Conference approval of the Board of Medical Benefits motion, this line will no longer be needed beginning in 2020 budget.

Fund 32: Pre-82 Pension Plan Funding The Board of Pension reminds us of the continued need to care for the unfunded status of the Pre-82 liability that has the responsibility of providing the funding for the pensions of those who served in years prior to 1982. The “O For A Thousand” program has produced funds from gracious givers, but not in an adequate level to fund this liability over the next seven years. The 2018 Pre-82 funding requirements cause the Conference Board of Pension to ask for $399,807 in mission shares.

Fund 8: District Superintendent Fund The District Superintendent Fund provides salary for superintendents and reimbursable business expenses for in district and cabinet work for the 11 conference approved districts. The 2018 salary level is $95,804 which was increased 2% over the 2017 salary. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $1,687,124. ■ ■ ■ ■

Salary for 11 District Superintendents Reimbursable Expenses Pension and Health Insurance Supervisory Fund

$ 1,053,844 216,353 366,927 50,000

Fund 9: Spiritual Leadership and Related Items This primary task is for the enlistment and recruitment of ordained clergy and to credential such persons for ministry in the local church and beyond. The board cares for the needs of certified persons, diaconal ministers, local pastors, deacons, and elders. It shall, with the assistance of the local church committee on pastor-parish relations, conference agencies, and every ordained minister of the conference, enlist women and men of all races and ethnic origins and guide those persons in the process of education, training, and ordination, recommending colleges and schools of theology listed by the University Senate. A complete detailing of the board’s responsibilities is found in the 2016 Book of Discipline, ¶635.Another function of this area is for lay leadership and the laity ministry. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $519,700. a. Board Expenses $ b. Conference Relations c. Health & Wellness d. Interviews e. Pastoral Growth & Development f. Resourcing the Connection g. Vocational Call & Nurture h. Moving Supplemental i. Laity Ministry j. Clergy Spouse - Turnaround Amount

39,000 35,200 77,000 13,500 76,000 31,000 191,000 15,000 40,000 2,000


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Fund 10: Equitable Compensation This commission provides support for full-time clergy serving as pastors in the charges of the annual conference by: (a) recommending standards for pastoral support; (b) administering funds to be used in base compensation supplementation; and (c) providing counsel and advisory material on pastoral support to district superintendents and committees on pastor-parish relations. The commission in consultation with the Council on Finance and Administration recommends to the conference its estimate of the amount required to support the schedule of minimum base compensation and supplements for the pastors. These dollars represent support to many small churches with potential for growth and in missional areas. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares of $205,000. a. Salary Supplements $ b. Ethnic Congregational/Mission Development c. Unique Ministries Grants d. Clergy Pension Benefit billing e. Contingency

52,000 18,000 75,000 49,000 11,000

SECTION 4: MS CONFERENCE LEADERSHIP AND MINISTRY WORK AREAS Fund 11: Annual Conference Ministry of Administration The Annual Conference is given the responsibility to resource the local churches. The annual conference administration is responsible for the operation of the Conference Center, trustee matters, conference secretary, conference statistician, the Council on Finance and Administration, and funding the annual conference session. We will be supporting Administry work through our mission shares totaling $2,534,988 which is no increase over 2017. 2019 Budget

Staff Compensation

Conf Personnel Committee Salaries & Benefits $ 1,182,265 CPC Expected Salary Reimbursements (72,138) Conference Personnel Salary 1,110,127 Staff Reimbursable Expenses 85,000 Total Confernce Personnel $ 1,195,127

CFA Personnel Committee Salaries & Benefits $ 455,917 CFA Expected Salary Reimbursements (189,141) CFA Personnel Salary 266,776 Staff Reimbursable Expenses 35,000 Total CFA Personnel $ 301,776 Total Compensation $ 1,496,903

Conference Office Expense Postage $ 13,000 Telephone 10,000 Office & Printing Supplies 43,000 Equipment Lease 42,000 Bank Service Charges 14,000 Dues 500 Audit Expense 48,000 FSA Administrative Fees 600 Software Maintenance & Upgrades 50,000 Equipment Replacement 15,000 Conference Office Expense Total $ 236,100


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Conference Administration Expense

Legal Expenses $ 30,000 Memorials 1,000 CFA Expense 3,500 Annual Conference Session 195,000 General & Jurisdictional Conference 14,000 Contingency 340,000 Conference Administration Expense Total $ 583,500

Conference Secretary Journal Editor Honorarium $ Recording Secretary Operational Expense Annual Conference Expense Conference Secretary Total $

Conference Statistician Conference Statistician Honorarium $ District Statisticians Travel Conference Statistician Total $

1,500 600 350 450 2,900

2,000 1,600 980 4,580

Commission on Archives & History SEJ Archives And History Dues $ 200 SEJ Historical Society 100 Registration Fees 100 Tobias Gibson Award 100 Clipping Service 1,000 Conference Historian Expenses 1,550 Committee Travel 500 J.B. Cain Archives 23,750 Digitizing Journals & Advocate 9,200 Commission on Archives & History Total $ 36,500

Conference Property & Trustees Parking Lot Usage/Vacant Building Rent $ (3,120) Janitorial Service 9,500 Insurance 48,675 Utilities 30,000 Maintenance 25,000 Conference Property Trustees Meetings 2,500 Abandoned Property Expense 10,000 Repairs & Renovations 15,000 Conference Property & Trustees Total $ 137,555

Episcopal Residence GCFA Reimbursements $ (20,000) Insurance Expense 2,000 Repairs & Maintenance 17,000 Utilities 6,000 Furnishings/Replacements 5,000 Episcopal Residence Total $ 10,000


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Advocacy & Administrative Review Area

Episcopacy Committee $ 1,000 Bishop Discretionary Fund 10,000 Christian Unity & Interreligious Concerns 2,250 Commission On Disabilities 1,000 Church & Society 3,200 Religion & Race 4,500 Status & Role of Women 4,000 Conference Administrative Review Committee $ 1,000 Advocacy & Administrative Review Area Total $ 26,950

Total Administry

$ 2,534,988

Fund 12: Faith Community Formation New Faith Communities The Faith Community Formation Ministry Team (FCF) exists to transform the Mississippi Annual Conference to a culture of vitality by forming new faith communities and by revitalizing existing congregations. Statistics confirm that the best way “to make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” is to start new faith communities for new people. Therefore, the FCFMT has set a goal of starting twenty new faith communities by 2020. This 20-20 vision is believed to be the best way to (1) counteract Mississippi Methodists’ decline and (2) reach the sixty-four percent of the Mississippi population that has no significant involvement in a faith community. Therefore, the FCF is tasked to identify, assess, vet and equip qualified church planters who can start and grow new faith communities.

Revitalization As disciples of Jesus Christ, Jesus extends the Great Commission to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20a). The Great Commission requires disciples of Jesus Christ to go, to make, to baptize, and to teach others about the transformative love of Jesus Christ. In other words, disciples of Jesus are called to make disciples. Dr. Donald R. House, Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee for the General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church, commissioned a study that finds that United Methodists are waning in their ability to fulfill the Great Commission. Dr. House’s study reveals that for the previous ten years, worship attendance in the United Methodist Church has decreased on average by 52,383 persons each year. Professions of faith have decreased by over 31 percent. By 2030, the United Methodist denomination in the United States will likely have declined to a point in which a turnaround is not possible. North American Methodists have been in decline since 1974, and by 2050 Dr. House projects that the Methodist connection will have collapsed if something does not change. Therefore, another emphasis of the FCF is to strengthen existing churches by helping them become vital congregations that make disciples for Jesus Christ. Of the 1,033 Methodist churches in Mississippi, 63% have not had a baptism in a given year. Thirty-two percent of Mississippi congregations have not had a baptism in five years. Along those lines, 63% of churches have not had a profession of faith in a given year, and 27% have not had a convert for Christ in the last five years. After Jesus extends clear instructions to go, to make, to baptize and to teach, he also extends a promise, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:19b). God is still at work in Mississippi. The task of the FCF is to partner with the movement of God’s Spirit in existing congregations and help them reclaim the transformative power of Jesus Christ. We will be supporting this Forming Faith Communities work through our mission shares totaling $600,000.


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Fund 13: Communications and Connectional Ministries The Office of Connectional Ministries focuses and guides the mission and ministry of The Mississippi Conference. This group is led by the Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications. Committees include: Mississippi Partnerships, (Millsaps College; Rust College; Wesley Pines Conference, Camping, and Retreat Center; Camp Lake Stephens; Seashore United Methodist Assembly; Gulfside Association, Inc.; Methodist Children’s Homes of Mississippi; Choctaw Mission; Good Shepherd Community Center, Inc.; Edwards Street Fellowship Center; Moore Community House; Wesley House Community Center, Inc.; Bethlehem Center, Inc.; St. Andrew’s Mission; United Methodist Hour), United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Church and Society, Board of Global Ministries (Missions, United Methodist Committee on Relief, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and Health and Welfare), Council on Youth Ministries and Commission on Communication. Other areas of care include: Congregations for Children, Personnel Committee, Journal, Resolutions and Petitions and Standing Rules. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $257,450.

SECTION 5: UM METHODIST MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION Fund 14: Mississippi Campus Ministries The task of the Committee on Higher Education and Campus Ministry is to relate to the two United Methodist institutions of higher education in the Conference – Millsaps College and Rust College– and supervise and resource the program of Campus Ministry with students on the campuses of state-related universities and community colleges throughout Mississippi. Our committee’s role is to steward the vision and the resources of the Annual Conference, evaluate the effectiveness of our units and ministers, and make recommendations to the Bishop and Cabinet regarding deployment of personnel. The mission shares provide funding to supplement and enhance the Wesley Foundation Board’s fund raising efforts on as many of our college campuses as we can. At present, our ministry serves 24 public college and university campuses in the state of Mississippi as well as our two historic United Methodist institutions Rust and Millsaps Colleges. We provide financial resources, accountability, and training for campus ministers and local Wesley Foundation boards of directors. College is a time when persons are making significant life decisions in regard to their vocation, life goals, and guiding philosophy. It is essential that the church be involved in this process as well. We heartily affirm The 2016 Book of Discipline when it states that local churches and extension ministries provide the primary arena for disciple making. We realize that for many reasons persons in college feel disconnected from their church. Our Wesley Foundations serve as one of the extensions of the church’s ministry in an attempt to reach college students on their own terms during this crucial time in their life. We will be supporting this ministry with our mission shares totaling $850,000. a. Wesley Foundation Grants $ b. Campus Ministry Consultant c. Property Insurance d. Training & Resources e. Accounting Review of Wesley Units f. Statewide Wesley Retreat

725,000 40,000 27,000 30,000 3,000 25,000


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Wesley Foundation Receiving Grants at

Amounts of Grant 7-1-17 – 6-30-18

Alcorn State University Delta State University ■ East Central Mississippi Community College ■ East Mississippi Community College ■ Hinds Community College - Raymond ■ Itawamba Community College ■ Jackson State University ■ Jones County Junior College ■ Millsaps College ■ Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ■ Mississippi Gulf Coast CC -Jeff Davis Branch ■ Mississippi Gulf Coast CC -USM Branch ■ Mississippi State University ■ Mississippi University for Women ■ Mississippi Valley University ■ Northeast Mississippi Community College ■ Northwest Mississippi Community College ■ University of Mississippi ■ University of Southern Mississippi ■ ■

$45,750 $55,450 $3,025 $1,800 $6,750 $55,000 $60,050 $2,700 $7,900 $43,575 $2,825 $2,825 $83,150 $60,050 $7,200 $11,950 $2,150 $72,425 $72,425

Fund 15: Ministerial Education Fund The Ministerial Education Fund was established by action of the 1968 General Conference as a means of engaging the total membership of the church in an effort to equip annual conference, theological schools, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to meet the need for increased resources for the recruitment and education of persons for ordained ministry. Since 1976, programs related to both diaconal and ordained ministry have been eligible for funding. And, since 1996, programs related to recruitment and education of both deacons and elders have received support. Support is provided for the 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States and global initiatives through GBHEM, as well as local pastor courses of study, continuing education, and other programs that strengthen the ministry of every local church. The 25% retained by each annual conference directly supports ministerial education in that conference. We will be supporting this ministry through our General Church mission shares totaling $528,459.

Fund 16: Millsaps College Millsaps College is dedicated to academic excellence, open inquiry and free expression, the exploration of faith to inform vocation, and the innovative shaping of the social, economic, and cultural progress of our region. Building on its motto, Ad Excellentiam, its strong heritage of social justice, freedom of thought and reflection on life’s most important questions, and its central location in the capital city of Mississippi, Millsaps engages students in a transformative learning and leadership experience that results in personal and intellectual growth, commitment to good citizenship in our global society, and a desire to succeed and make a positive difference in every community they touch. The Millsaps Charter was granted in 1890 to the Mississippi and Northern Mississippi Methodist Conferences establishing Millsaps College with a commitment to “the poorer classes in the state.” Religious diversity is a foundational principle, with students of all denominations attending the College since its founding – living out the generosity among people of faith that John Wesley imagined when he said, “If thy heart is as my heart, then give me thy hand.” We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $290,000.


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Fund 17: Black College Fund The 1972 General Conference established the Black College Fund as one of the apportioned general church funds. The objective of the fund is to provide financial support for institutions of higher education that historically served the educational needs of black students. More than $285 million has been raised since the fund was established to assist the programs and ministries of these schools. Our own Rust College is one of the recipients of these funds. We will be supporting this ministry through our General Church mission shares totaling $210,798.

Fund 18: Rust College The primary mission of the Office of Religious Education is to be a dynamic diverse community of faith, supporting the entire Rust College family with a well-rounded program dedicated to teaching cultural, moral, and spiritual values in both theory and practice. Our primary vision is to be a historically Black senior liberal arts college, related to the United Methodist Church, serving students, faculty, staff, and administration regardless of race, religion, gender, socio-economic status, national origin, or ethnic background. Therefore, our primary goal is to provide sacred space where the entire Rust College family can be fellow travelers on a journey of faith that leads to transformation of the individual and the world. Founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, “Rust was the first to give some learning unto those who were set free.” With the same passionate commitment of our founding ancestors, Rust today strives for excellence as we prepare “Tomorrow’s leaders who are students today” so that “By their fruits ye shall now them.” Consequently, in the Wesleyan tradition we use scripture, tradition, reason, and experience to constantly operate in a philosophy of relevance, change, and adaptation. With consistency we embrace the idea from Revelation, “See, I am making all things new.” We are blessed to be used by the Lord to help people press on toward the higher calling that leads to transformation of the world in the name of Jesus Christ. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $145,000.

Fund 19: Africa University Fund The 1988 General Conference approved a report of GBHEM providing for the establishment of a United Methodist university on the continent of Africa. By the time the 1992 General Conference convened, Africa University was a reality following the granting of a charter by the government of Zimbabwe. On March 23, 1992 the College of Theology and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources opened on a site near Old Mutare to 40 students from Burundi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Congo, and Zimbabwe. We will be supporting this ministry through our General Church mission shares totaling $47,176.

SECTION 6: MS CAMPING AND RETREAT CENTERS Fund 20: Camp Lake Stephens Camp Lake Stephens, a United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center, is committed to being a place where children, youth, and adults can encounter God and respond in faith to God’s call to transform the world. When many people think about camp, they think about camp being a great place where children and youth can have fun. Camp is definitely a place for children and youth to have fun, but it is so much more. Camp Lake Stephens is a sacred place! A place where you can have fun, meet new people, learn about yourself, and a place you can encounter God. The apportioned mission shares provide about 8% of the total budget supporting operating expenses of the camp ministry and will primarily be used to support the salary expenses for the full time employees. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $125,370.


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Fund 21: Camp Wesley Pines The original intent for Wesley Pines 56 years ago was to be a camp whose mission was to invest in the lives of youth and children. As stated on the investment bonds of this new Methodist 55 acre camp at Gallman, MS, was that by God’s grace and through this camp “….eternal dividends are to be paid in good fellowship, personal satisfaction, and genuine Christian growth” and that it would be celebrated by every person that would come to this new camp. Today, the vision and mission has not changed, it simply has expanded. The official name, Wesley Pines Conference, Camping and Retreat Center, reflects the broadening of vision and mission. Although the purpose has not changed, the vision and mission is always being refined and expanded. This past spring and summer, we celebrated over 1000 persons enjoying the Wesley Pines experience. During the summer camping program, over 450 of our youth/children made a profession of faith and/or a rededication of their life to Christ. The Board believes that part of our mission and vision in this special place of peace and tranquility, is to grow disciples for Jesus Christ. At Wesley Pines, there are many opportunities for quiet reflection, spiritual growth, and meaningful worship. We will continue work on our prayer trail and add scripture markers along the way. We will continue to up-grade one of the finest ropes courses around with the spiritual application of each event being posted near it. And, we continue to promote and encourage our children and youth’s attendance in summer camping, confirmation retreats, and spiritual renewal events planned for them. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $125,370.

Fund 22: Seashore Assembly The ministry of Seashore United Methodist Assembly (SUMA) is designed to create an atmosphere and program that fosters spiritual growth and empowerment cross-generationally which will lead to spiritual wholeness through seminars and/or retreats. Our mission is to provide a Christian Center for learning, growth, and renewal. The vision of SUMA is for individuals, families, and groups who, because they have been touched by the redeeming love of Christ, are at peace with God, themselves, others, and all of God’s creation, and thus empowered to live in God’s will. The ministry shall emphasis education, spiritual development, and renewal, emotional rehabilitation and recreation for individuals, clergy/spouse, single parents and/ or families. Programming implemented at SUMA shall be in keeping the Mississippi United Methodist Conference’s Core Values of Love, Generosity, Justice, and Apprenticeship. We will Live Out the Power of WE. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $90,893.

Fund 23: Gulfside Association, Inc.

Gulfside Association, INC is located in Waveland, Mississippi. The Gulfside ministry is unique because since 1923 Gulfside Association, INC has been and still is an institution designed for and committed to the commemoration of the contribution and heritage of Blacks in the historical Wesleyan tradition. Gullfside advocates for diversity and cultural development of all God’s people across the church. Gulfside values their heritage and legacy. They also value and practice Christian principles, spiritual development, renewal, and re-creation. They value human dignity and justice for all God’s people. Their vision is a caring community where all God’s people are transformed by the love of Christ. Gulfside provides facilities and programs that further the development of ministries to the whole person through education, spiritual nurture, and family support for all ages. We will be supporting this ministry through our mission shares totaling $30,000.


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SECTION 7: MINISTRY BEYOND THE LOCAL CONFERENCE GENERAL/JURISDICTIONAL CONFERENCES Fund 24: Episcopal Fund The Episcopal Fund, raised in accordance with paragraph 817.3 shall provide for the salary and expenses of bishops from the date of their consecration and for the support of retired bishops and surviving spouses and minor children of deceased bishops. This support includes moving cost, health insurance, pensions and residences. The Episcopal Fund provides funding to all conferences for the operation of the Episcopal Area offices and partial funding for the Episcopal Residence. We will be supporting this ministry through our General Church mission shares totaling $463,351.

Fund 25: General Administration Fund The General Administration Fund (paragraph 813) finances those general church agencies that are specifically administrative as contrasted with programmatic, missional, or ecumenical. The General Fund provides interpretation resources and the quadrennial general conference. Funding for General Council on Finance and Administration, General Commission on Archives and History, and Judicial Council is provided by these funds. We will be supporting this ministry through our General Church mission shares totaling $185,787.

Fund 26: Southeastern Jurisdiction Programming The Mississippi Conference and 14 other conferences make up the Southeastern Jurisdiction. At the 2016 conference, the 2017-2020 budget was again cut in more than half of the 2012-2016 budget because the agencies of the jurisdiction have become self-supporting programmatically. The 2016 SEJ Conference passed a budget of $1,774,000. The quadrennial share for Mississippi is $97,396. We will be supporting this ministry through our Jurisdiction mission shares totaling $14,000.

Fund 27: Interdenominational Cooperation Fund The Interdenominational Cooperation Fund provides basic support for ecumenical agencies through which the United Methodist Church participates in God’s mission in cooperation with other Christian communions. We will be supporting this ministry through our General Church mission shares totaling $41,329.


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C. Board of Trustees A. Conference-Owned Property The Conference Trustees are entrusted with the care of all property that is in the service of the annual conference as a whole. These properties in Jackson consist of the Conference Center on Briarwood Drive and the Episcopal Residence in Jackson. There are two permanent buildings constructed by the recovery efforts. They are owned by the conference and were built on land contractually leased for 35 years from Vancleave UMC and Nugent UMC. Now that the Katrina recovery efforts are complete, the buildings are being used by those local churches where the property was constructed. In the event of a future recovery need, the property by contractual lease will revert to those recovery efforts.

B. Conference Center

The Conference Center move to the Briarwood UMC location has proven to be a very good decision. Adequate space for meetings and parking has facilitated committee meetings. The building is in good repair and cost of operation has not significantly increased given the additional footage and lawn acreage.

C. Episcopal Residence The Episcopal Residence is in good repair. A new roof was installed in 2013 and all windows were replaced in the spring of 2015. The Trustees are working very closely with the Episcopacy Committee to maintain the residence is good repair and comfortable for the Episcopal family.

D. Insurance All properties of the conference insured under the conference-wide insurance program are properly insured. The Conference Trustees are making extensive efforts to insure the adequacy of the conferencewide insurance program so that the local church trustees are able to meet their fiduciary and Disciplinary responsibilities regarding the local church’s coverage. The Trustees believe the conference as a whole is better protected as a result of the minimum coverage standards adopted in 2004 and the conferencewide program adopted in 2005. A. J. Gallagher Risk Management located in Ridgeland, MS continues to provide the program administration and risk management services for the conference-wide program. The conference-wide program is financially stable and continues to insure 822 entities with a total insured value of $857,634,156. The churches that are not insured by the conference-wide insurance program shall be required to submit by January 31 of each year a copy of their current policy proving that they are in compliance with the minimum coverage standards described in E. below. To provide protection for the conference and all of the churches of the conference, churches not in the conference wide program shall list the Mississippi Conference United Methodist Church as an additional insured on their policy. It shall be the responsibility of the treasurer’s office to receive and track all of this information.

E. Minimum Coverage Standards The required levels of insurance approved at the 2004 Annual Conference are as follows: 1. Pastoral Professional Liability Limit Each Claim / Annual Aggregate 2. Directors and Officers Liability – Claims Made Coverage Limit Each Claim / Annual Aggregate 3. Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (limit per accident) Leased Vehicles / Hired and Non-Owned Vehicles 4. Physical or Sexual Abuse Liability (Sexual acts liability) 5. Commercial Automobile Liability Church Owned Vehicles 6. Volunteer Liability Church Members With Respect to Duties As Such 7. General Liability

$1,000,000 / $3,000,000 $1,000,000 / $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 / $3,000,000


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F. Records and Legal Documents The legal documents and records are held in the office of the treasurer of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. Copies of all deeds to church property are to be collected during the charge conference by the District Superintendents and are to be placed in the permanent files of the treasurer’s office. After a review of the deeds of the local church property, the trustees have found that the Trust Clause required by the 2016 Discipline has been omitted in some of the deeds. The Trustees of the Mississippi Annual Conference and the Annual Conference session go on record stating that even in cases where the clause has been omitted, either purposely or inadvertently, the clause is presumed to be in place due to the fact that the church congregation located on the property has functioned as a United Methodist Church based on, but not limited to the following: ■ The church has received and compensated a United Methodist pastor assigned by the Bishop and Cabinet. ■ The church has participated in the mission and ministry of the United Methodist Conference through mission shares, direct invoice, ministry, and mission activities. ■ The church has had the opportunity to participate in and benefit through the Conference Wide Insurance Program. ■ The church has provided pension and health benefits to its eligible pastors when the pastor was eligible for such benefits. ■ The church has held or has intended to hold worship and education activities in the locations acting as a congregation of the United Methodist Church.

G. Debt on Conference Property There is no debt on any of the conference owned property.

H. Relationship Statement In compliance with paragraph 2517 of the 2016 Discipline, the Annual Conference Trustees are to enter into covenant through a relationship statement for those organizations who use the official United Methodist insignia or the term “United Methodist” in its name, mission statement, publications, or promotional or marketing material. The trustees have renewed the majority of the Relationship Statements in the 2017-2018 conference year. The statements are on file in the Conference Treasurer’s Office.

I. Cumulative Listing of Preaching Stations and Limited Service Chapels The Conference Trustees have received the appropriate paperwork on the following list of approved Preaching Stations and Limited Service Chapels as of April 15, 2018. Others approved after this date through June 30, 2018 will be published in the 2018 Volume 1 Journal.

Preaching Stations 1061 1072 1131 1140 1222 1250 1260 1261 1305 1460 1500 2220 3111 3182 3220

Pleasant Ridge Copiah County St James Bridgeville White’s Chapel Bayliss Chapel Natchez: St John’s Gallman Georgetown Providence Hopewell Wilkerson Mt Carmel Wilkinson County New Fork UMC Forest Grove Wesley Mound Bayou Spring Grove Trinity Greenville

3301 3321 3330 3371 3470 4011 4020 4411 5100 5141 5223 5550 6250 6370 7510

Bethel UMC Spring Hill John Wesley-Durant Isola Drew Beasley UMC Ovett UMC L L Roberts-Bassfield Leaf Daleville Union Pleasant Valley Porterville Plesant Hill - Iuka Glenfield Merrill Chapel Poplarville


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7600 8041 8160 9241 9331 9491 10131 10204

Preaching Stations, continued

Tanners Chapel Fountainhead Eudora New Light Chapel Hill UMC (McCool) Piney Jordan Evergreen Wesley Chapel

10280 10353 10491 11161 11171 11292 11421 11530

Okolona: First Pleasant Grove Grady Chapel Bentonia Pleasant Hill Yazoo City Wesley Chapel Benton Goodman Memorial-Cary St John’s UMC Yazoo City

Limited Service Chapels 3283 Gore Springs 7131 Wesley Chapel – Poplarville

9592 Chapel Hill 11512 Lynch Chapel – Vicksburg

Reverend Rickey Haynes, Chair David Stotts, CPA Conference Treasurer/Director of Finance & Administration

D. Board of Pensions Report #1 Funding Paragraph 1507 (2) of the 2016 Discipline states “the Council on Finance and Administration shall report to the annual conference the amounts computed by the board that are required to meet the needs of the pension, benefit and relief programs of the conference.” This report is found in Report #3 in the Council on Finance and Administration report.

Pension Benefits and Liaison Offices The work of the Board of Pensions is carried out through David Stotts, the Conference Benefits Officer, who is also the Conference Treasurer. Working in the Conference Benefits Office is the Benefits Administrator, Sheila P. Owens; Benefits Liaison Officer, Andy Ray; Benefits Liaison Officer Emeritus, Byrd Hillman and Medical Leave Liaison Officer, Jodie Cothen. The Conference Benefits Office interfaces with Wespath Benefits/Investments (formerly the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits) and assists the Bishop and Cabinet in pension matters. The office is also available to assist participants with questions that relate to pensions and health benefits. The benefits officer can be contacted through the conference treasurer’s office at 601-354-0515, or 866-647-7486 or at 320-A Briarwood Drive, Jackson, Mississippi 39206.

Unfunded Liability Virtually all of the United Methodist clergy appointed by the Mississippi Annual Conference prior to 1982 are covered by Supplement One to the Ministerial Pension Plan. All assets of the plan are available to pay all benefits of the plan regardless of the annual conference from which contributions came or under which the benefits accrued. However, because each annual conference controls certain benefit provisions of the plan, funding requirements are determined separately for each conference. Each year the Actuarial Department of Wespath Benefits/Investments values the benefits provided under the plan and reviews our conference funding plan. The opinion of Wespath Benefits/Investments on the conference funding plan may be read in its entirety in the 2018 Journal under the conference Board of Pension report # 4. Our liability increases when we increase the past service rate, and we reduce our liability when we make annual payments in accordance with our funding plan. Actuarial experience and investment performance are factors in this computation. Investment performance during the past year has challenged money managers to review long-term strategies. Your


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Board of Pension is studying various plans to maximize return on invested funds. The revised plans will acknowledge reduced rates of returns for the short-term. The Board is recommending the PSR for 2019 to be $554. Payment for that increase must be paid on December 31, 2018. The Report #3 of the Council on Finance and Administration shows where the funding will come from to provide for the increase. The Board will continue to review the level of the PSR determining future funding needs for any proposed increases and report these needs to the Conference Council on Finance and Administration.

Funding for Pension Plan Must Be Paid in Full Each pastor and each church must understand the necessity of paying the Clergy Pension Benefit billing in full each year. The text of The 2016 Discipline paragraph 639 (4) a and b states. 4. Proportional Payment- The board shall compare the records of the amounts paid by each pastoral charge for the support of pastors and for pension and benefit programs, computing the proportional distribution thereof and keeping a permanent record of defaults of the churches of the conference that have failed to observe the following provisions pertaining to proportional payment, and shall render annually to each church that is in default a statement of the amounts in default for that and preceding years. a) When the apportionment to the pastoral charge for the pension and benefits program of the annual conference has been determined, payments made thereon by each pastoral charge shall be exactly proportionate to payments made on the salary or salaries of the ordained minister or clergy serving it. b) The treasurer of the pastoral charge shall be primarily responsible for the application of proportional payment; but in the event of the treasurer’s failure to apply it, the pastor shall adjust cash salary and payment according to the proper ratio, as provided above, before the pastor enters the respective amounts in the statistical repost to the annual conference. The annual conference must fund the retirement payments to clergy. Surviving spouses and dependent children of deceased clergy may also be a recipient of benefits. The Conference Board of Pensions in their January 2018 meeting received a report of arrearages in 2010 through 2017 Clergy Benefit invoicing. This information was forwarded to each district and may be seen in the following Report #5. Unpaid balances carry forward each year. It is the plan of the Conference Board of Pensions to keep careful records of non-payment and to contact district superintendents where this has occurred. An aggressive plan for collection has been provided to the Conference Benefits Office and the plan shall be followed. Arrearage information will be available for review in the Conference Benefits Office at the end of any month.

Conference Action Requested for Past Due Direct Invoices The Board believes strongly that the benefits cost must be paid in accordance with The 2016 Book of Discipline. It is the recommendation of the Board that no raise be offered to or accepted by a pastor who is serving a church with a past due balance in the direct invoice plan. The Board asks the 2018 Annual Conference to go on record concurring with this recommendation. The Board requests that the 2018 Annual Conference go on record recommending that the funds received from a church that is merging or closing be first applied to the unpaid direct invoices of the church.

Investments The money of the Conference Board of Pension is invested with the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, Hancock Bank, and Wespath Benefits/Investments. All of our investments are made with the consent of the conference board. The operating account is at Trustmark National Bank. At year-end, we had general funds of $645,248 at Trustmark National Bank, $655,918 invested with Wespath Benefits/Investments, Superannuate funds of $1,255,401 invested at Wespath Benefits/ Investments, $3,448,039 CRSP and Pre-82 Funds invested at the Mississippi UM Foundation, and $897,037 invested in the Leo Seal Fund at the Hancock Bank.


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Minister’s Personal Contributions Each minister is given the opportunity to participate in the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UM PIP) of Wespath Benefits/Investments. Ministers can decide how much they want to invest each month. It can be tax paid or tax deferred. The minister may choose one of two ways to contribute the money: (1) salary reduction – The check must be sent by the church treasurer in order to qualify, and it should be so stated to Wespath Benefits/Investments. The amount is to be deducted from the W-2 form, and Social Security is not paid on this amount; the amount is not subject to income tax until withdrawn. (2) tax paid – Under this plan, the minister must pay income tax on the amount contributed but will not pay tax on interest received until it is withdrawn. A Roth option is also available. If a minister moves he/she must make a new contract with the new church for his/her UM PIP and report it to Wespath Benefits/Investments. The Conference Board highly encourages every full-time participant to participate in UMPIP up to 1% so as to receive the matching portion of uo to 1% of the CRSP defined contribution.

Retired Ministers Rental/housing allowances. A resolution in regard to a rental/housing allowance has been prepared for action at this session of annual conference. Each retired minister is requested to study this resolution carefully. Let it also be emphasized that adequate records must be kept in order to justify expenses claimed. Should a retired minister die during the year, exclusion for rental/housing allowance is available with respect to the income of the minister during the time he or she was alive. However, the exclusion is not available to the surviving spouse.

Moving Expense The Board has recommended to the Council on Finance and Administration that the moving expense for retirees moving to their retirement home be paid based on the guidelines that have been recommended by CFA.

Conference Authorization It is the policy of the Conference Board of Pension, through its treasurer, to place with Wespath Benefits/Investments or the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation such funds as it receives from time to time. Such funds are to be invested in Wespath Benefits/Investments or the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation for the use and benefit of said conference Board of Pension, to transfer among accounts an amount required for the monthly and annual payments to Wespath Benefits/Investments for the cost of our pension program.

Education Programs on Pensions We encourage districts to initiate programs for education on the pension plans. The conference Board of Pension will be glad to arrange programming and education events to district ministers and their spouses, and to any called meeting of ministers and laypersons. Adequate time for full presentation and questions should be allowed. Contact the Conference Benefits Office to arrange one of these meetings. On August 13-14, 2018 we plan to offer the 3 “L” Academy again. This education event was started in 2009. The event will be highlighting (1) structuring the salary compensation package, (2) explanation of the available retirement plans, (3) workshops for those contemplating retirement within the next 5 - 7 years, (4) a lifetime planning seminar for interested pastors and their spouses and (5) various other information on connectional giving, stewardship, and wellness. This event will be in Jackson with speakers coming from Wespath Benefits/Investments, various general church agencies and other local resources. The conference benefits officer will continue to offer a one day meeting to offer assistance to those retiring in the current year with their forms. Information regarding health insurance opportunities and other assistance will also be discussed. This is a very helpful forum and will also be offered in April of 2019. Wespath Benefits/Investments will again provide an educational session, revitup, in the fall for the young clergy. The Conference board will offer scholarships for our clergy under 40.


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Gifts and Wills In 2009, the Board was notified of the inclusion of the pension program in the Leo Seal Trust. Since 2009, $626,345 has been received and is in the Hancock Bank. The original purpose of the gift was for building and equipment. The board has received approval from the court system and trustee for the interest on the endowment fund to be transferred annually to the conference board of pension in an effort to begin to reduce the amount of the funding requirements. The conference Board of Pension has designated these funds including the earnings to be for the unfunded Pre-82 liability.

Social Security for Ministers Social Security is a vital part of a minister’s financial plan. This gives protection for retirement, disability, and survivor benefits, as well as Medicare. If a minister has any questions related to his/her relationship to social security, please contact your local social security office.

“O For A Thousand” Program At the 2010 Annual Conference, the “O For A Thousand” program was announced. The purpose of this program and fund was to provide funding for the unfunded liability of the Pre-82 program. The Board hopes that all churches either as a church or as groups in the church will fund “O For A Thousand.”

Pension Liability Share of Congregations Desiring to Leave the Denomination The Mississippi Annual Conference Board of Pensions (CBOP) remind the Conference Negotiation Team that, in the sale of discontinued local church property and disposition of associated real, personal and intangible property, due fiduciary consideration should be given to future funding of the denomination’s mandatory clergy retirement (pension) plans (the liabilities for which the Annual Conference is responsible) and other Conference liabilities (e.g., retiree medical coverage, etc.). The CBOP, pursuant to its authority under ¶639 and ¶1506 of The Book of Discipline recommend that a portion of the assets, whether real (i.e., proceeds of the sale of local church property), personal, or intangible, should be allocated to the future funding of the liabilities of the Annual Conference under the benefit programs. Because the local church that heretofore has resided in the real property in question is breaking away from The United Methodist Church and the Annual Conference and the CBOP believe that there should be remuneration to assist the Annual Conference in paying for the benefit programs that cover clergy serving or that have heretofore served in the local church. Also supporting this equitable remedy are the following facts. (1) The clergyperson leaving the denomination, i.e., terminating Annual Conference relationship, is vested in his or her accrued pension benefit, to be paid in accordance with the plan documents, which are incorporated by reference in Discipline ¶1504.1, and the liabilities for which are borne by the Annual Conference. And (2) the Annual Conference retains market risk and longevity risk for these promised benefits, as though it were a commercial insurer of an annuity payment. John Brian Jones, Chairperson David Stotts, CPA Conference Benefits Officer


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Report #2

Conference Board Of Pension Budget Receipts: Clergy Pension Benefit Invoices CPP Grant From Wespath Pre 82 Mission Share Funding Direct Invoices For Less Than Full Time Direct Invoices For Pre 82 Leo Seal Trust Disbursements Other Interest Interest On Superannuate Endowment Hancock Bank (Gain/(Loss) ) Interest On Pre 82 Funds General SEF Distribution Gain OnWespath Accounts Wespath RTW Grant Gifts To Pre 82 Liability-O For A Thousand Interest Gifts From Various Trusts Gifts To Endowment Fund Chartered Fund Distribution Total Receipts

2019 Budget $ 4,631,902 $ 882,300 $ 399,807 $ 319,786 $ 288,019 $ 100,000 $ 100,000 $ 100,000 $ 60,000 $ 32,000 $ 13,000 $ 8,500 $ 6,000 $ 5,000 $ 3,000 $ 1,000 $ 350 $ 6,950,664

2018 Budget $ 4,541,080 $ 865,000 $ 545,000 $ 313,516 $ 282,372 $ 100,000 $ 100,000 $ 100,000 $ 60,000 $ 32,000 $ 13,000 $ 8,500 $ 6,000 $ 5,000 $ 3,000 $ 1,000 $ 350 $ 6,975,818

Disbursements: Cost Of Pension Benefits CRSP-DB Current Year Active Participants $ 2,326,701 $ 2,361,428 Pre 82 Payment $ 1,284,697 $ 1,601,870 CPP $ 882,300 $ 865,000 CRSP-DC Current Year Active Participants $ 581,400 $ 570,000 CRSP-DC Current Year Active Participants Match $ 249,900 $ 245,000 Pre 82 PSR Increase Advanced Payment $ 210,000 $ 210,000 DC For Less Than Full Time $ 209,100 $ 205,000 Subtotal Cost of Pension Benefits $ 5,744,098 $ 6,058,298 Operating Expenses Salaries And Benefits $ 85,000 $ 82,000 3 “L” Academy $ 20,000 $ 20,000 Travel Meals Meetings $ 15,000 $ 12,000 Annual Conf. Retirees Luncheon $ 13,000 $ 12,000 Liasion Contractual Arrangements $ 12,000 $ 12,000 Revitup Young Clergy Event $ 12,000 $ 12,000 Professional Fees $ 11,500 $ 11,500 Office Expense $ 10,000 $ 10,000 Bank Charges $ 5,100 $ 5,100 Grave Markers $ 5,000 $ 5,000 Per Diem Annual Conf-Surviving Spouses $ 2,500 $ 2,000 Payment To Dependent Children $ 530 $ 530 Dues $ 125 $ 125 Subtotal Operating Expenses $ 191,755 $ 184,255 Total Disbursements $ 5,935,853 $ 6,242,553 Net Receipts Over (Disbursements) $ 1,014,811 $ 733,265


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Item No. 1

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Report #3 Board of Pensions

Following are the conference claimants for the death benefits for the 2017-2018 year updated as of April 15, 2018. A full report for the conference year will be presented in the Conference Journal:

Minister of Conference Date of Death Wilfred Thomas Mayfield Carol Lynette Little John A. Higginbotham R. William Boyte Jack L. Woodward Manley W. Jones, Jr. Donald Lee Peters, Sr. James Biedenharn James Albert Fisher Hubert C. Rutherford, Sr.

October 10, 2017 December 12, 2017 February 1, 2018 February 6, 2018 February 23, 2018 February 27, 2018 March 3, 2018 March 30, 2018 April 10, 2018 April 13, 2018

Deceased Spouses Minister of Conference Date of Death Frances Bridges Emily S. Matheny Emma Jean Bearden Louise Moeller Peden Shirley S. Holston Bessie Faye Wiygul Erma Paseur Clyde W. Harhorn Beulah H. Alexander Mary L. Wiggers

Lewis Bridges Robert Matheny Oland Bearden Harold G. Peden Wilton Sidney Holston James H. Wiygul Clarence Elmer Paseur Howard Lee Harhorn Robert F. Alexander Charles Campbell Wiggers

June 29, 2016 July 22, 2017 August 25, 2017 August 30, 2017 October 2, 2017 November 26, 2017 December 6, 2017 January 26, 2018 February 15, 2018 March 2, 2018

Item No. 2 Disability income and renewal of disability income are granted only if disability benefits are approved from the Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP) by the General Board of Pensions. Medical leave and disability income was granted to the following: Larry Darnell Bolton Jimmy Jones Jeffrey G. Pruett Joseph Herbert Cothen III William G. Joyner Thomas Randall James Albert Fisher Carol Lynette Little Thomas Lionel Samson Fredrick Leon Gerber Oscar McGough Ronald Schwake Phillip Heidelberg James Morris John Howard Staggs Diana Deaton High Deborah Mingo Palmer Kevin Yearber Randy James Donald L. Patterson

Item No. 3 The Board of Pensions recommends that the following dependent adult children of deceased ministers be granted a child’s benefit based upon the pension credit of the minister:

Child Minister Years Beulah Irving

William R. Irving

4.75


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Item No. 4 The following ministers serving in Extension Ministries in 2017-2018 served with pension responsibility on the conference: Jimmy Lloyd Barnes Mattie Gipson Lindsay Robinson Stephen Cook Larry Hilliard Connie M. Shelton Cynthia A. Cross Embra Knox Jackson, II Timothy Charles Thompson, II Jim Fisher Stephen Keen Victoria L. White James Genesse Elizabeth Raigan Miskelly

Item No. 5

The following ministers serving in Extension Ministries in 2017-2018 served with pension responsibility on the institution or agency served: Terri K. Armstrong Hugh Milton Griffith, Jr. John Douglas Pepper Loye B. Ashton John Robert Hall Paige Swaim Presley Michael Ray Baker Hubert Dale Hathorn Joseph T. Ranager Dorothy Claire Biedenharn Richard Michael Hicks Joseph T. Reiff Diane L. Braman Warren Patrick Hutto Chris Brooking Richardson Alice Carol Burnett Sherry Bryant Johnson David Cary Sellers Johnny Crosby Kevin Kosh Joseph Shelton Charlene Cheney Walter N. Leverette Kristen Williams Dorothy Dickson-Rishel Gerald Liu Earl Wilson III Stephanie Foretich-McKey Toby Eugene Lofton William Edward Willis John Foster Earl McAnally Jacob Dale Wilson Walter L. Frazier Reed McCaleb J. Daniel Young Elisabeth Ann Garvin Thomas Emory Miller

Item No. 6 The policy of the Board of Pension in determining pension responsibility for Extension Ministries is the pension responsibility lies with the salary-paying institution or agency. If the appointment’s salary support is paid by the conference, then the pension responsibility belongs to the conference. If the appointment’s salary support is paid by the institution or agency, then the pension responsibility belongs to the salary-paying unit. Note that ministers who are serving in an Extension Ministry must assume responsibility to see that their pension is being cared for. The Board of Pension has entered into agreements with those extensions ministries who desire to cover their clergy by CRSP. The cost shall be paid by the extension ministry.

Item No. 7 Annuity payments related to pre-1982 service in the Mississippi Annual Conference have been reviewed and have been found to be accurate. A copy of the detailed report has been filed with the Conference Benefits Officer, David Stotts, and is available for review upon request. John Brian Jones, Chairperson David Stotts, CPA Conference Benefits Officer


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Report #4 2019 Comprehensive Benefit Funding Plan

(Full report will be on file in the conference benefits office)

Report #5 Following are the past due Clergy Pension invoices as of 12-31-2017 (*Churches that have entered in to Grant/Payment Plan) District Church # And Name 1070 Little Rock 1191 White Oak 1200 Ebenezer 1270 Gloster 1291 Gallatin 1292 St Morris 1320 Lampton: New Zion 1321 St Paul 1341 Cane Ridge 1370 Magnolia: St James 1502 Thirkield 1510 New Hebron 1610 St Paul (Franklin County) 2060 Canton 2121 Greenwood Chapel 2151 Bethany 2202 Mars Hill 2203 Sherman Hill 2280 Holly Bush 2351 Union Grove 2440 Christian Banner 2442 New Chapel 2492 Mountain Ridge 2540 Rials Creek 3010 Acona 3040 Evans Chapel 3070 Binford Chapel 3077 Linn 3091 Merigold 3121 Midway 3170 Galilee Treadwell 3280 Grenada: Grace 3290 Grenada: Vincent 3300 Holcomb 3360 Indianola: Rasberry 3430 Minter City 3550 Winona: Haven 3580 Rocky Hill 4040 Bethlehem 4041 Mount Zion (Bay Springs) 4042 Spring Hill (Montrose)

Balance $1,616.00 $1,023.84 $132.80 $2,446.86 $48.60 $12,168.38 $2,008.44 $416.17 $200.00 $90.40 $3,106.25 $309.29 $5,751.96 $16,205.82 $5,679.44 $32.67 $1,003.15 $4,626.19 $456.76 $156.60 $64.00 $41.44 $386.09 $3,018.78 $173.70 $29,750.25 $12,144.00 $66.67 $955.38 $5,717.61 $1,100.12 $21,439.99 $31,122.52 $1,608.57 $25,293.24 $1,785.24 $5,229.06 $111.99 $3,750.96 $1,145.54 $7,251.24

District Church # And Name 4052 Holders 4071 Stateline 4115 Dudley Chapel 4170 Hattiesburg: Glendale 4171 Hattiesburg: Grandview 4380 Lumberton 4381 Maxie 4420 Little Creek-Bolton Chapel 4421 Moody’s Chapel 4430 McLaurin 4440 Montrose 4441 Garlandville 4470 Mount Zion (Ellisville) 4510 Leona 4516 Wesley Chapel 4631 Old Bay Springs 4660 Big Rock 4680 Mount Carmel 4681 Mount Zion (Waynesboro) 4682 Pleasant Ridge 4701 Lone Star 5020 Bethel (Meridian) 5026 James Chapel 5123 Union Hill 5180 Elizabeth 5230vLake Central 5232 Union Chapel 5251 Mellen 5330 Meridian: Haven Chapel 5400 St Elizabeth 5442 John Memorial 5452 Stallo 5560 Macedonia 5590 Mount Zion (Newton) 5642 Spring Hill (Shubuta) 5643 Sweet Pilgrim 5701 Wesley Chapel (Hickory) 6100 Booneville: Grace 6120 Corinth: Box Chapel 6170 Crossroads 6180 Marietta

Balance $3,699.32 $347.40 $2,474.27 $283.71 $2,000.00 $28,705.80 $1,088.18 $102.89 $2,870.98 $18,071.02 $3,704.40 $3,495.60 $322.99 $278.61 $133.87 $836.32 $28.00 $14,212.34 $7,224.02 $7,554.20 $165.00 $43.38 $240.00 $48.25 $2,700.00 $1,993.06 $1,282.38 $302.78 $822.76 $2,459.61 $240.00 $405.30 $580.18 $1,219.00 $2,620.23 $2,299.26 $378.43 $143.59 $16,841.50 $2,061.27 $230.62


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District Church # And Name Balance 6181 Mt Nebo $112.86 6182 Siloam $1,370.04 6210 Hickory Flat $15,157.52 6240 Camp Ground (Iuka) $1,194.16 6241 Mt Evergreen $6,634.43 6242 Rocky Springs $5,578.21 6411 Taylor $627.25 6421 Abbeville $3,404.52 6451 Bethel (Rienzi) $192.00 6500 Ripley: Christ $2,375.12 6520 Walnut $124.50 7010 Cross Roads $405.30 7036 Sweetwater $142.25 7110 Biloxi: St Paul $7,204.05 7251 White Plains $2,747.89 7482 St. Stephen $281.30 8010 Barton $482.50 8030 Batesville: St Paul $1,536.34 8131 Mt Vernon $140.01 8211 Horn Lake $9,207.00 8290 Lula $1,722.60 8300 Lyon $6,593.04 8370 Olive Branch: Maples Memorial $2,643.96 8470 Southaven: First $3,118.76 8478 Strickland $1,758.04 8501 Red Banks $2,051.44

District Church # And Name Balance 9041 Drake Hill $219.83 9042 Wesley (Brooksville) $899.52 9110 Brownlee $4,836.00 9270 Louisville: Wesley $3,429.36 9310 Macon: St Paul $4,580.35 9340 Middleton $1,481.45 9361 Mount Pisgah $184.68 9382 Plair $65.12 9411 Macedonia $344.52 9481 Pleasant Grove $345.92 9491 Piney Jordan $97.08 10033 Kings Chapel $194.32 10101 Bethel $25.44 10132 New Chapel (Nettleton) $767.31 10202 Van Vleet $1,197.45 10266 Big Hill $3,890.00 10290 Ozark $4,694.40 10292 Palestine (Marietta) $500.90 10352 Mt Nebo $2,572.50 10353 Pleasant Grove (Pontotoc) $1,875.04 10360 Prairie Mount $1,632.01 10430 Tupelo: Cornerstone $13,525.44 11041 Midway $1,727.92 11151 Bethany $6,056.49 11190 Jackson: Alta Woods $251.68 Total Due $476,346.35


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E. Board of Medical Benefits Active Insurance Program

Report #1

The Board of Medical Benefits is seeking to continue to provide a financially sound and diverse benefit plan for the PPO and HDHP plan while remaining in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Utilizing Northwestern Mutual as our plan consultants, Blue Cross Blue Shield as our plan administrators, Amazing Pace’s program of wellness and disease management, and the dental and vision ancillary products, the plan is a well-rounded program for managing health care and promoting wellness. Karleen Green of Phelps Dunbar continues to provide the legal guidance to the board. The Board is recommending the continuation of the plan with no changes in plan design or eligibility. The rates for the self-insured plan for 2019 will not increase but will remain the same as 2018 and are as follows.

For Clergy appointed to local church 2019 Rate 2019 Rate Premium Category Paid by Paid by Basic Plan Check Draft Employee Rate Spouse under 65 Includes Employee Dependents Includes Employee Full Family Includes Employee

$ $ $ $

138 632 549 838

$ $ $ $

135 618 536 819

High Deductible Plan Single Rate Spouse under 65 Includes Employee Dependents Includes Employee Full Family Includes Employee

$ $ $ $

90 518 444 689

$ $ $ $

88 508 433 673

For eligible Clergy and laypersons employed by other non-mission share apportioned salary paying entities or clergy on leave status 2019 Rate 2019 Rate Premium Category Paid by Paid by Basic Plan Check Draft Employee Rate Spouse under 65 Includes Employee Dependents Includes Employee Full Family Includes Employee

$ $ $ $

847 1,341 1,258 1,547

$ $ $ $

844 1,327 1,245 1,528

High Deductible Plan Single Rate Spouse under 65 Includes Employee Dependents Includes Employee Full Family Includes Employee

$ $ $ $

799 1,228 1,153 1,398

$ $ $ $

797 1,217 1,142 1,383


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The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

Ancillary Plans We do not expect to have a rate increase in the ancillary plans. (Must be enrolled in Conference health plan to be eligible for dental and vision coverage) 2019 Rate 2019 Rate Paid by Paid by Dental Rates Check Draft Employee Employee + 1 Family

$ $ $

35 77 109

$ $ $

34 75 106

2019 Rate 2019 Rate Paid by Paid by Vision Rates Check Draft Employee Employee/Spouse Employee/Child Family

$ 8 $ 13 $ 14 $ 20

$ 7 $ 12 $ 13 $ 19

NOTE APPLIES TO ALL PLANS: ■ 5% Late charge if not paid by 25th of the month ■ At the death of the clergy, surviving spouses who are on the plan may continue at the lower of the 2 rates prior to the clergy death.

Retiree Insurance Program The Conference Board of Medical Benefits provides access to retiree insurance as required by the 2016 Discipline. The Board has negotiated a fully insured program entitled Retiree Benefit Choice through our current provider, AmWINS. Open enrollment will be in the fall of each year with a plan beginning the following January 1. This plan provides the following 3 options: 1. Enhanced Plan: This is the plan that provides the Part F type program and a drug card. 2. Basic Plan: This is a plan similar to the enhanced plan but offering lower premiums by allowing the participant to take some additional financial risk. 3. Individual Plan: This plan allows a participant to go into the insurance market with the help of the AmWINS support group and design a plan that best suits their personal needs and level of premium most affordable to them. Effective July 1, 2015, the retired eligible clergy and dependents that are 65 and over, Medicare eligible, and not eligible for the conference self-insured active plan will have access to this plan. Clergy who are eligible for the retiree program but who are appointed full time as defined by ACA to serve a local church or ministry and further qualify for the self-insured plan shall be included in the self-insured plan. Those who are on the AmWINS plan as of June 30, 2015 may remain on the plan unless they have a change in appointment qualifying for conference provided insurance. Retiree Benefits Choice will continue to provide the billing services for these plans. The retiree credit will first reduce the billing premium for the Enhanced and Basic Plans. The Individual Plan will be funded with a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) earned by the retiree based on the rules adopted by the Annual Conference. Participants are encouraged to use the expanded ACH plan which will allow selection of draft dates (1st, 8th, or 15th of the month). The open enrollment dates will be announced and opportunities to enroll in AmWINS Retiree Benefit Choice will be held in various locations around the conference. Continuing in the current plan or selecting on of the plans above can be accomplished by mail.


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Board of Medical Benefits Study of the Retiree Credit The Conference Board of Medical Benefits studied the Post-Retirement Health Benefit (PRHB) cost to the annual conference. The plan currently provides (1) a clergy who is on the conference medical plan for at least 5 years immediately preceding their retirement and (2) a lay employee who has 10 years of coverage immediately preceding their retirement a cash supplement. This supplement is $7 per month per full service year for service in the Mississippi Conference and is up to a maxi­mum of 35 years or $2,940. This supplement is to be applied to their conference sponsored Medicare Supplement. The credit transfers to the surviving spouse if that spouse is also on the conference insurance at the time of death of the retiree. A break in coverage of their conference insurance terminates this monetary supplement. As of January 1, 2018, the PRBH has a funding liability of $12,644,476. There is cash funding on hand of $7,551,212 leaving an unfunded liability of $5,093,264. The funding for this plan comes from mission shares and a part of the Board of Medical Benefits budget at a cost in 2018 of $1,706,000. The Board held listening sessions in 2017. Based on those listening sessions, the board recommended to the Council on Finance and Administration: 1. The benefit should be terminated for all those retiring after 6-30-2020. 2. Those who retired before 7-1-2020 will continue to receive the supplement based on the terms that were in place when they retired. Dr. Grady Marlow, Chairperson David Stotts, CPA, Conference Benefits Officer

Report #2

Conference Board Of Medical Benefits Budget 2019 2018 Budget Budget SELF INSURED PLAN Self Insured Plan Receipts Active Mission Shares Direct Invoice Employer Share Participant Payments Ancillary Dental/Vision Rx Drug Rebate

$ 3,769,920 $ 3,696,000 $ 2,184,000 $ 2,184,000 $ 225,000 $ 225,000 $ 200,000 $ 200,000

Total Self Insured Plan Receipts $ 6,378,920 $ 6,305,000 Self Insured Plan Cost Provider Claims Active Rx Claims Ancillary Dental/Vision Cost

$ 2,779,774 $ 2,704,060 $ 2,057,047 $ 1,942,443 $ 225,000 $ 225,000

Total Self Insured Plan Cost

$ 5,061,822 $ 4,871,504

Net Self Insured Plan Receipts (Disbursements) $ 1,317,098 $ 1,433,496 MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN Medicare Supplement Plan Receipts Mission Shares For Retiree Credit/Surviving Spouses

$

950,000 $ 1,168,560

Medicare Supplement Fully Insured Plan Cost Medicare Supplement Plan Cost

$ 1,025,000 $ 1,000,000

Net Medicare Supplement Plan Receipts (Disbursements) $ (75,000)

$ 168,560


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CONFERENCE BOARD OF MEDICAL BENEFITS BUDGET, CONTINUED: 2019 2018 Budget Budget OTHER INCOME Gain (Loss) Long Term Ms Um Fndn Interest Income FSA Administrative Fees Late Fees Total Receipts DISBURSEMENTS: Post Retirement Health Benefits Funding Contribution Administration-Third Party Admin. Reinsurance Aggregate & Specific Clerical Salaries And Benefits Wellness Benefit-Amazing Pace Nw Administrator Fees Wellness Rewards Audit Bad Debt Expense Legal Fees Actuary Office Supplies Liasion Officer 1095 B Compliance Forms Bonding Fees Bank Charges Meeting Expense FSA Administration Total Disbursements Net Receipts Over (Disbursements)

$ $ $ $

200,000 150,000 7,200 360

$ $ $ $

200,000 150,000 6,600 1,400

$ 1,599,658 $ 1,960,056 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

750,000 240,000 190,000 85,000 72,000 35,000 28,000 22,000 22,000 20,000 15,000 9,000 6,000 5,820 4,830 3,000 2,500 2,500

$ 1,000,000 $ 230,000 $ 190,000 $ 83,500 $ 72,000 $ 35,000 $ 28,000 $ 22,000 $ 22,000 $ 20,000 $ 10,000 $ 9,000 $ 6,000 $ 5,820 $ 4,830 $ 3,000 $ 2,500 $ 6,500

$ 1,512,650 $1,750,150 $

87,008 $ 209,906

Dr. Grady Marlow, Chairperson David Stotts, CPA, Conference Benefits Officer

F. Report of Commission on Archives and History The J.B. Cain Archives of Mississippi Methodism, a special collection of the Millsaps-Wilson Library, continues to serve the public as a resource on church history, Methodist ministers, and Mississippi Conference history. As directed by the Discipline, the Cain Archives is the repository of Mississippi Conference historical records and is open for research weekday mornings and by appointment with the College Archivist, Debra McIntosh. The 2017 MS Conference approved the Commission’s recommendation to designate Felder Campground and Church as the 11th UMC Historic Site the Mississippi Conference. Subsequently, the General Conference Commission on Archives and History granted that recognition as UMC Historic Site #542. Felder Campground Association and Felder UMC will celebrate their 175th anniversary in July of 2018.


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The Commission urges those interested in Mississippi Methodist history to acquire the recently published book A Complete History of Methodism as Connected to the Mississippi Conference, 1846-1869, which is the culmination of the Commission project to transcribe and publish the long lost manuscripts of volumes 3 and 4 of John G. Jones 19th century narrative of the story of Methodist beginnings in Mississippi. His eyewitness accounts include biographies of circuit-riding ministers, reports of church politics, descriptions of love feasts and revivals, and more. Copies are available at the Conference Office and at the J.B. Cain Archives in the Millsaps Library. Other books from the Mississippi Methodist Historical Society are also for sale in the Cain Archives. The Tobias Gibson Award for contributions to the preservation of Mississippi Methodist History was awarded to Rev. Dr. Jerry Williams at the 2017 Annual Conference. The Commission also hosted an exhibit of materials from the Cain Archives in the Convention Center lobby during Conference. The Commission welcomed Dr. Walter Howell to the new position of Conference Historian. He will lead the Mississippi Methodist Historical Society which is open to all. Dr. Howell attended the 2017 meeting of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Commission on Archives and History and Historical Society at Lake Junaluska. The multi-year Commission project to digitize past Conference Journals is up and running. Searchable PDF journals from 1968 to the present are now available for viewing on the Conference web site at this link: https://www.mississippi-umc.org/conferencejournals. Earlier Journals and MS Methodist Advocate newspapers are slated for digitizing during 2018. Commission Chairman Rob Webb was the speaker for the Lambuth Day service at historic Pearl River Church in Madison County, an annual event sponsored by the Pearl River Church Historic Council and Madison UMC. The Historic Council plans to participate in the General Commission on Archives and History geo-cache promotion to encourage travelers to visit UMC Heritage Landmarks. Rev. Webb also spoke at the 2018 Ford’s Encampment weekend recognizing MS Conference Historic Site John Ford Home in Marion County.The Commission will work toward having someone present at Administry Training Workshops to help church historians and administrators with records retention. In the meantime, one may call the J.B. Cain Archives or read the Guidelines provided by GCAH on-line at: http:// www.gcah.org/resources/managing-records-of-the-annual-conference-and-local-church. Historic Sites in Mississippi as of 6-30-2018 are: 1. Pearl River Church, Madison County 1977 2. Washington Church, Washington 1977 3. Sharon Church and Community, Madison 1977 4. Kingston Church, Adams County 1979 5. Gulfside Assembly, Waveland 1980 6. Elizabeth Female Academy 1976 7. Seashore Assembly 1982 8. Columbus First Church 1998 9. Woodville Church, Woodville 1998 10. John Ford home at Sandy Hook, Marion County 1998 11. Felder Campground and Church 2018 Rev. Rob Webb, Chair Mrs. Debra McIntosh, Archivist David Stotts, CPA Staff Representative


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S ection IV

Connectional Ministry Updates Connectional Ministries The Office of Connectional Ministries focuses and guides the mission and ministry of The Mississippi Conference. This group is led by the Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications. Committees include: Mississippi Partnerships, (Wesley Pines Conference, Camping, and Retreat Center; Camp Lake Stephens; Seashore United Methodist Assembly; Gulfside Association, Inc.; Methodist Children’s Homes of Mississippi; Choctaw Mission; Good Shepherd Community Center, Inc.; Edwards Street Fellowship Center; Moore Community House; Wesley House Community Center, Inc.; Bethlehem Center, Inc.; St. Andrew’s Mission; United Methodist Hour), United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Church and Society, Board of Global Ministries (Missions, United Methodist Committee on Relief, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and Health and Welfare), Council on Youth Ministries and Commission on Communication. Other areas of care include: Congregations for Children, Personnel Committee, Journal, Resolutions and Petitions and Standing Rules. The Offices of Connectional Ministries coordinates staff, boards, agencies and committees to uphold and promote shared ministries of the Annual Conference, Jurisdictional Conference, General Conference as each local church lives out our Core Values. As we continue “Living Out the POWER of We” and keep the Parent (BOT) MAP before us we strive to maintain alignment and a consistent vision. Loving, Learning, and Leading have become an essential part of all team meetings. We continue to build partnerships with Cabinet & Vital Congregations Committee toward better information gathering and training for local churches through Charge Conference data. A total of 43 Mission Grant projects were granted to local churches in 2017 for a total of $96,000. Scholarships for The Gathering went to 169 people for a total of $4043. The Office of Connectional Ministries and Communication casts the vision for Living Out The POWER of We. These two offices intentionally organize, align, and communicate the work of staff, boards, agencies, committees, and the local churches to be more responsive to the movement of the Holy Spirit and our purpose: The Mississippi Annual Conference—empowered by love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship—forms spiritual leaders, faith communities and connections so more disciples of Jesus Christ transform the world.

Communications Report will be added after 2018 AC Session

United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network The mission of the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network is to advocate for Appalachia within the structure of the United Methodist Church and to empower social justice through leadership development and collaboration with ministries and organizations that serve the region. We envision a society where all people in Appalachia are valued. One in which all are offered discipleship for Jesus Christ and where all have the opportunity to realize God-centered spiritual, social, and economic potential. Mission shares allows UMANN to provide board members with a bi- annual leadership development training. It also allows for the executive coordinator to make site visits to the Hunger and Poverty funded grantees. It provides financial support to board members to attend regional conferences that address the needs of the people in the Appalachian region.


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The Mississippi Conference (SEJ) — 2018

Our program provides the food, clothing, and family education. We understand poverty and hunger are social issues that must be addresses with love and compassion. By focusing on the family needs, we enable the local church to minister to those in need. UMAMN has benefited from mission shares in 2017 because it has allowed the network to stay connected. We provide monthly meetings using ‘Go to Meeting’ and provide bi- annual reports that are mailed to board members, churches and conferences. UMAMN provides churches with bi-annual updates, reports and program information to encourage giving thru mission shares. Board members also share the leadership training information with their local congregations. In addition, each time a donation is sent, the donor receives a thank you card from the UMAMN office. In 2019, the UMAMN network proposes to have 15 members who attend bi- annual meetings and trainings. In addition, the network will provide trainings and community conversations for board members, local church leaders, community leaders and educational leaders to address the needs of the community. The goal will be to provide at least four of these training in various states. The funding will assist to offset the cost of these trainings. The training and community conversations will be essential in 2019 to the UMAMN partnership with annual conference. In addition, the UMAMN Executive Coordinator plans to attend meetings of other programs that are funded by MS conference to work on collaboration and partnership. The MS conference will be vital to helping UMAMN stay connected and advocate for projects and local agencies that may need assistance. A Word of Witness United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network has over the years provided hope for people living within the network area. Organizations in the Appalachian area or Mississippi have experienced helped in a variety of ways. This assistance has come in the form of grants to provide financial stability in the short term and resources to help develop organizational sustainability in the long term. For people living in an area which suffers from the systemic poverty, that covers the state of Mississippi, it is a true blessing to receive the kind of help offered by the UMAMN.

Baddour Center Report will be added after 2018 AC Session

Bethlehem Center, Inc. Bethlehem Center is a United Methodist National Mission Institution serving the Jackson, MS, metropolitan area. Our mission is to provide educational, health and community involvement programs and service for children and families within a spiritual environment. We use funds received from the mission shares to educate our pre-school classes. The way the school system is set up know kids has to have that beginning from us to be able to keep up when they reach school and this is what we offer along with keeping our teachers trained. Our mission is achieved by providing quality education and service to the families we serve through a spiritual aspect. Without the support of Mission Shares, we would not have been able to provide the quality education to over 70 students. Our program revenues have changed. Some contributions we normally receive didn’t come through but there were others, that we didn’t budget for, filled in its place. We are visiting other churches to spread the word of the work we are doing and also enrolling more children to increase our revenue. I make it a point to attend UMW circle meetings, The United Methodist Women Conference and visit all the local churches to spread the word of our work at the center. Testimonial: “Ms. H has three daughters that she needed childcare for while looking for a job and she could only pay a small amount for childcare. She gained employment and was able to pay full childcare


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for her three children. Had we not received mission shares, we would not have been able to provide her childcare while she looked for employment which didn’t take but two weeks. The three children are still enrolled at the center.” Our mission share dollars will be used to continue to provide quality education to the children we serve and being able to open new programs within the center to be more attractive to other that may become a part of us. There is a lot of valuable information and resource the Annual Conference provide to us. Bethlehem Center welcome that partnership.

Camp Lake Stephens Camp Lake Stephens, a United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center, is committed to being a place where children, youth, and adults can encounter God and respond in faith to God’s call to transform the world. Since 1946 Camp Lake Stephens has provided summer camp experiences for children and youth. In addition to our traditional summer camp options at Main Camp, our summer camp program has expanded to include Adventure Camp, Day Camp, Traveling Day Camp, LIT (Leader-In-Training), and Stephens Sessions (for campers with special needs) opportunities. Participating in any of our summer camp opportunities provides campers with the ability to live in Christian community, to experience God in the midst of creation, to learn about God’s love for them, to learn new skills, to develop independence, and much more. Although our Summer Camp program is the primary thrust of our ministry, Camp Lake Stephens is involved in ministry in many other areas. In the fall Camp Lake Stephens provides Spiritual Life Retreats for children, Jr. High youth, and Sr. High youth. In January the camp sponsors “Overflow” and Confirmation Retreats. Camp Lake Stephens is involved in ministry to our older adults. Every spring we sponsor “Spring Fling”, which is a day for older adults to come to camp and have fellowship with one another. Participants attend workshops, have lunch together, and participate in a variety of programs in the afternoon. Camp Lake Stephens also provides an older adult trip every fall. We have had trips to Natchez, Lake Junaluska, the Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Nashville, Mobile, New Orleans, and our most recent trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is our goal to be in ministry year round to the children, youth, and adults of the Mississippi Conference. Our Operating Budget is currently a little over $1 million. Mission Shares provide about 10% of our revenue. Mission Shares are not used for any one specific purpose, but rather used to support the overall ministry of Camp Lake Stephens. Camp Lake Stephens achieves our mission through all our various ministries (i.e. summer camp, fall retreats, older adult programs, community events, environmental education). In all our ministries we stress the importance of community and loving and accepting everyone that is a part of that community. Our summer staff models this loving community to our summer campers. Our LIT (Leader-In-Training) program has helped us greatly in our desire to build spiritual leaders. Participants must have completed the 9th or 10th grade and they come to camp for 3 weeks. During this time we teach them about discerning God’s call for their life, being spiritual leaders, and we give them hands on opportunities to lead children and youth at camp. Most or our LIT campers go on to be counselors where we continue to develop their leadership ability. We currently have several young men and women who have heard a call to ministry through these programs and are in seminary preparing for vocational ministry. We continue to seek ways to connect with our local churches and help to meet the needs they have. We will be hosting our first Women’s Retreat in January of 2017 as a result of women in a local UM church expressing a need for such an event. So far this year we have successfully completed our 72nd season of summer camp, “Overflow” and Confirmation retreats in January, Spring Fling for our older adults, older adult trip to the Mississippi Gulf


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Coast, our annual Children’s Spiritual Life Retreat, and our Jr. High Spiritual Life Retreat. Mission Shares have helped make all these programs possible and affordable. Our summer camp revenue was down about 1% but revenue for other programs has been up a little. Contributions are running a little ahead of where we were this time last year. However, it Is hard to get a real feel for donations until the end of the year since the majority of our contributions come in the last 2 months of the year. We try to get into local churches as often as we can, especially in the spring when we are recruiting campers for summer camp. We always use these opportunities to thank the local church for their support of camp through their mission share giving. A Word of Witness Camp Lake Stephens is easily my favorite place in the world. Six years of camp has really made an impact on me and how I’ve lived my life. These past two years as a Leader In Training, however, have by far been the most instrumental in the way I live out my faith today. They have shown me how to defend my faith outside of camp. They have have taught me to expand my borders and to help others learn about Jesus. And its not just what I’ve learned, but the people I have met have had a profound impact on my life. I still talk with counselors and campers today that I met last year or the year before that. It has taught me patience as well as graciousness and to be thankful for what God has given me. Sprout ball, ultimate frisbee, outpost, talent show, home in the woods, and Camp Rainbow are just a few of the many things students should experience at camp. LIT has definitely changed me for the better and I 100% recommend it.

Edwards Street Fellowship Center Mission: The mission of Edwards Street Fellowship Center is to shine the light of God’s Love. Purpose: The purpose of ESFC is to provide a helping hand to the poor, the underserved, the suffering in the greater Hattiesburg area. Values: ESFC respects the dignity and value of clients, volunteers and staff. Core values are trust, open communication, justice and fiscal responsibility in the spirit of the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. We are welcoming to people of all beliefs and respectful of their individual needs. We are compassionate, nurturing the health, well-being and dignity of each other an those we serve. We are collaborative, seeking and sharing best practices and respecting the mutual contributions we make in fulfilling our mission. We are innovative, challenging ourselves and our partners to improve the way we work and serve. We are passionate in the pursuit of our mission. We serve all equally, with integrity and openness, breaking down barriers that build injustice. ESFC is overwhelmingly grateful for mission share funding, which helps us provide vital programming for our community. Mission share dollars are used in all programming aspects of our ministry: food pantry, medical clinic, thrift store, Boy Scouts, community gardens, senior ladies’ Bible fellowship, woodlands area and special events. Love: Prayer request/suggestion/feedback cards are provided at the ESFC food pantry, medical clinic and thrift store. Sunday school members at a local dementia care senior living facility lift up the prayer requests weekly. Fruits and vegetables grown in ESFC’s community gardens are distributed through the food pantry. Generosity: The ESFC food pantry supplies emergency and supplemental food to over 1,200 households per month. In 2016, 176 tons of food were distributed in a 7-county area. Fellowship Health Clinic offers free medical, prescription, dental, lab and social work services to uninsured/underinsured adults in Forrest and Lamar counties. Justice: Community partners offer free services in food pantry lobby for free HIV testing, SNAP application assistance, wellness check-ups and education and Fit for Life walking program. The ESFC Thrift Store serves as a workfare site for DHS SNAP, 55+ Senior Program and various rehab programs. Apprenticeship: Weekly senior adult ladies’ bible study and meal. Children’s programs (Boy Scouts, in-school tutoring, Junior Auxiliary events like Smart Art, Coat Giveaway and Family Affair) In addition to the information listed above, some statistics for Fellowship Health Clinic include: medical care (1/16 – 10/17) 284 patients; 1,301 patient encounters with medical providers; prescrip-


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tion meds (2/15 – 9/17) 8,273 prescriptions filled for 176 patients; dental referrals (4/15 – 10/17) 312 patients referred to 11 general dentists and 3 oral surgeons for tooth extractions; 70 patients referred for dental cleanings and X-rays; lab tests (1/16 – 9/17) 1,535 lab tests processed by LabCorp; social work (1/16 – 9/17) 143 patients assessed for Chronic Conditions Support Program for management of diabetes and/or hypertension. Conference mission shares are used throughout ESFC’s programming, supplementing designated and general funds received from individuals, churches, community partners and grants. Mission shares are a blessing as they allow ESFC to continue offering quality, meaningful programs and events in an atmosphere of respect, dignity, compassion and Christian love. Fellowship Health Clinic became a funded program for the United Way of Southeast Mississippi in April, 2017. The monthly income from UWSEMS is used to purchase prescription medication and pay for offsite medical lab testing. The was the only significant change to ESFC’s overall income picture. We have an active social media (3 FB pages, Twitter, 2 websites); newsletter mailed to 1,000 homes, churches and organizations; and news highlights in Hattiesburg District e-newsletter and the Circuit Rider. In the past 12 months, ESFC directors have shared at UM churches (Columbia 1st, Ellisville 1st, Heritage, Purvis, Williamsburg) and MS Annual Conference session (mission booth and on stage). In the past 12 months, ESFC has hosted volunteers from local UM churches (Asbury, Bentley Chapel, Dudley Chapel, Ellisville, Heritage, Laurel 1st, Main Street, Moselle, Oak Grove, Parkway Heights, Petal, Purvis, St. Paul-Hattiesburg, Talowah, Williamsburg). United Methodist churches from across Mississippi and other states brought supplies to ESFC after the devastating tornado on January 21, 2017. Churches can take our mission to their church when we provide 50-pound bags of rice or beans and cases of Ziploc bags so they can re-package commodities for food pantry distribution. ESFC board members (who represent 11 Hattiesburg District UM churches) receive bulletins and newsletter blurbs at board meetings so they can easily share ESFC news with their church offices. Testimonial: Food Pantry: “Tina” is 58; her husband is 60. “We never expected our retirement years to look like this – raising five grandchildren, four of them teenagers. They’re good kids; I’m proud of them. They’re on honor roll at school and love going to church. But this is tough. Our income just won’t cover all the expenses. I’m not a ‘scammer’. You can come visit our house to see how hard we’re trying. It’s just that we can’t make ends meet. I don’t know what we’d do without help from places like this. We’re working with DHS to try to get some of the kids’ dads to pay the child support they owe, so maybe we won’t have to come here too much longer. Thank you for being here and helping people like us. Like I said, this isn’t how my husband and I thought retirement would be, but we’re thankful we can be there for our grandkids.” We anticipate close to 20% of our donated funds to continue being designated to our food pantry. Therefore, apportioned mission shares will again be used for other mission programs, i.e. Fellowship Health Clinic, senior adult programs and wellness activities. All of our programs aim to strengthen families, provide services to those struggling with overwhelming life circumstances and shine the light of God’s love in our community. We are, or course, overwhelmingly grateful for the financial support of the Annual Conference through apportioned mission shares. Other avenues in which we currently or would like to partner with the Annual Conference include: continuing to work through the EAGLE accreditation process. Thanks to this process, we have implemented several good policies and procedures. We hope to submit our self-study in 2018; taking advantage of group purchasing benefits available by membership in UMA; networking for skilled volunteers, such as carpenters, electricians, gardeners, potters, computer programmers and technicians; publicity of ESFC’s mission and ministries through The Circuit Rider, district newsletter, district email blasts, conference website and conference missions committee; and health insurance and retirement benefits for our employees.


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Good Shepherd Community Center, Inc. The FUNDAMENTAL PHILOSOPHY OF Good Shepherd is that of prevention. We believe that is better to prevent bad things from happening to children, youth, adults and families than to attempt to rehabilitation after they have failed. Good Shepherd provides a holistic program that will enable they very poor and disadvantaged of society to meet the demands of life on closer parity with other, more affluent and advantaged members of society. This philosophy is accomplished through the following programs: Daycare – for children six weeks through four years of age; Tutorial/After School Program; Family Literacy Program (GED); Free Medical Clinic; Specific Aid to Individuals; Summer Programs; Community Center Activities; Thanksgiving & Christmas Assistance and Emergency Food Service. The Mission Shares from the Annual Conference are used to help with our daycare in providing funds for parents who are having a hard time because they have lost their jobs and need help with paying their daycare co-payments until they find new employment. Also the funds are used to help purchase medications for our Free Medical Clinic so that we can continue to donate much needed medications to those who do not have medical insurance. We use the money as matching funds for two or three grants each year thus giving us more funds to use for our ministries. With one of these grants each dollar that we use as matching funds is matched with $3.31 thus becoming over $4.00 per dollar. What a great use of our Mission Shares to help us provide help and services to many in our community. The people of the United Methodist Church of Mississippi through the financial donations and their love and generosity provide us with opportunities to reach out through our programs, special events and specific aid to individuals and families to provide them with assistance in many ways. Through the justice opportunities we are able to be involved in ways to make real changes by being involved in justice ministries that make a difference in our local area and state-wide. It also has given us the opportunity for Good Shepherd to collaborate with Hawkins UMC and Beyond Walls Ministry here in Vicksburg to start a new ministry called South Street Safe Space. A place where the homeless, transients and those who are just lonely can come during weekdays to have a place to interact with others, have referrals to counseling services, transportation to medical facilities and a noon meal. This also provides showers, laundry services and recreation. All of these services and the regular services offered at Good Shepherd provide opportunities for people to volunteer their time and talents to help make disciples of Christ who live their faith out in action, not just words. The Annual Conference challenges us to be disciples and make disciples to send out into the world. That’s what Good Shepherd is all about. God’s people working for ways to be in connection to the world and show the world how to be a disciple. We benefit from the Mission Shares in several ways. Not only do the direct funds help us continue to provide much needed services to children, youth, adults and families, they also provide much needed funds that we use to match requirements for several grants each year. This makes our mission shares grow and expand our financial resources. Without the support of the MS Annual Conference and the people called United Methodist in Mississippi, we would not be able to continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. We have been able to hold our own this year financially. After several years of underfunding from several causes, we have worked to make sure that 2017 will be a year where we turn our finances around and get back on a secure financial foundation. We will not have a great balance at the end of the year but we will be in the black with plans to continue to improve in the future. This is a combination of cost cutting and of seeking more sources and funding. One of the ways we are looking to the future with funding opportunities is beginning conversations with a company that does specific research on our specific areas of ministry. This would provide us with resources that we will be able to contact about immediate funding opportunities as well as organizations and foundations where we can begin working on more long-range funding opportunities. We always acknowledge each contribution to our ministry, especially churches, through letters and


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when possible personal thank yous from myself and my staff. We send out newsletters several times a year to give all of our contributors pictures and reports on how and where their gifts are making a difference in the lives of children, youth, adults and families. I make it a point to seek our speaking opportunities in our Methodist Churches and other denominations and groups so that the story of Good Shepherd is before our people so that they can have a first hand look at how their gifts are making a difference. So far in 2017, I have spoken to over 35 groups and churches about our shared ministry. Medical Clinic Testimonial: “I was able to receive my medications from the Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic when I came for help with my diabetes. They donated two months of my meds and helped me fill out the forms to receive my meds free from the drug company. They did this on-line and I got my drugs in about a week. Since that first time, I have been able to come to the clinic every three months to get a check up on my diabetes and re-send the application to continue to get my medicine. Without Good Shepherd, I would not be able to afford my medicine and get the help I need.” Our specific goals for the apportioned mission shares that we are requesting for 2019 will be used as matching funds for three or more grants which will grow the funds 3 to 4 times; used in our Daycare program to help parents during hard times; provide medications for people who come to our clinic; to help purchase materials for our After School Tutorial Program and to provide funds to those in our GED Program to help pay for their GED test when our staff deems them ready to take the test. This gives them an incentive to not only work hard in preparation but also know that Good Shepherd will support them when they take the test and when they move from our program into the real world. I would love to see the Annual Conference help facilitate meetings of the mission agencies and possibly provide a small amount of funding for us to be able to research the opportunities for funding that might be available for a collaboration of agencies under the United Methodist umbrella. Help us be able to share more on the Annual Conference floor and with districts. This could be done by informing the mission agencies of ways and opportunities where we could share our stories on a wider platform. I take almost every opportunity to do this in our local district but would love to have the chance to let other people in other areas of the conference how they are helping people with their mission shares.

Gulfside “Assembly” Association The Gulfside Association Board of Trustees continues a systematic approach to recovering and regaining a missional focus envisioned by Bishop Robert Jones. This year presented opportunities to refocus and redirect our purpose. The two board meetings held since the last report to the MISSISSIPPI ANNUAL CONFERENCE have proven to be efficient and productive. The programmatic thrust of Gulfside has needed to take a back seat for future planning and restructuring. This report gives you an overview of that process. Summary of Organizational Changes The Board of Trustees worked with consultant Christine Latona to assist in finding a new path for Gulfside. This process is helping to clarify needs, identify challenges, and reassess resources for Gulfside’s long-term future. Emergent Objectives (5 year) 1. A strong and growing number of alumni, stakeholders and partners who contribute, time, talent, treasure and presence. 2. A signature ministry that helps us tell the story about our purpose and draws people (and revenue) to it. 3. Operational excellence which includes a fully functioning board and a balanced budget that allows for building and maintaining property, appropriate staff and programmatic initiatives. 4. The Waveland property is wisely being utilized including a rebuilt Ministry Center with additional revenue streams provided from other land usage that protects the future of organization while furthering our mission.


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Emergent Strategies for Achieving Our Objectives (1-3 years) 1. Focus on reviving Gulfside pride and loyalty through the establishment of a “Gulfside Family/ Freedom club” (name TBD) that isn’t tied to the property, but to the mission. 2. Create an intergenerational, interconnected environment on the Gulf coast where young people experience formation for fruitful, holistic living in a diverse world. This would serve as our signature ministry. 3. Streamline processes, maximize return on investment without compromising missional output, and improve selection and development of leaders (board and President/CEO). 4. Identify partners who provide facilities, ministries and programs that promote a nurturing, holistic environment in alignment with our mission. Board Development Recommendations 1. Defining Essential Board Roles and Responsibilities 1.1 Cast a vision for a strong Gulfside Board (defining values and functions) 1.2 Complete a Board Governance and Compliance Checklist (based on current bylaws) 1.3 Draft Amendment Recommendations for an Updated Board Governance and Committee Structure 1.4 Reaffirm and/or Revise the Board Member Covenant 2. Board Assessment, Recruitment and Retention 2.1 Complete a Board Assessment (matching talents of active board members with operational needs) 2.2 Create a Board Retention Plan to Update and (Re)Engage Inactive Members 2.3 Develop a Board Recruitment Plan to Fill Talent and Resource Gaps (including a session at SEJ-BMCR) 2.4 Design Interactive Experiences to Engage Board Members Over Time 3. Scenario Planning for the Future ofGulfside 3.1 Choose a Leadership Structure and Organizational Chart for Gulfside’s PaidStaff 3.2 Evaluate Revenue-Generating and Profile-Raising Options for Immediate Land Use 3.3 Select Delivery Models for Gulfside’s Signature Programming (e.g., conferences, camps, retreats) 3.4 Develop a Public Engagement Strategy for Connectional Partners, the Local Community, and National Alumni Network 4. Budget Forecast and Fundraising Strategy 4.1 Conduct a Budget Analysis and Report of Past Behaviors and Recommendations for Improvement 4.2 Develop a Three-Year Budget that Supports Gulfside’s Programmatic Vision 4.3 Develop a Long-Term Fundraising Strategy to Support the Budget Significant Challenges Our financial challenge continues with the inability to raise revenue for the operation of the organization. The board voted and approved a sabbatical for the executive director. Subsequently, we were given a letter of resignation that was official September, 30, 2017. The financial report details covering the payout for the BP oil spill to the Association was presented to the Mississippi Conference CF&A, including the distribution of those funds. We believe these efforts will have a positive effect on healthier organization and help us build a more realistic future for ministry on the Gulf and in the world.


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Mississippi Methodist Senior Services, Inc. Mississippi Methodist Senior Services, Inc. is one of the best-kept secrets in Mississippi Methodism. Did you know it has: ■ 12 campuses in 11 locations in Mississippi? ■ More than 1,500 residents? ■ More than 1,000 employees? ■ An annual budget of more than $65 million? ■ Over one-third of its housing residents receive rent assistance in its low-income housing apartments? ■ More than 60% of its nursing home residents are low-income and receive assistance through Medicaid? Senior Services indeed has served with distinction on behalf of Mississippi Methodists for over 50 years! The last twelve months have been no different. Just some of the things are that Seashore Highlands in Gulfport is fully occupied with 29 Villa homes, a memory support Green House home, 50 assisted living apartments and it has added the “Music and Memory” program to connect elders living with forgetfulness with Ipod music players loaded with their favorite music; Flowers Manor in Clarksdale completed a $430,000 capital campaign to renovate the campus and prepare for the future; Wesley Meadows in Hernando embarked on a $1.5 million capital campaign to build a memory support Green House home; Aldersgate in Meridian is considering a $3.5 million project to build a chapel, add fellowship and activity space, additional offices, a Green House home, and a maintenance facility; Traceway in Tupelo is planning strategically for the next 50 years; and NextAge Mississippi® has rolled out its Website, www.thenextage.org, that provides an on-line store and resources for elders, and it expects its transportation services and at-home handyman services (both for off campus elders) to be in place by the end of the summer. In addition the recently completed employee engagement and satisfaction survey showed that we substantially exceeded national benchmarks on 13 of 25 engagement measures! Our employees recognize that we offer meaningful work, competitive wages, and great benefits while making our services as affordable as possible. We continue to be recognized nationally as a leader and innovator in our field. Many of our executive leadership team are serving the field nationally: Alan Brown, Chief Operating Officer, serves on the United Methodist Association EAGLE Accreditation Commission; Sonja Jenkins, Legal Counsel, is a member of the LeadingAge Legal Committee; Michelle Daniel, Vice-President for Philanthropy and Strategic Implementation, is a nationally recognized Eden Alternative Mentor and Educator; Christie Vance, Chief Financial Officer, is a member of the Holleran Consulting Women’s Leadership Group; and Steve McAlilly, President, is a member of the Green House Advisory Council and the Caring Communities Insurance Company board of directors. The mission is about people—serving older adults in the spirit of Christian love. One of the best examples of that is our Sunday Fund, which provided over $300,000 of financial support during the last twelve months to elders who live with us who have run out of money! We are able to do that through gifts from individuals and the Mother’s Day offering in United Methodist Churches. We are grateful for that support and hope you will join us with this worthy ministry. Every penny of those gifts goes directly to support an elder in need.


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Mississippi Choctaw United Methodist Mission Our ministry to date provides for children, youth and families to experience cultural and spiritual enrichment, field trips, and holiday celebrations. The mission shares and other funds enable us to fund the day to day operations of the Choctaw Mission by providing programmatic ministries to meet the needs of the Choctaw people. We encourage local churches to give through notes of thanks, mission updates and annual appreciation letters. Speaking engagements to churches and church groups, displays at Annual Conference and United Methodist Women meetings give us an opportunity to express personal thanks and provide a way to encourage continued support. Our primary goals for 2019 are to increase the program with children and youth, to extend our program to young people with limited eligibility for Tribal services living on the reservation, and children in Foster Care. We are working toward a young adult model for healthy living, planning a Women Spiritual Retreat and improving the Saturday Fellowship and Breakfast. Because we are an unique ministry working with a Choctaw culture, we need help with board development and strategic planing, and resources to identify grants for young adult programs. A Word of Witness Through a joint venture this year our children, youth and adults attended the Native American Conference at Lake Junaluska Assembly. The conference offers valuable opportunities to learn, interact, and experience educational, cultural, and worship enrichment. One highlight of the conference was the performance of the children and youth choir singing two Choctaw songs that touched the hearts of those who were there. The leader said, their beautiful voices echoed throughout the convention hall and perhaps into the Great Smokey Mountain and beyond to the listening ear of our Almighty God. The conference brought us closer together and strengthened our ministry and deepen our love for one another and broaden our appreciation for our culture. We express our sincere appreciation to those who made this opportunity possible. Again “YAKOKE” – Thank You!

Moore Community House Moore Community House, Inc. (MCH) is a national mission institution of United Methodist Women. MCH is committed to the development of its neighborhood and operates on the belief that a neighborhood organized around its own interest can do much to enhance personal dignity of the individual and promote self-sufficiency. MCH’s programs are designed and planned to provide for community development, community solutions to neighborhood problems and opportunities for growth and development of all persons. Founded in 1924, MCH serves poor and low-income families in east Biloxi, a neighborhood with rich cultural diversity and significant wealth inequity. As a UMW mission agency, MCH works to build economic security for low-income women and young children in east Biloxi. As an organization with a mission to respond to the needs of low-income women and young children, Moore Community House has created two programs that research shows make the most strategic and positive difference in moving low-income families closer to self-sufficiency: quality, affordable early childhood education and job training that leads to higher paying employment. These services are critical for our community as represented by the significant waiting lists for our services. Our Early Head Start program enrolls 104 children and has a waiting list of 130. The Women in Construction program offers 8 week classes for 30 women at a time and has a waiting list of over 100 women. Quality, affordable early childhood education has a two-fold positive impact for low-income families. First, it provides immediate economic improvement in that it makes it affordable and, therefore, possible for a low-wage earning parent to go to work and remain employed. Child care is expensive, often costing more than community college tuition. And low-wage work rarely provides benefits such as maternity leave or sick leave. So providing reliable and affordable services makes it possible for low-wage earning parents to work. Secondly, it improves long-term outcomes for children. While quality early childhood education improves outcomes for all children, it has proven to make the biggest positive difference for


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low-income children. MCH provides these services for 104 children ages birth to three, Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, year-round. Job training for higher paying jobs has a positive impact in that it allows individuals to earn more money to better meet the economic needs of their families. When this pathway is opened to women it has an immediate and positive economic impact on single-mother headed families, and it has a positive impact on the larger economic and social environment by making it less discriminatory. MCH provides eight-week classes for 30 women students all throughout the year. MCH provides job referrals and a support network for women who become employed to help support their employment success. In addition, MCH provides child care assistance to parents of young children who need that work support in order to complete job training and enter the job market. The MS Annual Conference – empowered by love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship – forms spiritual leaders, faith communities and connections so more disciples of Jesus Christ transform the world. Moore Community House reflects this mission and achieves our mission agency vision by providing services that build the economic security of families and promoting generosity and justice at the individual, family and community level to achieve transformation. MCH bears witness to the United Methodist Church by implementing best practice, utilizing strategies proven to make the most impactful difference, being good stewards of the resources we have available and supporting our staff to obtain training and expertise to support family success. Through our mission work in the east Biloxi community, we share opportunities for leadership and involvement of faith communities through volunteerism, advocacy and engagement with our mission work throughout the connectional church. MCH’s ministry to low-income women and young children in the east Biloxi community has been to date through our Early Head Start (EHS) and Women in Construction (WinC) programs. MCH benefits from mission shares by operating successful, impactful programs in our community as measured by our outcomes. The MCH EHS program enrolls 104 children ages birth to three because this is the maximum number of children our facilities can accommodate. MCH if fully enrolled with 104 children, and has another 130 children on the waiting list. MCH also serves family members of enrolled children. MCH measures outcomes through the use of child assessments, health screenings and parent-driven family goals. In the Early Head Start program, results demonstrate that 100% of our children are meeting developmental targets, 100% of our parents are meeting educational and/or employment goals, 100% of our children are immunized and have ESPDT screenings. In the Women of Construction job training program MCH enrolls 30 women per class in four eight-week classes per year. Women in Construction classes were fully enrolled with 80 women, and had another 100 students on the waiting list. The Women in Construction program tracks enrollment as well as graduation and job placement rates. The Women in Construction graduate rate was 75% and job placement rate was 70%. MCH places graduates in jobs and adapts curriculum in response to the needs of large commercial construction and shipbuilding firms on the Gulf Coast. 100% of MCH’s Board of Directors contribute financially or through in-kind support and/or volunteer time to MCH. MCH EHS revenue and contributions are essentially level with those previously submitted. MCH Women in Construction received additional grant funds from the federal and state level allowing the program to expand the number of women served and to provide child care assistance where necessary to support women to participate in job training and the job market. Our message to local congregations and United Methodist Women is that we are in mission to the east Biloxi neighborhood to meet the needs of the poor. We operate in a covenant relationship with United Methodist Women to target the needs of poor women and their young children. We remind local church members that through our connectional system, their apportionments support our mission work. We are good stewards of the funds we receive from multiple sources, including the Mississippi Conference by maintaining sound financial management, cost containment, efficiency, working through partnerships and collaborations to maximize resources and operating with transparency and engaged board leadership. MCH updated our logo and our website this year where United Methodists can learn more about our mission work at www.moorecommunityhouse.org. MCH also is currently completing an updated video


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that will be made available to local churches across the Conference to share the story of how United Methodists are in mission in Biloxi through the work at Moore Community House. Testimonial: “Without Moore Community House, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m so honored to be a part of this program and I’m so blessed to be a part of this program. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to step up and learn all these trades that we as women can do. I’ve been so happy since I’ve been a part of this program, since day one. It’s just amazing! It’s just amazing that I don’t have to worry that my kids aren’t being taken care of. I have child care because of Moore Community House.” MCH specific goals for the 2019 apportioned mission shares are to support our early childhood services to east Biloxi children and parent education and support for their families. These funds will leverage other early childhood grant funds that require local matching dollars. These programs and the caring staff at MCH provide families with the support and interventions required to help them achieve self-sufficiency. The partnership relationship between MCH and the MS Annual Conference involves MCH engaging in effective mission ministry with east Biloxi families on behalf of the United Methodist Church and sharing information and opportunities to be involved in this mission work through our connectional church. This partnership involves spiritual support and financial investment from the Annual Conference. MCH received a building donated by Hancock/Whitney Bank that was in foreclosure. This is a former church building nearby our other three facilities. MCH is currently in the process of renovating this property for staff offices and for expanded services to children. The renovations are being completed by our Women in Construction program and by local contractors, and the plans and permitting are being contributed by our local partner, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.

Seashore United Methodist Assembly The mission of Seashore United Methodist Assembly (SUMA) is to provide a Christian environment for learning, growth and renewal leading to spiritual wholeness. SUMA envisions individuals, families and groups who, because they have been touched by the redeeming love of Christ, are at peace with God, themselves, others, and all of God’s creation and are thus empowered to live in God’s will. The ministry shall emphasize education, spiritual development and renewal and emotional rehabilitation and recreation for individuals, clergy/spouse, single parents, families and other non-profit groups. All areas of the ministry at SUMA are benefited from the mission shares received from the Annual Conference. They allow SUMA to offer a place of rest and relief to people needing temporary shelter after a natural disaster, or between jobs or any other difficult time in their lives. SUMA is able to provide rooms at low or no cost to individuals in need. An Elder in the Mississippi Annual Conference was hired this year to be the Ministry Specialist for the Assembly so that SUMA can expand missional outreach, connection and ministry events for the community. Missions Shares also means SUMA never lets any camper miss a retreat because of a financial limitation. Shares allow SUMA to keep ministry at the forefront, and to minister to low-income children, youth and college students. Mission Shares also allows SUMA to offer space and resources to the conference and district for special events like Early Response Training for disaster relief. In helping people form spiritual wholeness, SUMA is living out God’s vision for our campus and aligning with the Conference vision to turn our sights outward to create opportunities, expand our facilities and build community. 1. Generosity: SUMA’s Ministry Specialist travels to churches (at not cost to the congregation) to work with pastors and their leadership to discern fresh expressions of ministry for intentional discipleshipmaking and evangelism. We also follow-up with these churches to ensure ministry remains vital. Thus, SUMA builds relationships with congregations, and they feel a direct benefit from their mission shares to SUMA. It also helps bring those churches to SUMA for retreats because they see SUMA as a part of their discipleship and support system.


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2. Justice: For SUMA, justice and evangelism go hand in hand. SUMA is raising scholarship funds so every child experiences camping ministry by speaking at UMM and other organizational evens, and SUMA is working toward building relationships with the UMM and UMW to be part of their educational programs. This year, to support UMW awareness efforts, SUMA is hosting a Radical Hospitality seminar on their theme of fighting human trafficking. 3. Apprenticeship: Cooperative growth is key in God’s vision for SUMA. We now partner with multiple Wesley Foundations. SUMA hosted and lead a leadership retreat for MGCCC Perkinston Campus students with potential to become future pastors/missionaries. SUMA is already planning a similar retreat with another Wesley Foundation in our Conference. SUMA’s Ministry Specialist has become the Board Chair of MGCCC Perkinston Wesley Foundation, and one of the SUMA Board of Trustees is being shared with their board in order to deepen our partnership. SUMA is then enabled to support Wesley Directors as they guide young people discerning a call to ministry. As a result of this relationship, and with the guidance of Allison Willis, we are now in the early stages of assisting the Wesley Foundations on the coast in creating a cross-campus discipleship process, using SUMA as their home base for shared ministry events, planning and joint fundraising so that Wesley can be a united front. SUMA invests in Wesley student leadership by training them as camp counselors for our Confirmation Retreat. This allows Wesley student leaders to be mentored by United Methodist pastors of different backgrounds and races. This also allows smaller churches to attend retreats, at no extra cost to them, even if they cannot supply their own chaperones. 4. Love: SUMA is turning outward to serve. SUMA is working with churches to rethink Confirmation ministry for more sustainable, relationship-based discipleship. Throughout each year we plan to offer training and ministry planning for church leaders, as well as, day retreats for confirmands and their churches based around the confirmation retreat’s yearly theme (this year: Worship is Life!). SUMA also wants senior citizens to feel appreciated and valuable. We are planning outreach ministry for our senior citizens with “Beach Day” in the late Spring of 2018 where, through community and church sponsor’s, we hope to offer free meals, health checks, hair-cuts and etc., in hopes that we can minister to them and even connect them with a church family, if needed and desired. Finally, SUMA often offers temporary hospitality to families in need. They are prayed with and cared for with the understanding that we are planting seeds. Through the Holy Spirit and our United Methodist connection, SUMA is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The ministry at SUMA has been to provide a place for persons seeking a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, either as a first encounter or a renewal of mind and spirit. It has also been a place for recreation, learning and building relationships with others. Receiving of mission shares has allowed SUMA to provide school groups, church groups, individuals and other groups a place to come and get away while still being in a suburban setting. During the year 2017, SUMA has or will host approximately 70 groups staying a total of 160 nights with approximately 2,285 persons. They will have been served over 22,870 meals. Because of our mission shares SUMA has been able to provide housing, meeting spaces and meals at a reasonable cost. Revenues have been down this year. Part of that is due to the fact that the Conference Youth Coordinator in coordination of the Conference Youth Council made the decision to NOT have CONVO (an annual conference youth gathering) at SUMA again, but, did schedule a Youth Event called “Beach Camp” along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. CONVO had been meeting at SUMA for many years and a lot of your smaller church youth groups looked forward to this annual event. The smaller church could not afford to send their group to a much more expensive event. The loss financially to SUMA was approximately $12,000.00 in addition to the inability to have these young people on a United Methodist Campground on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With the addition of our new Ministry Specialist, SUMA is reaching out to new areas of ministry that will not only benefit the people attending, but also give SUMA recognition in the community, conference and surrounding areas.


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SUMA is communicating with local churches by meeting and talking with leaders, pastors and other in the community to see where and how Seashore United Methodist Assembly can be an asset to the local church. Ways of doing this is by hosting retreats for adults, youth and children and offering to be of service to the congregations in this area. SUMA also notifies local congregations of events happening through the District newsletter, brochures, our website – www.seashoreassembly.org and our Facebook page. Testimonial: “Thank you for your generosity in providing a room over the dates of June 2-5 for a vulnerable family. In providing the room, you gave them safe haven while starting the process of finding housing solutions for this family – a young mother and three children ages 1,3 & 5 years. Thank you for your partnership with us in preventing homelessness. For 2019, SUMA has set the following goals for meeting the needs of our local community, the MS Annual Conference and the region: 1. Add to our existing facilities. We are in desperate need of larger and more modern meeting facilities. Housing will also be of a concern, because as you update your meeting spaces you need a place for people to rest and relax. Also, we hope to be able to provide a space specifically for our children to come and play while enjoying the campground. 2. Provide programs that will enhance the growth of United Methodists and others into a closer walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. Provide assistance to persons who are in need of our generosity and loving kindness. These may be persons who are down on their luck or in need of someone to help them along their path as they grow in spiritual wholeness. Working with the MS Annual Conference, SUMA is able to offer retreats and programs to all areas of the state and also to those outside MS wishing to come to the MS Gulf Coast. We are able to provide a setting that is welcoming and renewing to all ages, races and backgrounds of people. The MS Gulf Coast has many opportunities for groups wishing to stay in this environment. As part of the MS Annual Conference, guests know and appreciate the United Methodist Church for opportunities offered in this location that may not be available to their group in other parts of the state or country. SUMA is currently in the process of getting bids to refurbish the retreat house so it can be used, temporarily, as office space. This has become necessary since a new staff person, needing office space, has been hired. Funds are in place to pay for these renovations through our Seal Trust Account. The SUMA Board of Trustees is in the planning and design stage of having new facilities built that will help in future growth as far as meeting space and housing. Part of the job of the new Ministry Specialist is to work as a fund raiser to help secure funding for future growth.

St. Andrew’s Mission St. Andrew’s Mission is a 501 (c) (3) United Methodist Mission of McComb, MS; working to improve our community one individual at a time. St. Andrew’s Mission ministers to a diverse community. We understand that each individual has his/her very own needs. We will continue to address this diversity in order to accommodate the needs of those who need our assistance. The mission shares helps funds each of our ministries mainly with utilities and program supplies for the following ministries: Activity Center, Food Pantry, Soup Kitchen, Medical Clinic, Parish Nurse, Business Mill, and Thrift Stores. St. Andrew’s Mission achieves our mission and vision by working with one individual at a time to find out what their needs are and which one of our programs would help them the most. Here is a list of our programs with a brief description on how we serve the community every day. 1. SAM’s Diner- Soup Kitchen; free hot meals twice a week to the homeless, low income families, and shut-ins. 2. Food Pantry- Free groceries for disabled and seniors over the age of 65 in Pike County. 3. The Business Mill- Provides start- up business management coaching, help in preparing effective business plans, administrative services, technical support, business networking, advice on intellectual property, and help in finding sources of financing.


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4.F.I.G. Tree (Filling in the Gaps) - Helps low income families by subsidizing their basic necessities such as electricity, gas, water, and medicine. 5. Parenting Classes- Provides free education and counseling in parenting skills for low income families and single parents (usually court ordered). 6. Anger Management and Counseling Classes- Provides free education on managing anger, anxiety, and depression for youth and individuals of low income families (usually court ordered). 7. Free Medical Clinic- Provides free medical assistance to those individuals without insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid with the help of volunteer doctors. 8. Parish Nurse- this person serves as a source of referrals for services available and holds health fairs throughout the community. 9. Activity Center- This center is the focal point in our community where persons over 45 can take part in activities that support independence and encourage continued involvement within the community. 10. Additional programs- CPR and First Aid Classes, Health Fairs/ Screenings. 11. Thrift Stores locations are Brookhaven and McComb, Mississippi; Vidalia, Louisiana; and we are partnered with Edwards Street Fellowship Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. St. Andrew’s Mission has nine programs including a Free Medical Clinic, Food Pantry, Soup Kitchen, Activity Center, and a Business Mill, a small business incubator. We serve all age groups, dominations, and races in Pike County and the surrounding counties. These include the counties of Amite, Walthall, Lincoln, Franklin, Adams, Marion, and some parishes in Louisiana. St. Andrew’s is considered the largest organization in Southwest Mississippi providing needed services to over 1500 individuals each month. The mission shares we receive have relieved financial stress from our ministries utilities and program supplies. The program’s revenues and contributions have increased based upon our continued services along with the additional sales from St. Andrew’s Thrift Stores. We are constantly telling the story of St. Andrew’s Mission to Sunday School, Woman’s Groups, Civic Clubs (Lions Club, Exchange Club, etc. ) along with the local newspaper and radio stations. We recently started using social media, also. We visit not only the local Methodist Churches but all the local dominations encouraging individuals to support the Mission by giving back to their community through apportionments and/or private donations. St. Andrew’s Mission plans are to sustain the nine ministries that we have in place. Through our programs we are working to improve our community by focusing on individual needs. Our values of love and generosity are shown everyday here at St. Andrew’s through all the programs we offer freely to the community that otherwise they would have to pay for. We will continue to offer free medical assistance, free food for the disabled and elderly, and providing free utilities, internet, and business education to those at our Business Mill. The partnership with the annual conference allows St. Andrew’s the support to continue working in Southwest Mississippi communities. With the Mississippi United Methodist Partnership as our partner, we can continue to support each other in spiritual and emotional guidance. St. Andrew’s is given the opportunity to offer more assistance to more individuals and families over a broader area. During the 2017 year, we ran into some huge Building Code issues at one of our main locations. We are currently trying to come up with the fund needed to bring the building up to code. One of the main expenses will be updating all sprinkler heads. The other issues are upgrading the fire alarm system and ways of egress. This building is apart of our growing ministry the Business Incubator. This last year alone our tenants went from 4 to 15. We are excited about the growth of this ministry and how it is helping the community grow in small business owners. These projects will start in 2018 and run into a majority of 2019. A Word of Witness The last year has been extremely hard for our family. We were flood victims from the 2016 Louisiana flood, and we lost everything with no insurance. After the flood, we were forced to move to Osyka, Mississippi to live with my father. We had been there through the school year and into the summer when I found out my daughter was being sexual abused by my father. We moved out immediately. We were in


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no place to move anywhere, but I could not leave my family in that environment. After two weeks in a hotel, we were out of money and without jobs due to no transportation. I found out about St. Andrew’s and called them. They immediately put us up for a few days and said they would help us. We got to eat on Mondays and Fridays at the SAM’s diner, and they gave us a bag of food from the Food Pantry. They got us involved in a rehousing group and helped us start looking for jobs. They also made sure my kids had everything they needed to start school from uniforms to school supplies. Without St. Andrew’s we would have been on the streets and without food. We are so thankful for all the help St. Andrew’s offered us.

The Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, Inc. Donors and the Wood College Foundation provided funds to award a record number of scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. Congregations opened new deposit accounts in 2017 with the Foundation in excess of 2.5 million dollars bringing total assets under management to over 120 million dollars. Over 100 churches were touched by visits and presentations by the Foundation. You have continued to place your trust in the work of the Foundation for over 50 years, and we are grateful. Please visit our website to discover all the ways that we can assist you in growing generosity. With gratitude, The Rev. Mike Hicks Executive Director

The United Methodist Hour, Inc. The mission of The United Methodist Hour is to, through media and technology, proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and to resource the local church to live faithfully and boldly in the world. We are a radio and television witness serving as an extension of the local church’s mission and ministry for the glory of God. We pledge unceasingly to seek higher standards of excellence in presenting the story of Jesus Christ with truth and clarity throughout the world so that “they may know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom God sent.” (John 17:3) In carrying out our mission we acknowledge the futility of human efforts without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our Core Values: 1. We believe in the Bible as the living, breathing Word of God in action. 2. We believe that faith in Christ is sufficient for transforming lives, both present and eternal. 3. We believe in the promise and potential of the Local Church as the “hope of the world.” 4. We believe in the medium of technology as a means for reaching the unchurched, dischurched and under-resourced with hope and a future. 5 . We believe in the “servant life” as the hands and feet of Christ. 6. We believe in the unconditional love and forgiveness of God and in our responsibility to express that to the world. Mission shares enable us to broadcast our program statewide, across the Southeast, and in Philadelphia, PA. We reach over 20,000 verified households in the Jackson area alone, making us the largest Methodist congregation in the state of MS by far. We proclaim the love of Jesus Christ to so many on a weekly basis, and we serve as a resource to other ministries across the MS Annual Conference. The United Methodist Hour provides a far-reaching platform for these ministries across the conference to share the work they are doing for the Kingdom. We also highlight Annual Conference messaging and special programs featuring Bishop Swanson. In fact, the overall theme and branding of the past 4 years of the annual conference, “The Power Of We,” was taken directly from a video produced by The Hour. To date, we have delivered 46 years of messages of hope and encouragement and mission shares have helped us continue this fine tradition. Total contributions and revenues are approximately the same as last year. Total income is down $1626.00 or 1.1% less than the prior year. We are supported by many Sunday School Classes throughout Mississippi. We communicate with these classes on a quarterly basis and provide materials from time to time to share with the class. The


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teachers of some classes write to us to say how The Hour broadcast helps them prepare for leading their class on Sunday mornings. As well as continuing our important weekly broadcast, we are exploring new ways through social media and shorter films to engage the younger generation and reach them for Christ. We want to continue to partner with the annual conference and various ministries included to provide a platform to share the good news of Jesus Christ with a broad audience. The Hour is being donated studio space by Thaxton Studios and we rent a small storage unit, so that there is very minimal brick and mortar cost and we can use all donated monies for broadcasting. A Word of Witness “ I enjoy your Methodist Hour so very much. I am 82 years old and partially house bound so I watch your program every week. Thank you” LB, Greenwood, MS

United Methodist Children’s Homes Report will be added after 2018 AC Session

Wesley House Community Center, Inc. Wesley House Community Center, Inc. began over one hundred and thirteen years, providing various community services to Meridian and surrounding areas. The mission of Wesley House Community Center, Inc has been to provide a “hand up and not a hand out” to those in need. We do that through a variety of ways which include: Christian Relief, Educational Programs, the East Mississippi Child Advocacy Center, and the East Mississippi Sexual Assault Crisis Center. The Christian Relief program offers assistance through our Clothes Closet, Food Pantry, Prescription Medical Assistance, along with Utility and Rent/Mortgage assistance. This program seeks to provide help for those in need both in our local community and throughout the region. Our Educational Programs offers a quality pre-school education opportunity at an affordable cost to families. We also offer GED, Parenting, Child Care provider, and Life Skills classes to the general public. We reach out by offering Green Dot bystander awareness to help prevent Violence. Our counselors teach Safe Dates at several area high schools to help educate your youth. The East Mississippi Child Advocacy Center works with adolescent and child victims of crime and sexual assault. We offer forensic interviews, counseling, family and victim advocacy, Multi-Disciplinary Team facilitation, and specialized referrals as needed when there are allegations of sexual abuse, felony physical abuse, or they are witnesses to violent crimes. In the same way our East Mississippi Sexual Assault Crisis Center provides direct assistance to victims through counseling, support groups, and advocacy for victims of sexual assault, along with a 24-hour crisis line rape crisis line. The vision of both the EMCAC and EMSACC is to empower victims with knowledge, resources and skills to process and work through their experienced trauma while focusing on their own goals and of healing and wholeness. Mission shares are used to fund all aspects of the ministry of Wesley House Community Center, Inc.as shown in the above four agencies. But the shares are primarily used to minister to those in need through our Emergency and Christian Relief Agency. This program was established in 2008 at the request of several churches and organizations. Like the Christmas Clearing House, the purpose is to avoid duplication of services by having individuals, churches, civic clubs and other non-profit organizations to work with us in “clearing” names for assistance. This allows funds to be used efficiently and spares the expenses of duplication. All names are cleared through our in-house database and notes are made on each client that we might better track and chart their progress toward personal and financial health. The Community Clearing House also serves as a clearing house for resources provided throughout the community by working with our partners. The Community Clearing House is a wonderful opportunity to work closely with our community to ensure needed services for all applicants.


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Clients needing assistance in the areas of food, clothing, medication, medical equipment, rent/ mortgage, utility bills, emergency transportation and furniture can apply for assistance at the Intake Office located inside the front door of Wesley House Community Center, Inc. Applications are taken Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Along with any financial assistance which may be given a client, Wesley House offers extensive case work/management in helping the client to get on their feet and become productive in their community. This is oftentimes done through personal financial planning, counseling sessions, through referrals and through prayerful networking with individuals and businesses in town in order to best serve those in need. The Community Closet accepts donations of clean items that are given away every day to those in need. The Food Pantry helps us distribute food to those in need on a daily basis throughout our Food Pantry. We are finding that food is a commodity that is difficult to keep. We see so many situations where people literally cannot afford food for their families‌forced to choose to pay bills or eat, or to pay medical expenditures or feed their family. Wesley House is there to supply food for them. We depend upon food donations and food drives in order to meet the needs of families and individuals that come our way. We reach out in mission through our leadership, staff, partners, and volunteers, to provide a holistic approach to healing in the community through the agencies of Christian Relief, Educational Programs, East Mississippi Child Advocacy Center, and the East Mississippi Sexual Assault Crisis Center. We work to ensure that each individual and their family receives the support necessary to improve all facets of their lives with spiritual and professional mentorship along the way. These ministries reflect the core values of the Mississippi Annual Conference of love, generosity, justice, and apprenticeship. We share love to all who enter our doors. We give generosity to those who seek assistance through food, clothes, or when applicable, finances. We seek justice through the Child Advocacy Center and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center. And we offer apprenticeship by partnering with the churches and community to offer these services. Our ministry continues to grow through the 4 agencies of the Wesley House Community Center. From July 2016 to July 2017 we have served the following: Christian Relief 1,238 - Individuals received food bags 812 - Individuals received clothing and household goods 1,009 - Individuals benefited from miscellaneous services (Medicine Medical equipment, testing) Education Agency 51 - Children who attend our Preschool 35 - Individuals who attend our Adult Basic Education (GED) 14,774 - Preschool meals served (Breakfast, Lunch, and snacks) Community Agency 982 - Individuals to whom we provided toys and/or food during Christmas 713 - Individuals to whom we provided food during Thanksgiving 10 - Individuals in our Parenting classes 142 - Volunteers, those doing service projects for churches and local schools serving a total of 2,006 hours Victim Services including the Child Advocacy Center and the East Mississippi Sexual Assault Crisis Center 55 - Crisis calls for both the CAC and SACC 78 - Family Advocacy Services 302 - Foster Care Children provided with Christmas 102 - Forensic Interviews conducted 109 - Individual and Family Counseling sessions Wesley House Community Center, Inc. has benefited from mission shares by being able to provide for the needs of those in our community as shown above, especially through the Christian Relief and Community Agency. Without the funds provided through the Ms. Methodist Conference and individuals in our area, these services could not continue.


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As of Sept. 30, 2017, not including reimbursements from grants, revenues for Wesley House Community Center does show a slight increase. As you know, Wesley House has experienced changes in our Executive/Interim Director position several times over the past 3 years. Also, we are still dealing with the effects of bad publicity from previous years but are thrilled to say that many relationships with partner agencies have been mended as well as our reputation in the community. The majority of our income typically comes during the last two or three months of the year and we are expecting that trend to continue. Wesley House has recently hired an Interim Executive Director, Rev. David Schultz. He is the pastor of two local churches and they have made generous donations to Wesley House by learning of the needs through his tenure. He is also sharing the needs of Wesley House with the community as well as through all of the Methodist Churches in the area by working closely with our District Superintendent. The Conference apportionment will be used to primarily support the Community Clearing House, Christian Relief agencies and Child Care Center. Through these agencies, Wesley House offers a “Hand Up” not a “Hand Out” showing love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship. These agencies work to ensure minimal duplication of resources through partner agencies while giving assistance to those needing help with utility bills, medicine, medical services, clothing, food, rent or mortgage and the Wesley Wonders Child Care Center offers an excellent pre-school learning opportunity at an extremely affordable price. As a National Missions Institute of the United Methodist Women and a recognized mission of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Wesley House Community Center is pleased to share our expertise with all interested parties of the Conference. It is in connection with the conference that we rely on their moral and spiritual guidance and direction to direct our ministry as well. A Word of Witness An eleven year old female was referred for a forensic interview due to allegations of sexual abuse by her stepfather. The child was able to receive a forensic interview quickly. While at Wesley House for the Forensic Interview, the family completed an assessment of needs and was able to begin receiving services immediately to meet those needs. The family receives counseling and advocacy services, the child received a forensic interview and continues to receive counseling services. The family’s need for clothing and food were met by the clothing closet and the food pantry. As this case moves through the court system, the family has relied heavily on the support of the family advocate and the counselors at Wesley House to help them through the often traumatic process. The mother stated, “I couldn’t have done this without Wesley House, the people there have made an impossible nightmare something that I can work through with my faith, my family, and Wesley House.”

Wesley Pines Conference, Camping and Retreat Center The original intent for Wesley Pines 57 years ago was to be a camp whose mission was to invest in the lives of youth and children. As stated on the investment bonds of this new Methodist 55 acre camp at Gallman, MS, was that by God’s grace and through this camp “….eternal dividends are to be paid in good fellowship, personal satisfaction, and genuine Christian growth” and that it would be celebrated by every person that would come to this new camp. Today, our vision and mission has not changed, it simply has expanded. Our official name, Wesley Pines Conference, Retreat and Camping Center, reflects our broadening of vision and mission…we do so much more than camping with youth and children in a summer time frame only. Although our purpose has not changed, our vision and mission is always being refined and expanded. In those early summer camps at Wesley Pines, 350 children in a summer would have been celebrated. This past spring and summer, we celebrated over 1000 persons enjoying the Wesley Pines experience. During the summer camping program, over 400 of our youth/children made a profession of faith and/or a rededication of their life to Christ. In an attempt to grow disciples for Jesus, we host 17 Emmasus, Chrysalis, Presbyterian Cursillo, MS Methodist Cursillo, and Karios outside events each year. We host retreats for Sunday School classes, Admin. Boards, Youth groups. We reach out to not only United Methodists, but have had many new


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contacts and retreats for Baptists, Catholics, etc. Four years ago we were excited to have 6500 person come and spend time at Wesley Pines. In 2017, we will have over 10,000 persons to come and discover this special place (and we will have fed these guests to Wesley Pines over 40,000 meals) We continue to share our mission and vision with churches. With either our director and/or a staff person, we have made presentations on behalf of the camp in 50 churches or UMM or UMW or youth groups in 2017. We have joined with 10 churches or groups with work teams in making needed improvements around the camp. A new hands-on ministry center at Wesley Pines has been completed. This is a place to train and deploy mission workers for home and foreign mission work. We have hosted 4 Stop Hunger Now Events this year (50,000 meals). We have been the staging point for over 5000 cleaning buckets….several packing parties for these buckets in our ministry center. We have complete 7 projects of ramps and porches for the needy….we intend to double that number this year as we use more volunteers and youth. We have already partnered with several churches, local businesses, and Christian friends, to make these ministries stand on their own…no funds for these projects have nor or there plans to need finances for these future mission endeavors through mission shares. Mission shares allow us to implement new programs, make improvements on our facilities, and keep the cost down so a child can still come to camp for $280 per week. We believe that part of our mission and vision is turning Wesley Pines outward. We want to become a training facility for volunteers who have a heart for hands on ministry. We desire to have specific camps and dates for adults to join us in Copiah County….Brookhaven District….and beyond! We desire to go out and demonstrate the love of Christ not only by what we say but by what we do. We also believe that part of our mission and vision in this special place of peace and tranquility, is to grow disciples for Jesus Christ. At Wesley Pines, there are many opportunities for quiet reflection, spiritual growth, and meaningful worship. We will continue work on our prayer trail and add scripture markers along the way. We will continue to up-grade one of the finest ropes courses around with the spiritual application of each event being posted near it. And, we continue to promote and encourage our children and youth’s attendance in summer camping, confirmation retreats, and spiritual renewal events planned for them. It is comforting to know that today, Wesley Pines is still a place nestled now on 280 aces of woodlands, on a sparkling lake, and a place to hear God’s voice in the midst of His creation, where we continue to encourage good fellowship, personal satisfaction, and genuine Christian growth. Thank you God and thank you church for your prayers and gifts that has made possible the continued place of “…good fellowship, personal satisfaction, and genuine Christian growth” ….Camp Wesley Pines! Our desire is to be attuned to God’s leading us in all ways of programming and opportunities that will give rise to disciples coming to Wesley Pines and not only being blessed themselves but enriched so that they may be a blessing to others. We host many spiritual renewal weekends. We offer scholarships to youth and children so they may attend camps/events. We are keeping our fees as low as possible to encourage adults, youth and children to come and experience Jesus at and through Wesley Pines. We are always inviting persons to Christ at Wesley Pines by offering good fellowship, personal satisfaction, and genuine Christian growth opportunities. We continue to reach out and touch lives through our unique setting to churched and non-churched persons by offering so many opportunities of growth. And, when people come, they discover that Wesley Pines is not only a special place but a place to discover and experience God. Although we have had persons from every district come and be with us in 2017, our main area of ministry would be the following six districts of the United Methodist Church: East and West Jackson; Brookhaven; Meridian; Hattiesburg; and Seashore (our board of trustees also are taken from these six districts). Our numbers exceeded 1000 persons in our summer activities and approximately 10,000 persons for the year came and spent time at Wesley Pines. We have seen a remarkable increase in giving of specific items as requests have been made…for example, new LED lighting 123 lights!; we have received a new ExMark 72 inch cut ($16,000 value); special donations for planting trees; donations for prayer trail beautification; donations of about 150 gal-


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lons of paint; treated lumber for ramps; etc. and we have increased giving through VANCO. Wesley Pines made a decision may years ago to attempt to retain clergy as their executive director. The board wanted to encourage and never lose sight that even though there is a lot of fun, and swimming, and canoing, and games that go on at Wesley Pines, our main motive is to make disciples for Christ, to grow Christians in their faith journey, and have a hand in encouraging all Christians in transforming the world for Christ. It is a tremendous blessing to see persons who are connected with Wesley Pines influencing the growth of others on their faith journey. I have seen counselors and staff on a regular basis leading others to Christ. Christ has directed many persons through Wesley Pines to become pastors and leaders in this conference. By God’s Grace and through generous giving by individuals and churches, Wesley Pines is a place that is conducive to leading persons to Christ in a natural outdoor setting…a place (in our stillness, serenity) where persons can hear clearly God’s call and direction upon their life for the transformation of the world. We are constantly inviting churches to come and see and experience for themselves all that Wesley Pines offers. Between our staff and executive director, we have formally shared about Wesley Pines some 62 times already this year. A Word of Witness It’s hard to express everything that Wesley Pines has meant to me over the past 25+ years. From growing in my faith to gaining friendships and leadership skills, Wesley Pines has played a significant role in my life. Wesley Pines is my home away from home and has served as a haven for spiritual growth and renewal. In attending summer camps and retreats as a child and youth, Wesley Pines helped serve as a place where I grew closer to God in my faith, and I gained friendships that have lasted a lifetime. As I got older, Wesley Pines continued to foster growth and maturity in me spiritually and also allowed me the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills as I served as a CIT, a counselor, and the program director. To this day, I still use some of the leadership skills in my personal and professional life that I learned from those challenging experiences. I am forever grateful for God’s work at Wesley Pines and the leaders who have served as His hands and feet for me and so many other youth and young adults throughout the years.


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S ection V

Forming Spiritual Leaders A. Conference Lay Leader Report I do a variety of things throughout the year as Conference Lay Leader. I attend a monthly meeting as a member of the extended cabinet. I attend another monthly meeting as part of the Bishop’s Operational Team. I attend Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference Lay Leader meetings semi-annually and the Annual Association of Conference Lay Leader meeting annually. I meet with the Board of Laity quarterly. I speak at some events and churches. I am blessed with the opportunity to do a number of enjoyable and important things. And I believe I have determined that my favorite thing to do as Conference Lay Leader is to go into the eleven districts of the Mississippi Annual Conference and attempt to inform and/or inspire clergy and lay concerning the value and responsibility of lay people in the UMC. The Book of Discipline, paragraph 607, gives the lay leader the responsibility to raise awareness of the role of the laity. The role of laity is explicitly described in the BOD, paragraph 127. It says in part: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. The witness of the laity, their Christ-like examples of everyday living as well as the sharing of their own faith experiences of the gospel, is the primary evangelistic ministry through which all people will come to know Christ and the United Methodist Church will fulfill its mission. I have been invited to most of our districts over the last year to conduct trainings on the role of the local church lay leader and/or intentional disciple making systems. I have shared this paragraph at those trainings. As I have shared this paragraph, I see some people’s eyes light up as mine did when I realized the gravity of the statement that we, the laity, are not only called to make disciples but we are the primary means through which disciple making will occur in our conference, or districts and our local churches. As I have worked to foster the role of awareness of laity, it becomes increasingly clear that it is so important that as many lay people as a possible foster the awareness of the role of laity. This is why I am so happy to work with a Board of Laity, which includes our 11 District Lay Leaders and 2 Associate District Lay Leaders, our Conference United Methodist Men’s President, our Conference United Women’s President, and a youth leader with the conference youth leadership. As I have talked with and attended events coordinated by Board of Laity members, I can say that this board works in each person’s respective geographical area or area of ministry to foster awareness of the role of Laity. Additionally, our district lay leaders meet annually with all of our district superintendents, the Bishop and myself to explore new ways to make disciples together - clergy and lay, the only way we will make disciples successfully. It takes a team to make disciples. I am so grateful for the various teams that I work with and look forward to encouraging and seeing more teamwork among lay and between clergy and lay this upcoming year. LaToya Redd Thompson Conference Lay Leader


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B. Commission on Equitable Compensation The purpose of the Commission on Equitable Compensation is to support full-time clergy serving as pastors in the charges of the Mississippi Annual Conference by recommending conference standards for pastoral support; administering funds to be used in base compensation supplementation; and providing counsel and advisory materials on pastoral support to district superintendents and committees on pastor-parish relations. 2016 Book of Discipline Par. 625.2 The Commission meets regularly to evaluate the implementation of the Commission guidelines. The Commission thanks the Rev. Dr. Larry Hilliard for his service with us and looks forward to working with the Rev. Trey Harper. We also appreciate Mr. David Stotts’ assistance. I am grateful for all who serve on this commission. Rev. Mike Hicks Chair of Commission on Equitable Compensation

Compensation Ranges and Guidelines Classifications of Clergy Compensation For 2017 base compensation shall be: ■ Full Connection $35,041 ■ Provisional (education requirements for elder completed) 32,221 ■ Provisional (education requirements for elder not completed) 29,643 ■ Associate Member 29,643 ■ Full-Time Local Pastor 27,270 Effective July 1, 2018 the value of church provided housing shall be used by the Commission in establishing Salary Supplement Grants. The intent is to provide an equitable level of compensation for clergy serving charges without a parsonage. The policy of this Commission is to supplement no more than 25% of total compensation for salary supplements; therefore the local charge is required to pay an amount at least equal to the following in each category: Note: See Charge Qualifications, 1b. ■ Full Connection $26,281 ■ Provisional (educational requirements for elder completed) 24,166 ■ Provisional (educational requirements for elder not completed) 22,232 ■ Associate Member 22,232 ■ Full-Time Local Pastor 20,453 Local churches without a parsonage are encouraged to consider providing a housing allowance in addition to the required minimum compensation. Qualifications for Receiving Supplementary Compensation Support The qualifications listed below shall apply to all churches requesting Equitable Compensation support: ■ Average weekly worship attendance for the charge shall be equal to or greater than average worship attendance (previous calendar year) of churches across the Conference. ■ Percentage of mission shares paid by the charge shall be equal to or greater than the average percentage of mission shares paid (previous calendar year) by the churches across the Conference. ■ A pastor must live within the bounds of the charge to which he/she is appointed. Pastors serving charges without a parsonage or one member of a clergy couple may be exempt from this requirement by Executive Committee action in consultation with the Cabinet. ■ A pastor must devote full-time to his/her charge.


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Pastors (local pastors, associate members and elders) who have completed educational requirements must meet the continuing education requirements set by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Local Pastors must meet educational requirements as established by The Book of Discipline and Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. ■ Pastors must hold a valid local pastor’s license. ■ Those serving a church or charge of less than three churches employing more than one person on its professional staff, including the pastor, will not be eligible for a compensation supplement. ■ Clergy and charges receiving Equitable Compensation Funds must attend an Equitable Compensation Review and Generosity Training Event every other year, if the charge has not met all minimum standards in attendance and mission share payments. ■

Arrearage Policy on Equitable Compensation ■ The annual conference shall protect the local church full-time pastor and annual conference from any potential impending arrearage whereby the full-time local pastor is unable, due to financial constraints, to receive his/her regular payroll or housing allowance. Once the local church treasurer is aware of any such situation, notification shall be given to the pastor, lay leader and appropriate chairs of local church committees. It shall be the responsibility of the chair of the staff parish relations committee to investigate the financial situation and seek remedies. No remedy shall include a reduction of the pastor’s compensation for the current conference year. ■ If it is determined that the local church is facing a potential long-term financial crisis, then the chair of the staff parish relations committee shall notify the local pastor and district superintendent of a need for a subsidy grant on equitable compensation or change in pastoral compensation/ appointment for the following conference year. ■ Should the situation arise that a pastor’s compensation has been delinquent for more than thirty (30) days, it shall be responsibility of the district superintendent to notify the Commission on Equitable Compensation, with power given to that committee, to seek resolution of the issue. This may or may not include the fact that the local church is already receiving a subsidy grant from the committee on equitable compensation and such factor shall be taken into account. ■ Other measures may be taken if the local church is delinquent in compensation for more than thirty (30) days, especially in light of the pastor’s direct invoiced pension and benefits. The conference treasurer may begin a process whereby a written payment plan with the local church shall be developed, so that the conference receives full payment of pension and benefits by the end of the conference year. ■ All discretionary spending (any expense not requiring payment under contractual or conference obligations) shall be suspended until the district superintendent, treasurer, the staff parish relations committee agree on a remedial plan. ■ Under no circumstances will the local church’s real property be mortgaged to pay for current or budgeted expenses, including arrearages, nor may the sale of any such property be used for arrearage (¶2543 The Book of Discipline). ■ It is the responsibility of the local church to provide minimum compensation for its appointed clergy, but it is equally the responsibility of the full-time pastor to provide evidence of an arrearage by proper documentation as required by the treasurer. A one-year statute of limitations will be enforced for any such claims Categories of Equitable Compensation and Qualifications The following are the four categories of Equitable Compensation Grants and the qualifications of each. These qualifications are in addition to those listed above which apply to all categories of Equitable Compensation. 1. Salary Supplement:


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a. Charges must pay at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the equitable compensation scale for the current pastor serving the charge. b. No charge will participate in the fund if it reduces the compensation level below the previous year, unless such a reduction is deemed justifiable by the Commission after recommendation by the District Superintendent in writing. c. The church or charge must have at least 150 members and/or three churches on the charge. d. Charges with pastors receiving supplementary support will have a service of worship every Sunday, with due consideration for adequate services for each church. e. The charge whose minister receives supplementary support will provide a minimum of two(2) weeks paid vacation, including two (2) Sundays annually for the minister; and will provide expenses for a guest minister or lay speaker in the minister’s absence. f. Salary Supplement grants are limited to five successive years. 2. Cooperative Ministries: a. The “director” or “coordinator” must be a full conference member who has other clergy persons under his/her supervision. The clergyperson serving as ‘director’ or coordinator’ must live within the bounds of the parish. b. The maximum amount that the Equitable Compensation Commission may provide per year for this support is $1,200 over the maximum Equitable Compensation support. If the director is not receiving regular Equitable Compensation supplements, a maximum of $3,600 annually may be available. c. Before funding will be granted for successive years, the director shall submit an annual evaluation of the progress of the ministry made the previous year. d. In no case will Equitable Compensation funds be used to support a minister beyond 150 percent of the applicable Equitable Compensation scale. e. There is no limit to the number of years a cooperative ministry may receive support. 3. Ethnic Congregational Development: a. Church shall articulate special leadership needs in an ethnic congregation. b. A maximum of $10,000 per project may be allocated. For each additional year of the grant, the funding will be reduced by 25 percent from the beginning support figure. The local charge is expected to increase their share of the compensation by 25% each year. c. The pastor must be a seminary graduate or have experience and proven ability to produce in the area of the particular need. d. The Cabinet must approve the projects. e. Ethnic Congregational Development grants are limited to four successive years. 4. Unique Ministries: a. This category is designed to give additional support for “special situations” by providing Equitable Compensation funding for a pastor assigned by the bishop to serve an unusual appointment in which the charge cannot pay an adequate compensation. b. Requests for funding will be initiated and approved by the Bishop and Cabinet. The request will identify the uniqueness of the church and the specific qualifications of the pastor. In addition, the request will identify the specific goals for advancement in ministry, which the grant is anticipated to enable. c. Funding for a Unique Ministry will be reviewed annually by the Commission on Equitable Compensation. d. Unique Ministries grants are limited to four (4) successive years of funding for the approved project; for each additional year that approval is granted, the funding will be reduced by 25 percent of the beginning support figure. Applications Applications are made available through the Director of Spiritual Leadership. Annual applications for the approved years of a grant are not required, if there is no appointment change.


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C. Higher Education & Campus Ministry United Methodist Campus Ministry in Mississippi is dedicated to winning young people to Christ and aiding in them in their path of discipleship. We understand, as George Barna has estimated, that about 8,000,000 adults in their twenties have left the church in the past decade. The mission of Wesley Foundation ministry stands to be a response to this crisis. Wesley Foundations provide a place for college students to experience the love of Christ, receive excellent Biblical teaching, find opportunities to grow as leaders in the Christian faith, and work side by side with other students and believers in serving God in the community. Statistically, people are most open to the gospel during their college years. They have left home and journeyed to the next level of their education, ready to learn new ideas and expand their horizon. Wesley Foundation ministry reaches people at this perfect time in their life to connect them with what they need most – a relationship with Jesus. Students then began to see transformation in their lives, and the Wesley Foundation is right there to aid students as they are making significant decisions regarding their vocation, life goals, and guiding philosophy. Our Wesley Foundations serve as an extension of the church’s ministry as they reach college students on their own terms at this critical time in their lives. The Committee on Higher Education and Campus Ministry serves to steward the vision and resources of the Annual Conference, evaluate the effectiveness of our units and ministers, and make recommendations to the Bishop and Cabinet regarding deployment of personnel. The bulk of our mission shares are allocated towards funding salaries to provide campus ministers, of which some are lay, some clergy, some full time and many part time, on as many of our college campuses as are possible in the state of Mississippi. Our committee has chosen not to measure and monitor growth within each Wesley Foundation based solely upon numerical goals. However, we do indeed monitor and encourage our units to grow as they reach out to their campuses in new ways. Our focus is on seeing evidence that students are growing spiritually, making sure units are providing quality programming, determining that each unit is fiscally sound, and ensuring that campus ministers are leading their students and board of directors in a healthy manner. We are able to determine these markers of success through the work of our Campus Ministry Consultant who does an excellent job in staying connected with each unit, providing distance and on-site support and training for them, as well as informing our committee of the information we need to determine the effectiveness of each unit. We additionally include a section for goals to be listed in our grant process. These goals are then reflected upon and measured to assess growth and improvement with the campus ministries each year. We have continued to follow our new funding model which is working well. We have already seen spiritual as well as numerical growth among our units in the past year and expect this to continue as our units gain strength. The HECM’s specific goals for the mission shares requested include providing a framework and support system for campus ministry in the state of Mississippi, supplying a Campus Ministry Consultant who connects, trains, and equips the ministers, and financially supporting those who are in the field every day taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to our Mississippi college students. In 2017, we have provided several day/overnight sessions that have provided support and training for our campus ministers and their staff. Our Campus Ministry Consultant has traveled to the campus ministry locations to provide onsite training for campus ministers as well as training for their Board of Directors while first hand being able to see the work each Wesley is doing in the lives of students. Our campuses are gaining strength through their Board of Director support and increased fundraising efforts and as well as community involvement in the Wesley Foundations. Detailed budget reports from each Wesley Foundation allow the HECM to assess the appropriate management of conference funding.


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Our campus ministers do indeed communicate with local churches concerning mission shares. Through our Campus Ministry Training conducted by our Campus Ministry Consultant each unit was challenged and required to take the story of campus ministry into local churches. Campus Ministers, students, and board members have all been contacting local churches and setting up Sundays to come and participate in a worship service or Sunday School. When allowed by the pastor, the message of the needs of campus ministry and the opportunity of contributing to mission shares has been expressed. Campus Ministers have also begun putting information in District Newsletters, attending District Events, and volunteering in local churches in order to spread the good word about the beautiful work being done in campus ministry. It does not take long after walking into one of our campus ministries to truly feel the love of Christ. Students experience unconditional love from peers whom they have built a relationship with as well as those they just met. We learn in scripture that we love because he first loved us. This is the motto that flows through our Wesley Foundations. Love is the motivating factor that drives our campus ministers to continue on the path of reaching out to students, reserving judgement, and continuing to provide a place where students will be accepted. It is in the spirit of love that students are most able to receive the gospel as it is shared with them. No doubt when you experience the situations where campus ministers give of themselves, you are convinced they are some of the most generous people you will meet. They invest hours talking to students about serious situations as well as conversations which build relationships. They change tires, find ways to pay for students groceries and tuition when their loans and grants fall through, set up shuttle services for students without a vehicle, use their Wesley’s as a clothing and food pantry for students who are struggling, buy diapers for those who find themselves as single parents, connect students with local churches so they can experience a church community of faith, and the list goes on and on. Generosity also appears in through board members who give and serve faithfully as well as local churches which provide meals, finances, vans, Bible study teachers, and more. These generous acts fall right into setting the example for students to live out justice on their campuses whether it is setting up a race to earn money for battered women, or developing a support group for those struggling with addictions, to tutoring kids in an afterschool program who do not have parents willing to invest in their education. Students follow the example of Jesus they see taught in their Wesley Foundation and gain great support from their Wesley Foundation friends and minister. As students become more involved on a leadership level in their Wesley Foundation, they receive the opportunity to experience apprenticeship. Most units have a formal intern program where students work with the campus minister in leadership at the Wesley Foundation. All of our units have a leadership team where students are able to learn and grow as leadership is modeled by the campus minister as well as upperclassmen, and they are able to lead in ministry on their campus.

Millsaps College Millsaps College is dedicated to academic excellence, open inquiry and free expression, the exploration of faith to inform vocation, and the innovative shaping of the social, economic, and cultural progress of our region. In 2012, Millsaps was named one of the five major goals of our strategic plan as “developing an enhanced relationship with our founding body, the United Methodist Church.” This goal was how we would “build on our heritage” named in our mission statement; it was, and is, our way forward. Millsaps has made large strides toward this goal in the past year. We have placed four ordained Methodist ministers on our campus, who, a year from now, will serve the campus from offices located aside the new chapel in the renovated Millsaps Christian Center building. Chaplain and Director of Church Relations, Joey Shelton, brings ample gifts to the task of relationship building and programming. Associate Chaplain and Director of the Center for Ministry, Paige Swaim-Presley, is bridging the gulf between continuing education in the Church and young aspirants.


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Our Wesley Connexion director, Reed McCaleb is embodying generosity and offering a place for apprenticeship through regular contacts with a new, fast-growing group of young disciples. Our 1 Campus 1 Community director Lori Galambos is focused on the work of justice and love by building authentic relationships with our neighbors in the Midtown community where she is a resident. At Millsaps we have excelled in vocational education and programming in recent years from a secular standpoint. Our call now is to use our Methodist resources to renew religious vocational training for students seeking it, and to fully equip students looking to enter the ministry. In these ways we will “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The apportioned mission shares, as always, will fund scholarships for United Methodist students. We will undoubtedly succeed in awarding this amount of scholarship dollars to students in need. Our challenge is to maximize the benefit of the educational experience these scholarship dollars allow. Students benefiting from scholarships will find opportunities such as those espoused in the above testimonials. In addition, new students will benefit from new programs being developed by our Chaplain’s office. In one key program under development right now, students will pursue Journey Partners certification in spiritual direction for Millsaps class credit. This will benefit those same students by integrating the Journey Partners program into their academic load, making it a more feasible pursuit for more students, and will also benefit the entire student body through the creation of a pool of trained spiritual directors on campus. In short, at Millsaps students will benefit from a region-leading education coupled with increased vocational and spiritual support and guidance for Methodist student on campus, and the Church and the world will benefit from the ministries in which these students go on to serve as graduates. A Word of Witness I am a Junior Political Science and History Double Major with a Minor in American Studies. The main reason I decided to attend Millsaps College was because of my United Methodist Confirmation mentor Ms. Janet Barham, who is a Millsaps alumna. Ever since sixth-grade, she has always pushed me to look into the institution and having her as my mentor made me stronger in my Wesleyan faith. I was awarded scholarship to attend Millsaps, and my faith has become much stronger upon entering. I am now on my second term as president of Wesley Connexion (UMC Student Group) and I have looked into going to Seminary School after law school. With scholarship along with a presence of the Methodist Church on campus, I have not only strengthened my faith in Christ, but also have opened my eyes to seminary.

Rust College Established in 1866 by the Freedmen’s Aid Society of the Methodist Church on a former slave auction site. Rust is the oldest one of 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities established after the Civil War by the Methodist Church still in existence today serving more than 1,000 students annually from Mississippi, 16 states and 6 foreign countries. Rust’s Mission continues to be in tune with the church’s overall philosophy – doing no harm, doing good and staying in love with Jesus Christ as we serve the young people who look to Rust as their bridge to a better tomorrow through education. Rust College Religious Life is a diverse community providing the administration, faculty, staff and students sacred space to be fellow travelers on a journey of faith that leads to transformation of the individual and the world. The Office of the Chaplain oversees religious life activities, coordinates training for student ministers, and provides counseling for administration, faculty, staff, and students. Informed by Christian tradition, Rust College religious life strives to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ to a diverse higher education community. Grounded in the Wesleyan tradition, religious life is the place where “Tomorrow’s Leaders are Students Today.” Students who will be and do “all the good they can, by all the means they can, in all the ways they can, in all the places they can, at all the times they can to all the people they can, for as long as they can.”


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Highlights for 2017-2018 year include: ■ The College ended the 2016-2017 fiscal year with a balanced budget for the 51st consecutive year. ■ Rust College received a $145,000 grant from the Hearin Foundation to support needy students seeking financial aid. The total grant equaled $580,000, over a four-year period. ■ Mrs. Carrie Conway, Senior Program Officer with the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation visited with President, executive team and student recipients on the Rust campus. The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foun-dation awarded a $140,000 grant to Rust College General Scholarship Fund for 2017-2018. ■ Dr. Hilda B. Williams, Assistant Professor of English, received the Humanities Teacher of the Year award. ■ Reverend Jesse Jackson, Civil rights activist and Rainbow PUSH Coalition President visited campus in an effort to reach young voters and encouraged voter registration and engagement. ■ Ms. Ba’Sheera Williams, a senior English literature major from Yazoo City, Mississippi was selected Student Ambassador for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. ■ Awarded a $32,170 Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (MS INBRE) grant. ■ Awarded a $50,000 Grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Services. ■ Awarded a $1,336,000.00 grant from the Lilly Endowment UNCF Career Pathways Initiative program As you, our friends of the United Methodist Church, continue to uphold your promise of educational oppor-tunity established many years ago, we, the members of the Rust College family, will uphold the promise made by our founder, Rev. A. C. McDonald in 1866, “to do not hothouse work” but will work to build men and women morally, spiritually and academically sound. We are thankful to you for your prayers and finan-cial support. Your continued support is essential as we endeavor to build a stronger legacy for this generation and those in years to come who will look to Rust and our great church for higher educational opportunities. The College expresses thanks for the dedication and leadership of the following Trustees from the Mississippi Annual Conference: Bishop James S. Swanson, Mr. C. F. Brittenum, Dr. Earnest L. Henry, Mr. John W. Johnson, Dr. William Nelson, Mr. Charles Leggett, Dr. Joe May, Rev. Zachary Beasley, Rev. Jeff Tollison, Dr. Joe Bailey, Mr. Ted Moll, Mr. James Brown, and Dr. Mary N. Mosley.

D. Residency in Ministry In my time as chairperson, beginning July 1, 2016, we have had a productive year of Residency in Ministry (RIM). According to the 2012 Book of Discipline, “Provisional members are on trial in preparation for membership in full connection in the Annual Conference as deacons or elders. They are on probation as to character, servant leadership, and effectiveness in ministry” ¶327. The intention of RIM is to create a supportive environment for provisional clergy as they continue to move toward ordination in the MS Annual Conference. Four stated outcomes of Residency in Ministry as adopted by the Residency in Ministry Council: 1. Creating community among clergy 2. Holistic spiritual formation, 3. Theological reflection, 4. A bridge to full connection (including practical ministry skills for the local church, district, and Annual Conference). Each resident will participate in peer groups, meet with a clergy mentor, and receive two Lay On-Site visits during their residency. Additionally the residents will participate in the Formation Seminar on a yearly basis as planned and implemented by the RIM Council. Other requirements may be included per the Board of Ordained Ministry and the RIM Council.


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Highlights of the 2017-2018 year: ■ Meet and Greet for new Residents during Annual Conference 2017 in June at Hal and Mal’s. ■ Orientation for all residents and new mentors in August 2017 ■ Formation Seminar at Camp Wesley Pines in October; theme: “Working through Conflict” with Chuck Sampson, Rev. Maxine Bolden, Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton, Rev. Daniel Herring, and Erie Stuckett (Deaconess) ■ RIM Council meetings in January and April gave space for loving, learning, and leading, resulting in great creativity, discernment, and planning. ■ Intentional prayer for our provisional clergy. Current RIM Council Committee Chair: Rev. Anna Fleming-Jones Related Staff: Rev. Dr. Larry Hilliard, Rev. Pamela Cameron, Dot Ellis, Angela Griffin Laity: Robert Sledge Clergy: Ella Dedeaux, John Wesley Pepper, Emily Sanford, David Schultz, Will Dowling, Frank Newell, Reed McCaleb, Paige Swaim-Presley Current Residents who serve on the Council: Andy Collette, Sandra Brown, Sam Burcham, Josh Gray, Erin Hicks, Aislinn Kopp

E. Board of Ordained Ministry Report Report will be added after 2018 AC Session

F. Center for Ministry Report will be added after 2018 AC Session


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S ection VI

Faith Community Formation Faith Community Formation Committee Report As disciples of Jesus Christ, Jesus extends the Great Commission to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20a). The Great Commission requires disciples of Jesus Christ to go, to make, to baptize and to teach others about the transformative love of Jesus Christ. In other words, disciples of Jesus are called to make disciples. Dr. Donald R. House, Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee for the General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church, commissioned a study that found that United Methodists are waning in their ability to fulfill the Great Commission. Dr. House’s study reveals that for the previous ten years, worship attendance in the United Methodist Church has decreased on average by 52,383 persons each year and professions of faith have decreased by over 31 percent. By 2030, if this continues, the United Methodist denomination in the United States will likely have declined to a point in which a turnaround is not possible. North American Methodists have been in decline since 1974, and by 2050 Dr. House projects that the Methodist connection will have collapsed if something does not change. The Faith Community Formation Ministry Team (FCFMT) exists to assist in the continuing transformation of the Mississippi Annual Conference into a deeper culture of vitality by forming new faith communities and by revitalizing existing congregations. Statistics confirm that the best way “to make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” and reach the sixty-four percent of Mississippi population that has no significant involvement in a faith community, is to start new faith communities for new people. Therefore, the FCFMT is tasked to identify, assess, vet and equip 1) qualified church planters who can start and grow new faith communities and 2) existing churches to revitalize. New Faith Communities We currently have four planters that are currently establishing new faith communities: Rev. Corey Truett, “The Well at Lewisburg” (Senatobia District) Lewisburg was chosen as an appropriate site for a new faith community given that it is a quickly growing school-centered community in southeastern DeSoto County. The mission: To reach and transform the people of Lewisburg, MS into Kingdom-minded disciples of Christ by being Jesus for the community. The vision: To create a missional church in Lewisburg and be a multiplying congregation. To build a café/coffee shop church in Lewisburg for the purpose of creating community, or a “third place” (first being home, second being work, and third being a place where you spend your time in community with others.) The Well knows that having a discipleship structure is important to the spiritual and numerical growth of their church. They felt that it was the right time to launch different areas of age-level ministries to disciple their people. The name: In the Middle East, the well was where community took place. That’s where everyone spent their social time. In Lewisburg, MS the well is where the farmers drew their water. Corey felt that this was a beautiful representation of both cultures by calling it the Well @ Lewisburg. They did this for several reasons: First, they want to be clearly identified with a location and group of people, honoring the long history of Lewisburg Methodist and to have the name of the township in the title. Second, they decided that if they were to take over the location of the building, they felt that it was


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important to keep a form of their name in the new church. Third, the Well wanted to make it easy to multiply. With the version of the name, it can now be updated to match the context of a new church plant (i.e. The Well @ Senatobia, The Well @ Southaven, The Well @ Olive Branch, etc.) Worship Attendance: Currently, they are averaging between 90-100 people in worship attendance and has expanded into two Sunday services to reach more people and to better utilize their space. Disciple-Making: Focused on creating a discipleship culture, The Well has made many inroads into their community, finding opportunities and creative ways to live out their faith in everything they do. For example, this year The Well hosted a 5K run in Lewisburg to benefit Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy, an organization that serves individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities by providing equine horse riding activities. The Well continues to serve and support the schools in their community. With more than 50% of the church members involved in small groups, many are learning how to serve God for the first time and now understand how to practice their faith in a holistic way – reaching out in faith to their community, every day, all day long. The Well is committed to the United Methodist Church and the Mississippi Conference. Rev. Wayne Hill, Crossroads (Senatobia District) Hunter’s Chapel was a vital congregation that found itself in great decline in West Tate County. After pastoral leadership encouraged them along the lines of relocation for six years, the present church was willing to relocate under the leadership of Wayne Hill. Hunter’s Chapel relocated and renamed itself Crossroads. They are located off Highway 4. In March of 2017 The Lord opened the door for a second service at a new location. The new location meets at 1471 HWY 51 S Hernando, MS. Crossroads DeSoto currently meets on Sunday mornings and is reaching people who have been unchurched for years. Rev. Leanne Burris, The Bridge at Seashore (Seashore District) The Mission: The Bridge is a community of people who share life together as they seek to provide a place of hospitality for local and global neighbors to harbor, to provide safe passage for those who are ready to tell a new story about their life through recovery, and to provide headwinds for those ready to chart new waters on mission for the Kingdom of God. The Bridge officially launched on September 11, 2016 at 3179 Mallet Road in D’lberville. During that time, The Bridge has seen great growth in attendance, discipleship and building expansion. The Bridge currently has 140 people who call The Bridge their home church and average 75 in weekly worship attendance - including eight to 10 children and 10 teens that assist with various worship duties. Their discipleship plan continues to grow, having 45 adults in long-term connect groups that meet either weekly or bi-monthly, meeting in six different locations (in four different cities). Additionally, 60 adults gather at The Bridge on a weekly basis for short term community groups, studies and workshops. In the fall of 2017, they began an expansion project to add additional space for classrooms for small groups to meet. On Christmas Eve, 2017, they welcomed people into their new space which includes a youth room, fellowship/multipurpose room, children’s room and a large room for a kitchen. And they have opened their doors to the community – on Saturdays their facility is used as an ACT and literacy workshop classroom for high school students in our area. These are souls being reached with the message of Jesus Christ! Rev. Ryan Freeman, The Vine (Brookhaven District) Vision: To reach un-churched people of all ethnic backgrounds - those who are disenfranchised, down on their luck or just not ‘going to church’ type of people - who are not being reached by area churches, through a roller skating rink ministry. While exploring his call, Freeman envisioned an old, worn-down skating rink that could be changed into a vital, thriving ministry. God brought together a spirt filled group of people (first


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12+ leadership team) that saw this vision, who were willing to do whatever it took to reach the unchurched and those who have been hurt by the church. A lease was secured for the existing skating rink at 1678 Highway 13 North, Columbia, MS and renovations have been completed. The Vine celebrated its grand opening and church dedication on Saturday, March 4, 2018 with food, fellowship and skating. The Vine will continue having service on Saturday nights by inviting the whole community to come, skate and worship with them. They will skate to Christian music and have a time of Word and devotion to end the service. Their goal is to plant seeds and watch God germinate those seeds. Revitalization Another emphasis of the FCFMT is to identify and resource existing churches to help them become vital congregations that make disciples for Jesus Christ. Of the 955 United Methodist churches in Mississippi, 63% have not had a baptism in a given year, 32% have not had a baptism in five years, 63% have not had a profession of faith in a given year, and 27% have not had a convert for Christ in the last five years. After Jesus extends clear instructions to go, to make, to baptize and to teach, he also extends a promise, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:19b). God is still at work in Mississippi. The task of the FCFMT is to partner with the movement of God’s Spirit in existing congregations and help them reclaim the transformative power of Jesus Christ. Identify Churches who have the potential for taking the next step: SLI provides invaluable data that allows the FCFMT to identify churches with high potential for revitalization. In 2017-2019, the FCFMT has also committed to assess potential churches using Readiness 360. Readiness 360 is an assessment tool that assesses four critical capacities for multiplying thriving ministries: Spiritual Intensity; Missional Alignment; Cultural Openness; and Dynamics Relationships. Based upon each church’s assessment, the FCF team will have pertinent information on how best to invest resources, guide and train churches who are ready to revitalize and engage in new mission and ministry to reach people for Christ. For churches ready to take it to the next level, there is Readiness 360+ - a 12-month training where church leadership teams meet for four workshops (one per quarter) and work with a coach who will guide them in their revitalization efforts as they explore opportunities for the future. Currently 11 churches have participated in the Readiness 360+ process. Resourcing churches: FCFMT uses many different tools and resources to assist churches in their efforts to revitalize and grow. Based on the various assessment tools, data gathering, research, and interviews, FCFMT is able to engage in consultative work with congregations upon request. Some of the tools and techniques FCFMT utilizes are: Discovering the Possibilities, Readiness 360, Readiness 360+, MissionInsite and VitalSigns.


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S ection VII

Episcopal Office A. Episcopacy Committee Committee on Episcopacy Report 2018 The Committee on Episcopacy of the Mississippi Annual Conference meets at least twice a year to support Bishop James Swanson in his ministry as a Bishop of the United Methodist Church. Paragraph 637 of the Discipline directs this committee: ■ To support the bishop of the area in the oversight of the spiritual and temporal affairs of the Church, with special reference to the area where the bishop has presidential responsibility. ■ To be available to the bishop for counsel. ■ To assist in the determination of the episcopal needs of the area and to make recommendations to appropriate bodies. ■ To keep the bishop advised concerning conditions within the area as they affect relationships between the bishop and the people of the conference agencies. ■ To interpret to the people of the area and to conference agencies the nature and function of the episcopal office. ■ To engage in the annual consultation and appraisal of the balance of the bishop’s relationship and responsibilities to the area and annual conferences, the jurisdiction, general church boards and agencies, and other areas of specialized ministry, including, at all levels, concern for the inclusiveness of the Church and its ministry with respect to sex race, and national origin, and understanding and implementation of the consultation process in appointment-making. ■ To report needs for episcopacy leadership to the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy through the duly elected conference members of that committee. The committee is also a liaison between the Conference Committee on Trustees to make sure the episcopal residence is safe, adequate, well maintained, and comfortable for the bishop and his family. Both lay and clergy persons from all over the Mississippi Conference are active on this committee. They include: Lay Clergy Sondra Bell Mattie Gibson Sandra Brown Ryan McGough Martin Butler Anna Flemings Jones Tim Crisler Lindsey Robinson Beth Hartness (Episcopal Residence) Danny Rowland Chris Howdeshel Connie Shelton (Cabinet Representative) Aubrey Lucas Emma Ward Lydia Roby LaToya Redd-Thomson Sallie Whiteside We are pleased to represent the conference as we strive to fully support Bishop James Swanson in his ministry. Respectfully submitted, Dr. Danny R. Rowland, Chairperson


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B. Advocacy Reports Report of Advocacy Committee 2017-18 Advocacy continues to be a work of Grace in our Annual Conference. With the restructuring of how we practice advocacy various committees were moved under the Episcopal Office as extensions of that office. Those committees include: Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (under the auspices of the Council of Bishops) Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships seeks to “interpret, advocate and work for the unity of the Christian Church” and to “encourage dialogue and cooperation with persons of other living faiths.” (BOD para. 642.4.a) To that end, our Conference’s historic involvement with the Mississippi Religious Leaders Conference is to address areas of concern in our state which affect its citizens of all religious backgrounds and continue our support of Mississippi Voices Against Extremism. There are materials available from OCUIR which help local congregations live out their call to promote the unity of the Church. Rev. Warren Coile, chair Church and Society The message of salvation brought by Jesus Christ binds us together as a people and sends us forth to bring healing in the midst of strife, justice in the midst of brokenness, and love in the midst of hate. As United Methodists, we are called to invite people to enter into a community of faith responsive to a vision of justice ministries that is biblically and theologically grounded, and to invite United Methodist congregations to play a prophetic role in bringing God’s vision to reality. Our mission is to advocate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the church and society. Rev. Willis Britt, chair Commission on Religion and Race Commission on Religion and Race is continuing its work of building relationships and partnering across our state in an effort to promote unity. We continue developing a partnership and active strategy with Mission Mississippi as a grassroots movement, and pray for racial healing and reconciliation across our connection. Rev. Kathy A. Price, chair Commission on the Status and Role of Women Commission on Status and Role of Women continually seeks to help the church in the recognition of laity, clergy, adults and children as full and equal parts of God’s human family, embracing the diversity each person brings to the vitality of the church. We believe that a fully engaged and empowered membership is vital to The United Methodist Church’s mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Rev. Susannah Carr, chair Disability Ministries Disability Ministries Committee for the Mississippi Conference continues its work of advocacy, education, and empowerment for individuals and families with disabilities. In August 2017, a representative participated in the annual meeting of the Disability Ministry Committee of the United Methodist Church held at the General Board of Global Ministries in Atlanta where they studied, planned, and prayed together for local, conference, and denominational level ministries for people with disabilities. Disability Ministries looks for ways to help local churches with disability ministry through more inclusiveness of clergy and laity in our work. Rev. Dr. Eric Pridmore, chair Peace with Justice Peace with Justice continues to work in tandem with Church and Society in developing leadership who walk in this world as representatives of the kingdom of God, and those who wish to improve their skills at engaging in difficult, but necessary conversation in the parish and in the world. This year, a Peace with Justice Conference representative attended Lake Junaluska for the ongoing conversation held at the Peace Conference.


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Each of these agencies under the leadership of Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. seeks to stand in solidarity of grace to undergird justice, equity, and dignity by valuing the imago dei of all humanity. As we gather to discuss how our various roles can continue to partner across all agencies of our Annual Conference, we agree that we will endeavor in the context of our ministries to ensure, as Mississippians, an honoring of God through the honoring of each other. Our work is grounded in the building of new partnerships and the renewal of established ones as we work toward justice, just as our work is reflective of the hopes and dreams of a God’s preferred future for our Annual Conference. Faith filled action in the Mississippi Annual Conference will present an opportunity for us to become a parish of peace and advocacy because we as United Methodists are a people of advocacy. Rev. Warren Coile and Rev. Kathy A. Price Co-Conveners

C. Report of the Taskforce on the

Science of Human Sexuality

The Mississippi Annual Conference endorsed “A Resolution to Produce a Report on the Science of Human Sexuality” (p.225, The Journal of the Mississippi Conference (SEJ), 2017). The Task Force members were appointed by Bishop James E. Swanson. The charge was outlined by the continuing resolution: 1. To review the most current and reliable findings of medical science on human sexual orientation as reported in research articles by medical professionals and scientists with well-established, nationally recognized expertise in the science of sexual orientation. 2. To report findings 3. To avoid discussion of United Methodist Church policy on human sexual orientation. 4.To supply congregations of the Mississippi United Methodist Annual Conference the report no later than the beginning of the 2018 Annual Conference. I. Introduction The committee was composed of 14 clergy and laity (Appendix A) from across the state of Mississippi. Our mission was to report prayerfully and with discernment on this vitally important issue for United Methodists. Our goal was to follow the Wesleyan tenant regarding scientific inquiry: “How small a part of this great work of God is man able to understand! But it is our duty to contemplate what he has wrought, and to understand as much of it as we are able” (Wesley’s sermon, “God’s Approbation of His Works,” 1782.1.2). Our task was to review the most current, credible medical research on human sexual orientation (among other articles, Bailey et al. Sexual orientation, controversy, and science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 17(2): 45-101). II. Definitions When we as a church engage in conversations about human sexuality, the most important step following prayer is to agree on what we mean by the term “sexual orientation.” In other words, what does it mean when someone says “I am gay” (or lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, etc.)? Sexual orientation is complex and expressed in various ways. It is also not fully understood. For the purposes of this report, we will use the following terms: heterosexual and non-heterosexual. We use the term “heterosexual” in relation to an exclusively male-female context. “Non-heterosexual” refers to all other expressions of human sexual orientation. Conversations about sexuality frequently hit a road block when two people each use a term that can take several meanings, particularly when issues of “choice” are involved. “Non-heterosexual,” for instance, can refer to sexual identity (how do I think of myself?), romantic attraction, sexual behavior, patterns of arousal, or any combination of these meanings. Throughout our report, we try to specify which meaning a particular use of a term takes. III. Prevalence Based on studies where individuals self-identify their sexuality as well as objective studies of arousal patterns, about 3-5% of the population is non-heterosexual. Though it is impossible to measure sexual


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expression throughout history and across cultures accurately (e.g. in some countries self-reporting as nonheterosexual results in a death penalty), the prevalence of non-heterosexual expression appears remarkably consistent across time and culture. Interestingly, among people who identify as non-heterosexual, women are more likely to identify as bisexual, whereas men more often identify as homosexual. IV. The Development of Sexual Identity The development of sexual orientation progresses in stages. The stages may occur at different ages but seem similar in both heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals. 1. Recognition of gender – By age five, children develop an identity as either female or male. When given the opportunity, they recognize that they have different sex organs. Societal expectations also direct this identity based on clothing, grooming, social play, and interactions with parents. Importantly, childhood conformity or non-conformity to social stereotypical gender activities does not predict sexual orientation with perfect reliability. 2. Sexual physical changes – In the pre-teen years, genitalia mature and sexual hair develops. Young women develop breasts and begin menstruation. Young men experience voice changes and begin to have nocturnal emissions. These changes further enforce identity as female or male. 3. Sexual attraction – In the early teen years, individuals experience sexual awakening. Both heterosexual and non-heterosexual teenagers begin to recognize romantic and emotional attraction to others. 4. Sexual orientation – Sexual identity develops as an individual begins to consider himself/herself as gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, etc. Children do not know their sexual orientation until they experience sexual attraction toward the same or other sex. Because non-heterosexual individuals are in such a minority and because of social proscriptions, they may have difficulty cultivating a romantic relationship in their peer group. They may therefore seek relationships with older individuals who have declared themselves. 5. Sexual arousal – Sexual arousal is a physiologic response that stimulates a desire for sexual interaction. Though not always acted upon, it often leads from attraction to physical expressions. 6. Sexual behavior – Retrospective studies indicate that a first expression of sexual behavior usually occurs years after attraction emerges. In other words, sexual behavior follows sexual attraction; not the reverse. V. Cause(s) of Sexual Orientation A. Why are some people attracted to the same sex vs. the opposite sex? In other words, is a person born with a sexual orientation, or is their sexual orientation chosen? At this point, the causes of sexual orientation appear to be multifactorial. The question of choice is a challenging one, and the answers are not simple. Studies support that desires or attractions are innate. Thus, an individual is not free to choose desires. We do, however, have a choice about the behaviors we exhibit in response to our desires (Bailey, 61). B. What is the role of genetics? There is some evidence for a genetic component in sexual orientation. No single specific gene is an absolute predictor of orientation. However, certain chromosomal locations seem to carry an association. Also, studies of identical twins show that when one twin reports a certain sexual orientation, the other twin is more likely to report the same orientation, suggesting a genetic influence on sexuality beyond shared environmental contributions. C. Are anatomical changes associated with sexual orientation? There have been studies that demonstrate different hormonal influences on brain development in heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals. There have also been studies of brain tissue on autopsy that demonstrate differences in a certain small region of the brain in heterosexual vs. non-heterosexual individuals. D. What is the role of environment? There is also evidence for a contribution of the environment in the development of sexual orientation. “The environment” involves both social and non-social factors. Non-social factors include, e.g., differences in response to hormones during fetal development in heterosexual vs. non-heterosexual individuals. Another interesting non-social factor in homosexual men is birth order. The likelihood of a man being gay increases with the number of older brothers he has, even if he is raised separately from


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them. While there are plausible explanations for this finding, the exact reason has yet to be determined. Social factors, however, seem to have very little to do with sexual orientation. Notably, “recruitment” or seduction by non-heterosexual individuals, troubled parent-child relationships, and rearing by nonheterosexual parents do not appear to influence a person’s eventual sexual orientation. VI. Can a person’s sexual orientation be changed? Non-heterosexual individuals have occasionally, for social and/or religious reasons, wished to change their sexual orientation. Advocates of “conversion therapy” claim that change is possible. While behaviors may be altered, the important question is whether a person’s desire can be changed. Medical literature is unequivocal: “[T]here is no good evidence…that sexual orientation can be changed with therapy. Even many therapists, sympathetic to the desire of some homosexual people to live heterosexual lives have shifted their efforts from changing sexual orientation to helping homosexual people live as they prefer under the unchangeable constraints of homosexual orientation” (Bailey, 86). VII. Summary 1. When discussing sexual orientation, it is important to use clear definitions of the following terms: sexual attraction, sexual identity, sexual arousal, and sexual behavior. 2. Cross-cultural and historical studies suggest that the percentage of non-heterosexual persons is consistently 3-5%. 3. Heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals have a similar pathway to expressing their individual development. 4. Research suggests that both genetic factors and non-social environmental factors contribute to the formation of sexual orientation. 5. Medical science is in agreement that individuals cannot choose their sexual desires. They can only choose whether to act on their desires. 6. No reliable data supports the theory that sexual orientation can be changed. VIII. Conclusion What our research has shown us most clearly is that the science of human sexuality remains incomplete. Unfortunately, because of its controversial nature, many choose to avoid the study of sexuality when, in fact, it should be further pursued. There should also be further theological reflection that considers what credible scientific inquiry has contributed to our understanding of sexual identity. These questions will need more prayerful discernment in the future as the body of scientific knowledge grows. We are wonderfully made by God with an intricate system of codes and building blocks that contribute to our physical being. We hope this information is helpful in understanding the beauty and complexity of who we are as God’s creation.


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S ection VIII

Other Reports Africa University Report Africa University is deeply thankful to the members of the Mississippi Conference for strengthening their support and investing in the Africa University Fund (AUF) apportionment at 82.78 percent in 2017. Thank you for being generous and faithful to this ministry. As Africa University embraces emerging opportunities for service and impact within and beyond the church in Africa, the ongoing support of the Mississippi Conference is of vital importance. It is the university’s prayer that the Mississippi Conference will continue to work diligently to establish a conference tradition of investing 100 percent of the asking to the AUF and other general church funds. Institutional Update: ■ Currently, Africa University hosts a campus community of 1,417 full-time students and faculty and staff from 31 African nations. Another 392 students are enrolled on a part-time basis, for a total enrollment of 1809 students. ■ Amidst a transition in the governance of Zimbabwe, lectures, research, and outreach activities at Africa University are continuing without interruption. ■ A new academic structure and the realignment of programs is encouraging innovation and enhancing Africa University’s relevance to The United Methodist Church and to sub-Saharan Africa. This includes the launch of the Institute of Theology and Religious Studies which brings together multidisciplinary training and leadership formation opportunities for both clergy and laity. ■ Africa University-based researchers are providing critical data on mosquitos and regional malaria control programs to aid Africa’s efforts to eradicate malaria and other insect-borne diseases. ■ The university is also making trailblazing, regional contributions in migrant and refugee protection, child rights, and harnessing intellectual property for development. ■ The first 25 years of AU’s ministry have produced more than 8,000 graduates who lead in efforts to make disciples, minister to the poor, improve global health, and better the quality of life in communities. These leaders include Rev. Jean Ntahoturi (MTS-2005 and MBA-2006), elected legal representative of The United Methodist Church in Burundi in May 2017, and credited with leading a divided church to unity after more than a decade of contentious relations. These ministry accomplishments are made possible by the steadfast support of United Methodist congregations in Mississippi and throughout the connection. Beyond dollars and cents, the Mississippi Conference’s engagement with Africa University represents hope and transformation for young women and men who are answering the call to meaningful discipleship. The four-year, $50 million Campaign for Africa University is ongoing, with 77.4 percent of the goal or $38.7 million in cash and pledges already committed. The campaign prioritizes scholarships, expert faculty, research, infrastructure, and technology. Thank you, Mississippi Conference, for your incredibly significant contribution of a $1.3 million scholarship endowment that supports student access in perpetuity. Your gift in support of the campaign will change lives for generations. Please keep Africa University in your prayers. As you and your fellow congregants take stock of your impact in ministry, remember the young people who are being equipped at Africa University. On June 9th, Africa University will add more than 600 new graduates to the ranks of its alumni. Your graciousness is their miracle and they give thanks to God for you. Thank you, Mississippi Conference, for your foundational role in the Africa University story. Thank you for being a part of 25 incredible years of bringing this dream to life. You are building a


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global legacy as you invest and journey in ministry with Africa University. May God bless and keep you always in an abundance of grace and mercy. James H. Salley Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement Africa University Development Office

Boston University School of Theology Greetings from Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH) as we travel together in this journey of discipleship! Breaking News: ■ Students: Our entering students were the most diverse in our history, creating remarkable opportunities for in-depth exchange and fruitful collaboration. ■ Faculty: We welcomed three amazing faculty this year: Rebecca Copeland in Theology (focus on environmental theology); Theodore Hickman-Maynard in Black Church Studies; and Cornell William Brooks as Visiting Professor of Social Ethics, Law, and Justice Movements. Thanks to loyal alums, we also endowed the Harrell Beck Professorship in Hebrew Scripture and installed Kathe Darr as the first Beck Professor. ■ Congregations: The Lilly Endowment awarded the Center for Practical Theology $1.5 million to create an innovation hub, which will foster creative vocational reflection in congregations, and a sharing of the congregations’ wisdom. ■ Doctor of Ministry: The DMin in Transformational Leadership is soaring with lively student cohorts that are broadly ecumenical, culturally diverse, and global. The model includes intensives, online courses, and faculty mentoring. ■ Scholarships: We continue our offer of free tuition to UMC registered candidates for ordained ministry, and we continue to build student scholarships and housing as a central campaign priority. New scholarships include the Dale Andrews Scholarship in Practical Theology and Race, Korean Student scholarship, and the Bishop John H. Adams and Dr. Dolly D. Adams Scholarship for candidates for ordained ministry in the AME, AMEZ, and CME churches. ■ Arts Initiatives: Recent exhibits and events include “Symbols and Art of China, Korea, and Japan” and “Bridging Divided Communities through the Arts” Partnering for Ministry and Transformation: Preparing students for ministry means meaningful partnerships with the local spiritual community. ■ Congregational courses: Courses in congregations with church leaders and students learning together. ■ Religion and Conflict Transformation Clinic: Internships and workshops that foster justice and reconciliation. ■ Travel seminars: Courses engaging local communities on Arizona-Mexican border, Israel and Palestine, India, spiritual life centers, and Serbia and Croatia (with focus on interreligious dialogue). ■ Ecumenical partnerships: Continuing close work with UMC, AME and other Wesleyan denominations, while launching robust Communities of Learning with the Episcopal Church and United Church of Christ. ■ Partnership with Hebrew College: Joint courses and public events, plus co-sponsoring The Journal of Interreligious Studies. The focus is on enriching theological education with interreligious learning and leadership opportunities. Taking Action Globally And Locally: ■ Campus action: Work to improve accessibility and sustainability. BUSTH is the first certified Green School in BU, and is active in the Green Seminary Initiative. It has also been named as one of the “Seminaries that Change the World.”


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■ Internships in global service and peacemaking: Student-initiated internships for service with communities across the world, and for just peacemaking projects with international organizations.

Commitment To Justice: Celebrating differences while joining in action. ■ Faculty and students have led and participated in service for victims of hurricanes and fires, protests on behalf of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, protests of white supremacist movements, protests and services on behalf of immigrants and DACA young people, and ecumenical and interreligious witnesses for justice in the city of Boston. ■ The community (often student-led) has had deep conversations on issues that divide (including theological issues). We seek to foster respectful listening that builds community life and communal action. Other Notable News: ■ Celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Anna Howard Shaw Center As BUSTH looks back on 2017, it celebrates transformational leaders who keep the word of Jesus Christ alive. Their living legacy and perceptive witness gives us hope and courage for the future. Mary Elizabeth Moore Dean, Boston University School of Theology

Candler School of Theology Report will be added after 2018 AC Session

Duke Divinity School Under the leadership of Elaine A. Heath, dean and professor of missional and pastoral theology, Duke Divinity School has continued to work on our strategic planning process. In the academic year 2017– 2018, the strategic planning committee was assembled, composed of representatives from the faculty, staff, student body, and Duke Divinity’s Board of Visitors. The committee has sought extensive feedback from stakeholders, including alumni, church leaders, and donors as well as our community of faculty, staff, and students; and it is paying close attention to developments within theological education and the cultural changes affecting both church and academy. The committee anticipates presenting a framework document in the spring of 2018 with a strategic plan submitted for approval in November 2018. This year we launched several new programs to equip laypeople and to support students. The Neighborhood Seminary, a partnership with the Northern Piedmont District of the Western North Carolina Conference, is a two-year, noncredit training program that began this year with a cohort of 18 people. The cohort participates in four team-taught courses per year led by faculty, staff, and graduate students from Duke Divinity School in partnership with local practitioners and ministries. The cohort also undertakes an intentional, contemplative model of spiritual practice combined with sequenced contextual learning experiences with local practitioners throughout the two-year program. Heidi Miller, Ph.D., directs the Neighborhood Seminary program. We also launched a new academic support program to help incoming students learn how to think and write theologically. The Refresher and Intensive for Scholarly Enrichment (RISE) program began with a two-day pre-orientation workshop for new students this August. Over half of the incoming class—83 students—registered for this self-selecting program that includes lectures, panels, and workshops to help them navigate academic work and succeed at seminary. Academic support continues throughout the year, with Divinity School professors and preceptors as well as academic support staff in contact with each other and struggling students to develop plans to help them. This year we welcomed students from a range of backgrounds who are called to serve God and the church. In 2017, our total enrollment was 606 students: 369 are enrolled in the M.Div. degree program; 58 in the M.T.S.; 10 in the Th.M.; 46 in the Th.D.; 83 in the D.Min.; 23 in the M.A.C.P.; 4 in the M.A.C.S.; and 10 who are special students or auditors. Thirty-seven percent of our students are United Methodist,


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with an additional 3 percent from other Wesleyan traditions, and 46 percent of our M.Div. students are United Methodist. Eleven percent of all students are Baptist, 8 percent are Anglican or Episcopalian, 4 percent are Roman Catholic, 10 percent are Presbyterian or Reformed, with the rest from 21 other denominations or faith traditions. Three new certificates were approved this year. The Certificate in Missional Innovation, which can be earned as part of a master of divinity degree, is intended for students interested or involved in innovative forms of ministry. They will receive training in contextual evangelism and church planting with the goal of converting, gathering, and discipling people who are often neglected or unreached by existing church structures. The Certificate in Theology and the Arts, which can be earned alongside the M.Div., M.T.S., or Th.M., aims to help students appreciate and articulate the mutual enrichment of theology and the arts and to create opportunities to involve local churches and communities in the arts. The Certificate in Theology and Health Care is a new fully accredited residential graduate program that provides robust theological and practical engagement with contemporary practices in medicine and health care. The certificate aims to equip Christian health care practitioners with foundational courses in Christian theology, Scripture, and the practical issues they encounter. In 2017, the Duke Forward comprehensive campaign concluded, having raised critical endowment and expendable funds to support the people, programs, and activities of the university. Duke Divinity School raised $114.1 million, 143 percent more than the goal of $80 million. This support enables the Divinity School to provide scholarships and fellowships to students, build faculty excellence, and launch new programs and research efforts. We are grateful to God for the generous partnership of many alumni, other individuals, churches, and foundations. These gifts are helping to move Duke Divinity School forward into preparing men and women who will serve their neighbors and lead the church of the future. Our faculty continue to provide exemplary service in the classroom, for the church, and to the wider culture. Just one example is Edgardo Colón-Emeric, assistant professor of Christian theology, continues the Duke Divinity tradition of Methodist engagement in ecumenical initiatives. As part of the Joint International Commission for Dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Roman Catholic Church, Colón-Emeric presented to Pope Francis the Spanish translation of the latest bilateral statement. Colón-Emeric has also been actively involved in Methodist churches and seminaries in Latin America, including an effort to train lay pastors in Guatemala that has involved Duke Divinity staff and doctoral students. A number of efforts and programs at Duke Divinity School this year have sought to further our commitment to supporting and learning from students and communities that have been too-often marginalized. Our Convocation & Pastors’ School featured professors, pastors, and activists who addressed ways that the church can dismantle bias and hate. The Center for Reconciliation had a full slate of programs, including a conversation series on navigating conflict that was open to the public; a pilgrimage to significant sites in Durham; and participation in reconciliation events in East Africa and Northeast Asia. Thanks to a grant from the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry’s Young Clergy Initiative, Duke Divinity School received a grant to help develop leadership for the Black church within the UMC through mentorships, funded field education placements with experienced Black pastors, and attendance at the Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches. Within our school, Dean Elaine Heath has met regularly with the leaders of the Black Seminarians Union and a team of faculty and staff to address concerns around implicit bias in grading, training in cross-cultural competency, additional scholarship support for students, and staffing needs to support an increasingly diverse student population. We remain deeply grateful for the relationships among the United Methodist Church, this Annual Conference, and Duke Divinity School. We look forward to working with you in the task of preparing men and women for Christian ministry. To learn more about Duke Divinity School, please visit our website at www.divinity.duke.edu. Office of Dean Elaine A. Heath


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General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) Report GBHEM launched a new mission and vision in August 2017. The updated mission and vision simplify GBHEM’s role as the primary leadership development agency for The United Methodist Church. Mission: Build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Vision: Generations of thriving, diverse and compassionate Christian leaders for The United Methodist Church and the world. Our Work Throughout 2017 and 2018 The Office of Discernment and Enlistment at GBHEM hosted Exploration, a biennial event for young adults ages 18-26 to hear, discern, and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry as a United Methodist deacon or elder. More than 350 attended the event in Portland, Oregon in November 2017. The Young Clergy Initiative (YCI) funded 34 innovative projects across the church in 2017 to attract young people to ordained ministry. Since its inception, more than 100 projects have been funded through YCI. GBHEM works with the Commission on Central Conference Theological Education (CCTE) to distribute grants for the theological education of pastoral leaders in the Central Conferences. In 2017, the CCTE awarded 67 grants totaling more than $1 million to the seven Central Conferences of The United Methodist Church. The Publishing Ministry, established to engage, nurture, and advocate for the intellectual life of The United Methodist Church, released 13 books in 2017, reaching more than 10,000 people. In 2017, GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships awarded 2,000+ students with $4.1 million in scholarships and 350 students with $1.4 million in low-interest loans. More than $1.6 million was awarded to 200 recipients of the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship, which helps United Methodist clergy avoid excessive educational loan debt, minimize financial stress and build financial acumen. To aid pastors in their ministry journey, GBHEM’s Candidacy Office introduced EM360. A formation guide to help pastors and congregations meet mission and ministry goals, EM360 is a tool to help clergy leaders identify and gauge pastoral effectiveness. In 2017, 1,438 candidates enrolled in UMCARES to seek certified candidacy for licensed or ordained ministry. A total of 589 candidates were certified. The Black College Fund distributed more than $9.68 million in 2017 to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities related to The United Methodist Church for faculty development, infrastructure maintenance, academic programs and scholarships. Clergy Lifelong Learning led African-American, United Methodist pastors who lead predominantly white churches in cross-cultural diversity training in South Korea in 2017. Continuing education and coaching opportunities are available through the innovative, multilingual platform, UMC Cyber Campus. In 2017, Schools, Colleges, and Universities established the Siri S. Gadbois Fund in partnership with the National Association of Schools & Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC) for mentoring among institution leaders (kickoff in 2018). The Cutting-Edge Curriculum Award was created to recognize 10 exceptional faculty members who are building effective and innovative academic courses (winners announced at the end of 2018 spring semester). In partnership with Discipleship Ministries, GBHEM provides e-readers to theological schools in remote areas of Africa and Asia, offering access to the latest textbooks and references books. The E-Reader Project distributed 667 e-readers in 2017 and nearly 2,500 devices to 22 theological seminaries since the program inception in 2013.


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In 2017, GBHEM and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS) hosted two academic theological colloquies. Initiated in service to the intellectual life of the church, the colloquies are intended to be a resource for the church. The first colloquy (March 2017) focused on human sexuality and church unity, the second (November 2017) reflected on the practice of Missio Dei. Both events produced a study guide and book.

Memphis Theological Seminary Memphis Theological Seminary is pleased to report that theological education for United Methodist students continues to remain vibrant and forward-looking. The Seminary continues to offer a robust selection of classes in Wesleyan Studies. Dr. Michael Turner (Associate Professor of the History of Christianity and Wesleyan Studies) continues to teach all the required UMC courses for ordination in Methodist History, Doctrine, and Polity each academic year. Dr. Turner, along with his colleagues Dr. Lee Ramsey (Marlon and Sheila Foster Professor of Pastoral Theology and Homiletics), Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield (Associate Professor of Christian Education, Spiritual Formation, and Youth Ministry / General Secretary of the Department of Christian Education for the CME Church), and Rev. Billy Vaughan (Director for the Formation for Ministry Program) also offer a number of electives each year in the field of Wesleyan Studies. Recent offerings include “Pastoral Care in the Wesleyan Tradition,” “John Wesley’s Practical Theology,” “The Prophetic Rhetoric of Henry McNeal Turner,” and “Covenant Discipleship Groups.” Students that take a minimum of five courses in Wesleyan studies electives have the opportunity to earn the Certificate in Wesleyan Studies. The Methodist House of Studies at MTS continues to provide opportunities for Wesleyan formation for both students at the Seminary and pastors within the surrounding Annual Conferences that we serve. Dr. Turner (Western North Carolina Annual Conference), Dr. Ramsey (Memphis Annual Conference), and Dr. Crutchfield (CME Church) serve as the Directors and Associate Directors of the Methodist House of Studies. The Methodist House provides support for all of our UMC students at MTS by regular gatherings for fellowship and mutual learning. Recent gatherings have focused on topics that include hospital chaplaincy, clergy taxes, and the ordination process in the UMC. The faculty members associated with the MHOS also provide academic and vocational advising to all UMC, CME, and AME students at the Seminary. Additionally, the MHOS has sponsored training for clergy covenant group leaders in the Tennessee and Memphis Annual Conferences during the past year, co-sponsored “Molding Christian Conversation in a Polarized Society: Beginning the Conversation about Same Sex Marriage and the UMC” with the Turner Center for Church Leadership, and co-sponsored retreats on “At Table: United Methodists Seeking a Way Forward” with the Turner Center for Church Leadership and the Tennessee and Memphis Annual Conferences. Dr. Turner has also led various workshops on Methodist heritage at congregations in the greater Memphis area. Currently, faculty members at the MHOS are developing a Continuing Education Certificate in Wesleyan Studies in partnership with the Mississippi Annual Conference, a council designed to facilitate dialogue between the various Pan-Methodist traditions, and we are assisting planning a Methodist-focused day at the Civil Rights Museum. In May of 2019, Dr. Turner will be leading a Wesleyan Pilgrimage to England. The trip will be open to students, alumni, and interested Methodists from the annual conferences we serve. In addition to the work of the MHOS, Memphis Theological Seminary also has received a $1,000,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to establish a Center for Pastoral Formation, Imagination and Leadership. This Center will better equip pastoral leaders in the field as well as students preparing for ministry to lead the church in the twenty first century. By way of this center we are determined to offer both students at the seminary and pastoral leaders in the field the resources they need to thrive in ministry. As with our Formation for Ministry program at the seminary we are committed to fostering an imagination and accountability for the challenges pastoral leaders are facing.


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Also, in September the Seminary broke ground on the freestanding Hamilton Chapel. The 300-seat facility, which will likely be complete by Easter of 2019. The chapel was made possible in part by a $3 million gift from Barbara Hamilton and her the late Dr. Ralph Hamilton. Dr. and Mrs. Hamilton were prominent members of Germantown United Methodist Church. This year, Jeanne Varnell completed the $500K pledge to support the Methodist House of Study that she and her late husband Henry pledged to the Ministry for the Real World Campaign. We are grateful for the support of the Mississippi Annual Conference and for the many fine students who have attended MTS from Memphis over the years. We appreciate the confidence that the Conference places in MTS for preparation of United Methodist women and men for Christian ministry, and we welcome your ongoing involvement and prayers for Wesleyan studies at Memphis Theological Seminary. For ongoing information about the Methodist House of Studies, we invite you to visit us at www.MethodistHouse.org. Michael K. Turner Director, Methodist Theological Seminary

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare At Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, our mission is to collaborate with patients and their families to be the leader in providing high quality, cost-effective patient-and-family-centered care. Services will be provided in a manner which supports the health ministries and Social Principles of the United Methodist Church to benefit the communities we serve. With 66,000 inpatient discharges and 390,000 emergency department visits in 2017, MLH continues to make a substantial impact on the health of the Mid-South. MLH is the second largest private employer in our community, employing nearly 14,000 associates, including 3,500 nurses. Our clinical areas of focus include cardiology, oncology, neurosciences, women’s services, pediatrics, and transplant services. Our work is grounded in our mission. As a faith-based institution, the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church challenge us to provide potential for nurturing human beings into the fullness of their humanity and faith. Leading MLH in this mission is our President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ugwueke, who assumed his current role in January 2017. Michael is leading the organization into new standards of excellence, clinically, financially, and faithfully. MLH now works with the DNV accrediting body to annually review our hospitals for the highest standards of quality, safety, and service. Michael also has led the team to select a new Senior Vice President of the Faith and Health Division after Rev. Dr. Harry Durbin’s retirement in late 2017. We are very excited to welcome Rev. Dr. Albert Mosley as the new leader of the Division. Dr. Mosley has over 20 years of experience in faith-based leadership roles, many of them at leading United Methodist academic institutions like Bethune-Cookman University. Dr. Mosley brings considerable expertise to his new role, which oversees all of our Chaplaincy work, Volunteer Services, the Employee Assistance Program and Dennis H. Jones Living Well Network, the Clergy Coaching Network, Clinical Pastoral Education, the Center of Excellence in Faith and Health, United Methodist Annual Conference connections, and many other initiatives and projects. MLH celebrates many recent accomplishments, including recognition for the second year in a row by Fortune magazine as one of the 100 best companies to work for in the nation. Also, in 2018 MLH celebrates its Centennial year! MLH first opened its doors to patients in 1918. The idea began in 1899 when John Sherard, a successful Mississippi farmer, came to Memphis and found his pastor in the charity ward of another institution and decided that Memphis should have a Methodist hospital. In 1909, the Board of Missions in the Memphis Conference recommended pursuit of a hospital, thus beginning the healing ministry of The United Methodist Church through a Memphis-based healthcare organization. MLH plans many remembrances, celebrations, and projects throughout 2018 in honor of this great history and looks forward to many future successes. Our Faith & Health Division continues to provide significant and innovative service and programming. Our Chaplains and CPE students provide around the clock spiritual care services to all patients,


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families, and associates. We provide counseling and care through our Employee Assistance Program, and the Dennis H. Jones Living Well Network carries on the vital work of addressing mental health needs throughout our communities. The Center of Excellence in Faith and Health represents an innovative and impactful approach to healthcare and community connection not only in its physical location at Methodist University Hospital but in many ways throughout our system. We connect with students and professionals at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center through the work of the Faith Health Collaborative student group and the certificate course “Serving The Underserved” in partnership with Church Health. The Centennial year and a new Senior Vice President bring with them the promise of new and exciting initiatives and ideas. We are deeply appreciative of the support of the three annual conferences who birthed us and continue to be vital partners. The healing ministry of Christ continues to be at our center. Michael Ugwueke President and Chief Executive Officer

Wesley Theological Seminary Annual Conference Report Report will be added after 2018 AC Session

Wood College, Incorporated Report will be added after 2018 AC Session


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S ection IX

Historical Section will be added after 2018 AC Session

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S ection X

The 2018 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference A. The Proposed Consent Calendar for the 2018 Session of The Mississippi Annual Conference Under the authority and direction of the Standing Rules of the Mississippi Annual Conference, Rule 1.I., the following items are proposed for the Consent Calendar from the Pre-Conference Journal: Section I: Leadership Includes Annual Conference Nominations, as well as ratification of boards and agencies, not including those specifically voted from the floor Section III: Administry Report of the Board of Trustees Report of the Board of Pensions Report of the Board of Medical Benefits Section IV: Connectional Ministry Updates All reports not submitted from the stage during the Session of Annual Conference Section V: Spiritual Leadership All reports not submitted from the stage during the Session of Annual Conference including the Report of the Commission on Equitable Compensation Section VII: Episcopal Office All reports not submitted from the stage during the Session of Annual Conference including the Report from the Task Force on Human Sexuality Section VIII: Other Reports To be submitted for the record Section XI: Resolutions and Petitions Petition #1: Dinas Prayer Petition Petition #2: Housing/Rental Allowance for Retired and Disabled Ministers


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S ection XI

Resolutions and Petitions Resolutions A. Regular 1. Prayer WHEREAS, JESUS is The Supreme Model of praying to GOD THE FATHER (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 5:12-16; John 17:1-26), and WHEREAS, JESUS paid the price of time of praying to GOD THE FATHER, morning and evening (Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12), and WHEREAS, the praying of JESUS TO GOD THE FATHER shows victories in The Kingdom of God (Matthew 14:19-21; Mark 5:1-20; John 11:38-45), and WHEREAS, JESUS shows us to be persistent in praying to GOD THE FATHER (Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 18:1-8), and WHEREAS, THE HOLY SPIRIT and JESUS pray to GOD THE FATHER in our behalf (Romans 8:26; 8:34), and WHEREAS, faithful praying by the disciples of JESUS, His mother, His brothers, and some devoted women helped to spark a flaming Pentecost and powerful Church (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-47), and WHEREAS, praying to GOD THE FATHER as JESUS prayed is a way of showing dependence upon the HOLY SPIRIT (Luke 4:1-5), and WHEREAS, Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr would welcome our prayers for his many needs and for his family, and WHEREAS, all our clergy with their families, all our laity with their families, and all our children and youth are standing in need of praying, and WHEREAS so many of our clergy, congregations and communities are struggling for the devastation of flooding and storms, and WHEREAS, the vital power of prayer has long been a tradition and discipline of all of those clergy and lay whose lives have been influenced by Rev. Johnny A. Dinas, who historical has presented this petition, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: 1. That we continue our 12:00 o’clock noon daily prayer time for The United Methodist Church in Mississippi and beyond; whether our prayers are several seconds, minutes or longer in THE NAME OF JESUS: and that we depend upon THE HOLY SPIRIT to direct us in our praying for THE BODY OF CHRIST, and 2. That we earnestly ask our HEAVENLY FATHER’S help for the continued recovery and restoration of our brothers, sisters, youth, children, and churches effected by the many storms, and 3. That we ask our pastors to inform The Church briefly from time to time about the 12:00 o’clock hour, urging their praying, and 4. That any time during the last two weeks prior to Annual Conference each pastoral charge have some type of prayer meeting GLORIFYING GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: asking His help as we face Annual Conference with faith, hope, and love; and to give power to live the life of CHRIST in the world. Rev. Arthur R. (Trey) Harper, III Forest United Methodist Church


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2. Housing/Rental Allowance For Retired and Disabled Ministers WHEREAS, the religious denomination known as The United Methodist Church has and functions through ministers of the Gospel who are ordained or licensed; and WHEREAS, the practice of The United Methodist Church is to provide a parsonage or a rental allowance as part of the gross compensation for each of its active ordained or licensed ministers; and WHEREAS, pensions paid to retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers of The United Methodist Church are considered as deferred compensation and are paid to said retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers in consideration of previous active service; and WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service has recognized that the Mississippi Annual Conference is the appropriate organization to designate a housing/rental allowance for retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers who are members of this conference; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: 1. An amount not to exceed 100 percent of the pension payments received during the year of 2019 be and is hereby designated as a rental/housing allowance for each retired and disabled ordained or licensed minister of The United Methodist Church who is or was a member of the Mississippi Conference at the time of his or her retirement; 2. This rental/housing allowance shall apply to each retired and disabled ordained or licensed minister who has been granted the retired relation or placed on disability leave by the Mississippi Conference and whose name and relationship to the conference is recorded in the Journal of the Mississippi Conference and in other appropriate records maintained by the conference; 3. The pension payment to which this rental/housing allowance applies shall be the pension payment resulting from all service of such retired and disabled ordained or licensed minister from all employment by any local church, annual conference, or institution of The United Methodist Church, or of any former denomination that is now a part of The United Methodist Church, or from any other employer who employed the minister to perform services related to the ministry and who elected to make contributions to the pension funds of The United Methodist Church for such retired minister’s pension. John Brian Jones, Chairperson, Board of Pension David Stotts, CPA, Conference Benefit Officer

3. Resolution to the Annual Conference to Petition the General Conference of the United Methodist Church Concerning the Practice of Homosexuality I petition the 2018 session of the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church to make its position known to the General Church on the practice of homosexuality by the passage or non passage of this petition that is to be sent to the “Commission on the Way Forward” and the 2019 General Conference. Furthermore, by using the following language, to enforce our Church’s leaders on the General, Jurisdictional, Annual, and local level comprising the boards and committees to uphold the statutes regarding human sexuality as stated in The 2016 Book of Discipline as a witness to the saving grace and cleansing power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The petition is to read as follows: WHEREAS, the Scripture contained in the Old and New Testaments is the final authority that establishes the conditions in which all men and women can have a harmonious relationship with God, our Creator (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 18-25, esp. 24; Matthew 5:17; Romans 3:19-20; 15:4; II Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12); and WHEREAS, the Scripture teaches us that God is love (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; I John 4:8, 16) and holy (Leviticus 19:2; 20:7; I Peter 1:16), and He (God) never changes (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17); and WHEREAS, all of us are sinners separated from God, our Creator (Psalm 53:1-3, cf. Romans 3:10-12; Isaiah 53:6; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 3:23), and yet, none of us are beyond the embrace of God’s grace, mercy,


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forgiveness and love through Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:4-5; John 3:17-19; Romans 3:22; 5:8; Ephesians 2:89; Titus 2:11), leading us to become holy in all of our conduct (I Corinthians 10:13; II Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 1:3-6; Philippians 1:6; Titus 2:11-14; James 1:27; I Peter 1:13-16); and WHEREAS, the purpose of Christ’s death on the Cross was not only for the forgiveness of sin (Matthew 26:28; Acts 13:38-39; I Timothy 1:15; I John 1:7; 2:1-2), but also to make us new, holy creatures in Christ (Romans 6-8; II Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:17-24; James 1:21; I Peter 2:24-25; I John 1:5-7; 3:9); and WHEREAS, Christ’s words to the woman taken in the act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on sin no more” (John 8:11b), should be our words to all individuals who desire to experience God’s love, forgiveness and power; and WHEREAS, love without Truth is not Divine Love, and truth without Love is not Divine Truth (Ezekiel 33:8-9; Matthew 28:19-20; John 7:24; 8:32, 36; 14:15; I Corinthians 13:4-8a, esp. 6b; Ephesians 4:14-15); and WHEREAS, anyone, who desires to experience this newfound freedom and cleansing power in Christ, must first acknowledge his/her sinfulness and confess it before God (Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; Joel 2:18; John 16:7-11; II Thessalonians 2:10-12; I John 1:8-10); and WHEREAS, in every reference to the practice of homosexuality in the Scriptures such practice is deemed contrary to God’s holy character and unnatural in its behavior (Genesis 19, cf. Jude 7; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:24-27; I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Timothy 1:8-11; 6:20-21); and WHEREAS, the consistent Christian practice through the centuries has affirmed the Biblical judgment of homosexuality (St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Luther); and WHEREAS, the founder of our Methodist Church, John Wesley, writes: “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out. What was their fundamental doctrine? That the (entire) Bible is the WHOLE AND SOLE RULE BOTH OF CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE” (“Thoughts Upon Methodism” by John Wesley, emphasis added); and WHEREAS, The 2016 Discipline of the United Methodist Church says, “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” (Paragraph 304.3), and some annual conference Boards of Ordained Ministry do not even ask the questions concerning sexuality; and WHEREAS, the issue of homosexuality has been an on-going struggle causing confusion within our own United Methodist Church for the past 46 years resulting in pastors and bishops officiating at samesex ceremonies and the election of a practicing lesbian as a bishop (Karen Oliveto, Western Jurisdiction), without experiencing meaningful repercussions for their disobedience; and WHEREAS, our homosexually inclined brothers and sisters’ rights to this liberating Truth of the Gospel are being denied due to the ambiguity of previous actions and most recently the overt defiance of The Book of Discipline by our leadership on all levels of our Church. THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that we as the United Methodist Church affirm our mission and call as a part of the church of Jesus Christ is not only to share God’s love, grace and forgiveness (John 13:34-35), but it is also a call to His holiness (I Peter 1:13-16). BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, at the 2018 session of the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, that we, as a Conference, petition the 2019 General Conference to affirm and uphold the provisions in our 2016 Book of Discipline and the repeated actions of previous General Conferences. We petition the 2019 General Conference to hold our leadership accountable (in light of the Judicial Council’s decisions of April, 2017, especially 1341), mandating them to fulfill their responsibility in implementing these provisions. We further petition the 2019 General Conference to mandate that each individual Board of Ordained Ministry ask the disciplinary questions on sexuality to each and every candidate and examine the truthfulness of each candidate’s response, as we in Truth compassionately minister to the LGBTQ community and the world with God’s love, grace, mercy and justice. Furthermore, we petition the 2019 General Conference to affirm the biblical truth that the practice of


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homosexuality is contrary to God’s standard of holiness and reaffirm Paragraphs 304.3 and 310.2(d) and other relevant paragraphs of 2016 Book of Discipline of not allowing the certification or ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” to serve as an ordained minister or as an appointee to serve in the United Methodist Church. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, all immorality is sin that hinders us from experiencing God’s redemptive love found only in Jesus Christ, and because of the confusion regarding the morality of homosexuality within our culture and Church, let it be known the practice of homosexuality (not the inclination) misses the mark of holy conduct commanded by God in His Word. Furthermore, as to those who are unable to adhere to these Scriptural teachings on the practice of homosexuality and the statutes established in our 2016 Book of Discipline, may they part amicably with a reasonable and fair solution, and may the parting be one of mutual respect, so that the United Methodist Church may have and act as a unified voice concerning the Scriptural Truth regarding the practice of homosexuality. George (Randy) Owen, M.Div. Elder in the Mississippi Annual Conference

4. A Resolution Supporting the Process of the Way Forward and urging Mississippi United Methodists to Remain True to the Vows of our Covenant WHEREAS the United Methodist Church currently finds itself at a place of impasse regarding human sexuality. Because of this, 2016 General Conference asked the Council of Bishops to provide leadership in helping the church discern our connectional structure moving forward, and WHEREAS the Council of Bishops proposed to the General Conference the establishment of the Bishop’s Commission on the Way Forward, which was tasked with studying our current language on human sexuality and proposing solutions to the Council, who in turn would propose legislation to a special-called General Conference meeting February 2019, and WHEREAS only the General Conference can properly speak for the United Methodist Church, and WHEREAS the General Conference has established a procedure and a method for prayerful discernment of what a potential path forward regarding human sexuality, our covenant, and our connectional structure should look like, and WHEREAS clergy persons have made a promise to uphold and live by the United Methodist Book of Discipline, and within their examination are asked the historic questions, which they affirm, including these three: 11. Have you studied our form of Church discipline and polity? 12. Do you approve our Church government and polity? 13. Will you support and maintain them? AND WHEREAS in membership every member of the United Methodist Church affirmed these vows: As members of Christ’s universal church, will you be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church, and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries? WHEREAS through these affirmations and vows we have made a sacred covenant with God and with each other, and WHEREAS another person breaking their covenant and vow to God and each other does not release us from our covenant, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we as Clergy and Lay Members of the Mississippi Annual Conference support and pray for our Bishop, James Swanson, our delegates to General Conference, and each other; That we covenant to be in prayer for one another, the United Methodist Church, our Council of Bishops, the Commission on the Way Forward, and our General Conference;


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That we keep our vow that we have made to God and to each other, as clergy and laity and remain loyal the United Methodist Church and follow the process that has been established to lead us at this moment. We do not know the totality of the path laid before us, but we will be faithful to the process laid before us. Rev. Andy Stoddard, Lead Pastor, St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, Madison Rev. John Branning, Lead Pastor, Central United Methodist Church, Meridian Rev. Mike Sims, Coy United Methodist Church, Preston

B. Property Bevill Hill United Methodist Church GCFA# 331391 District # 9251 WHEREAS, a quorum of the members of the Bevill Hill United Methodist Church, on March 25, 2018, in a duly called Church Conference pursuant to The 2016 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, voted to remove their membership in The United Methodist Church effective immediately, and WHEREAS, such removal of membership caused the Bevill Hill United Methodist Church to no longer be able to function as a congregation in compliance with 2016 Discipline paragraph 201 based on the paragraph 213 assessment, and WHEREAS, the Superintendent on April 13, 2018, reported the action of Bevill Hill United Methodist Church and recommended discontinuance of the church, the action was approved by the Bishop and the Cabinet of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, and WHEREAS, pursuant to the 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the real property owned by the Bevill Hill United Methodist Church, has a reverter clause, upon discontinuation of the local church, such real property is hereby released to the original grantor, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the church is officially closed; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any other remaining members’ church memberships be moved to the church of their choice. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Burns United Methodist Church GCFA# 317628 District # 2040 WHEREAS, the Burns United Methodist Church, East Jackson District of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, has faithfully served God, its members, and its community for many years, and WHEREAS, a quorum of the members of the Burns United Methodist Church, on September 10, 2017, in a duly called Church Conference pursuant to The 2016 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, voted to remove their membership in The United Methodist Church effective immediately, and WHEREAS, such removal of membership caused the Burns United Methodist Church to no longer be able to function as a congregation in compliance with 2016 Discipline paragraph 201 based on the paragraph 213 assessment, and WHEREAS, the Superintendent reported the action of Burns United Methodist Church and recommended discontinuance of the church, the action was approved by the Bishop and the Cabinet of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, and WHEREAS, pursuant to the 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the real property owned by the Burns United Methodist Church and cemetery, is held in trust for the benefit of the United Methodist Church and, upon discontinuation of the local church, such real property may be disposed of


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by the Mississippi Conference Trustees of the United Methodist Church, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the church property, buildings and cemetery be transferred to The Trustees of the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Incorporated, a Mississippi nonprofit corporation; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the remaining members’ church memberships be moved to the church of their choice. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Farr’s Chapel United Methodist Church Church #10240 Tupelo District WHEREAS, the Farr’s Chapel United Methodist Church of the New Hope Chickasaw Charge in Chickasaw County, Mississippi and the Tupelo District, started in 1941 as a Methodist Church and place to worship God. The church was built in 1941 on land sold by J. L. Hicks to M. J. Jones, A. J. Jones, J. H. Hogan, Gus Townsend and John Wright, trustees of Farr’s Chapel at that time. WHEREAS, the members of Farr’s Chapel United Methodist Church in a duly called Charge Conference of the New Hope Chickasaw Charge on October 1, 2017 voted to have Farr’s Chapel discontinue functioning as a United Methodist Church, effective November 1, 2017. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in session in Jackson, Mississippi, June 2018, declare the Farr’s Chapel United Methodist Church be discontinued; and BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that any remaining members be officially transferred to the New Hope Chickasaw United Methodist Church Charge, along with membership records and any other historical data and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the land where the church stands be transferred to the Mississippi Conference’s Annual Conference Trustees for disposition. And any funds that would be received from the disposal of the church building and property be distributed in accordance with the Mississippi conference policies in place. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Forest Hill United Methodist Church GCFA# 317903 District # 11270 WHEREAS, the Forest Hill United Methodist Church, West Jackson District of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, has faithfully served God, its members, and its community for many years, and WHEREAS, a quorum of the remaining members of the Forest Hill United Methodist Church, on June 11, 2017, in a duly called Charge Conference pursuant to The 2016 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, voted to discontinue functioning as a congregation of The United Methodist Church effective July 1, 2017, and WHEREAS, such discontinuation of the Forest Hill United Methodist Church, was approved by the Bishop and the Cabinet of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, and WHEREAS, pursuant to the 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the real property owned by the Forest Hill United Methodist Church and cemetery, is held in trust for the benefit of the


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United Methodist Church and, upon discontinuation of the local church, such real property may be disposed of by the Mississippi Conference Trustees of the United Methodist Church, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the church property, buildings and cemetery be transferred to The Trustees of the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Incorporated, a Mississippi nonprofit corporation; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the remaining members’ church memberships be moved to the church of their choice and if no decision is made by July 31, 2017, the remaining memberships will be moved to Leavell Woods United Methodist church. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Louin United Methodist Church GCFA #316910 District #4360 WHEREAS, the Louin United Methodist Church has faithfully served its members and community since 1906; WHEREAS, the few remaining active members of the Louin United Methodist Church met in a duly called Church Conference on May 24, 2017 and voted to discontinue the congregation effective June 26, 2017: WHEREAS, this resolution has the consent of the Bishop and the majority of the Cabinet of the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mississippi Annual Conference in session May 31 – June 2, 2018 declares Louin United Methodist Church to be discontinued. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the remaining, active members of Louin United Methodist Church, at a called charge conference on June 26, 2017, withdrew their membership in the presence of Hattiesburg District Superintendent Cynthia Cross and Meridian District Superintendent Rusty Keen. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that ownership and title of the Louin United Methodist Church building, furnishings, and land will revert back to the grantors, West Jasper County School District. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that monies in church accounts will be transferred to the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Pickens United Methodist Church GCFA# 331562 District # 11141 WHEREAS, the Pickens United Methodist Church, West Jackson District of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, has faithfully served God, its members, and its community for 133 years, and WHEREAS, a quorum of the remaining members of the Pickens United Methodist Church, on April 18, 2018, in a duly called Charge Conference pursuant to The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, voted to discontinue functioning as a congregation of The United Methodist Church effective April 18, 2018, and WHEREAS, such discontinuation of the Pickens United Methodist Church, was approved by the Bishop and the Cabinet of The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, and WHEREAS, all real property has been disposed of by Pickens Unite Methodist Church in compliance with the Discipline,


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THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the church property be transferred to The Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Incorporated, a Mississippi nonprofit corporation; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the remaining members’ church memberships be moved to the church of their choice. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Read’s Chapel United Methodist Church GCFA #316692 District #4361 WHEREAS, the Read’s Chapel United Methodist Church has faithfully served its members and community since 1904; WHEREAS, the few remaining active members of the Read’s Chapel United Methodist Church met in a duly called Church Conference on May 24, 2017 and voted to discontinue the congregation effective June 26, 2017: WHEREAS, this resolution has the consent of the Bishop and the majority of the Cabinet of the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mississippi Annual Conference in session May 31 – June 2, 2018 declares Read’s Chapel United Methodist Church to be discontinued. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the remaining active members of Read’s Chapel United Methodist Church, at a called charge conference on June 26, 2017, withdrew their membership in the presence of Hattiesburg District Superintendent Cynthia Cross and Meridian District Superintendent Rusty Keen. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ownership and title of the Read’s Chapel United Methodist Church building, furnishings, and land will go to the Cemetery Association. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that monies in church accounts will be transferred to the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

St Rock Methodist Church Seashore District WHEREAS, the St Rock United Methodist Church of the Seashore District has had a long and proud history of serving God, its community and members, and WHEREAS, the members of the St Rock United Methodist Church have experienced a major decline in membership, attendance and finances and are no longer able to continue to be a regular place of worship, and WHEREAS, the Bishop and Cabinet voted “ad interim” at the cabinet meeting on November 15, 2017 pursuant to the 2016 Discipline paragraph 2549.3 (b) to close the St Rock United Methodist Church effective November 30, 2017, and WHEREAS, the Seashore District Church Location and Building Committee and District Trustees have conducted a viability study, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the remaining members of St Rock United Methodist Church transfer their membership to a church of their choice. and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the St Rock United Methodist Church cease to exist, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED The District Superintendent Jim Fisher is authorized by the Bishop and cabinet to close any and all bank and/or investment accounts and transfer any funds to the Seashore


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District for payment of all bills of the St Rock United Methodist Church at closure and with any remaining funds pay any outstanding Clergy Pension Benefits and 2017 Conference Mission Shares in accordance with Conference policies and finally any remaining amount to be transferred to the Annual Conference Treasurer for deposit into Vital Congregations Funds in accordance with conference policy Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Unity United Methodist Church GCFA #318667 District #02 East Jackson WHEREAS, the Unity United Methodist Church, East Jackson District of The United Methodist Church, has faithfully served God, its members and community for many years, and WHEREAS, all of the remaining members of the Unity United Methodist Church have previously transferred their membership to other United Methodist Churches, and WHEREAS, the Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton conducted a viability assessment under Paragraph 213 of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (2016) and has recommended that the Unity United Methodist Church be discontinued as a congregation of the United Methodist Church, and WHEREAS, such discontinuation of the Unity United Methodist Church, has been submitted for approval by the Bishop and the Cabinet of the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and WHEREAS, pursuant to The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (2016), the real property owned by Unity United Methodist Church, I held in trust for the benefit of The United Methodist Church and, upon discontinuation of the local church, such real property may be disposed of by the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that pursuant to Paragraph 2549(b) of the Discipline, the Unity United Methodist Church is hereby discontinued as a congregation of the United Methodist Church effective immediately. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the church property and buildings be transferred to Unity Methodist Church Cemetery Association, a Mississippi non profit corporation. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

Wesley United Methodist Church: Brooksville Circuit Starkville District WHEREAS, the Wesley United Methodist Church of the Brooksville circuit of the Starkville District has had a long and proud history of serving God, its community and members, and WHERE AS, the members of the Wesley United Methodist Church have experienced a major decline a membership, attendance and finances and are no longer able to continue to be a regular place of worship, and WHEREAS, the Bishop and Cabinet voted “ad interim” at the cabinet meeting on November 15, 2017 pursuant to the 2016 Discipline paragraph 2549.3 (b) to close the Wesley United Methodist Church effective December 30, 2017, and WHEREAS, the Starkville District Church Location and Building Committee and District Trustees have conducted a viability study, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the remaining members of Wesley United Methodist Church transfer their membership to one of the remaining churches on the Brooksville Circuit (Baldwin UMC or Drake Hill UMC) or to a church of their choice.


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BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Wesley United Methodist Church cease to exist. Any remaining cash in the Wesley United Methodist Church checking and/or investment accounts will be distributed first to pay any outstanding Clergy Benefits Invoices and then, 2017 Mission Shares in accordance with Conference policies with any remaining amount to be transferred to the Annual Conference Treasurer for deposit into Vital Congregations Funds in accordance with conference policy. Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., Resident Bishop Reverend Embra K. Jackson, Dean of the Cabinet Reverend Stephen T. Cook, Secretary of the Cabinet

C. Changes in Charge Lines 2018 Brookhaven District Woodville-Macedonia will now be known as Woodville East Jackson District Burns-Gasque Chapel-Pleasant Hill will now be known as Gasque Chapel-Pleasant Hill Greenwood District Benoit Pace Charge will now be known as Benoit Winona: Haven will now be known as Winona: Haven/Jones Chapel Charge Greenwood: Decell move Jones Chapel to Winona: Haven/Jones Chapel Charge Inverness/Isola Charge will now be known as Inverness UMC Hattiesburg District Laurel: St Paul will now be known as Laurel: St Paul / Mallalieu Laurel: Mallalieu will now be known as Blue Ridge / Smith Chapel Meridian District Union will now be known as Union / Lake Charge Pleasant Hill will now be known as Pleasant Hill, Spring Hill and Wesley Chapel Charge Spring Hill/Wesley Chapel will now be known as Pleasant Hill, Spring Hill and Wesley Chapel Charge Wesley Chapel/Wesley will now be known as Wesley Chapel -Scooba Charge Lauderdale will now be known as Lauderdale-Marion Charge Marion / Sageville will now be known as Sageville Haven Chapel / Tabernacle will now be known as Haven Chapel DeSoto-Quitman Circuit will now be known as Tabernacle / Desoto Quitman Circuit Pachuta / McGowan Chapel will now be known as Pachuita-McGowan Chapel/Hopewell: Rose Hill Rose Hill: Hopewell will now be known as Pachuita-McGowan Chapel/Hopewell: Rose Hill Starkville District Macon: Mt. Moriah will now be known as Mt. Moriah: Wrights Chapel Charge Crawford: Wrights Chapel will now be known as Mt. Moriah: Wrights Chapel Charge Louisville: Wesley will now be known as Louisville: Hopewell-Wesley Charge Louisville: Hopewell will now be known as Louisville: Hopewell-Wesley Charge Webster Circuit: Dumas Chapel, Piney Jordan, Pleasant Hill, St Stephen will now be known as St. Stephen Webster Circuit: Dumas Chapel, Piney Jordan, Pleasant Hill, St Stephen will now be known as Dumas Chapel: Pleasant Hill Charge Tupelo District Aberdeen St Peter Charge will now be known as St Peter Valley Chapel Charge


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Conference Directory Section will be added after 2018 AC Session

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Section XIII

Standing Rules 2018 Proposed Amendments to the Standing Rules of The Mississippi Annual Conference 1. Amend Standing Rule #1, Paragraph I. as follows: There shall be a Consent Calendar for the session of the Annual Conference composed of items to be “moved to the record without reading” and such other items which do not necessarily require deliberation by the Conference in open session. The Committee on the Annual Conference, under the direction of (T)he Bishop and Conference Secretary shall determine items to be placed on the Consent Calendar and shall distribute a list of those items in the pre-conference materials. Items placed on the Consent Calendar shall be limited to items requiring a simple majority vote for adoption. The Consent Calendar shall be presented to the floor of the Annual Conference during the opening business session by the Conference Secretary for consideration and adoption. Prior to adoption, a request may be made to the Conference Secretary to remove any item from the consent agenda. This request must have the support of 10 members of the Annual Conference. This request being in order, the item shall be removed and considered at an appropriate time as determined by the Conference Secretary and presiding Bishop. Rationale: This strike reflects that the majority of the members that serve on the Committee on the Annual Conference have no role in the working of the agenda and/or business of the session. Submitted by: Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary 2. Amend Standing Rule #2, Paragraph C. as follows: When necessary, additional at-large members, as certified by the conference secretary, shall be named by the district superintendent in consultation with the district lay leader, to assure an equal number of lay and clergy members as set forth in The Book of Discipline. If not voting members in their own right, all Directors and Senior Conference Staff, including the Executive Director of the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, shall serve as equalizing members. Additional equalizing members may include; Chairpersons of all Conference Boards, Committees, Councils and Commissions (if laypersons), District Presidents of the United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, and United Methodist Youth; and District Directors of Lay Servants, and all lay members of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration. Priority shall be given to consideration and election of additional young adult and youth members. When the number to be elected is unequal to the number of districts, the district(s) with the larger memberships shall elect an additional member in order of size. The Annual Conference shall provide their per diem expenses. Rationale: This addition will allow for all the members of CF&A to be present, if needed, for budgetary considerations. Submitted by: David Stotts, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer 3. Amend Standing Rule 4. Paragraph C. 3. as follows: Connecting Ministries Group: (Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications, Rule # 20) Staff, boards, agencies and committees work together to uphold and promote the shared Mississippi Partnerships and ministries of the Annual Conference, Jurisdictional Conference, and General Conference as each local church embodies our Core Values. The committees and groups associated with this area include: ■ United Methodist Women ■ United Methodist Men ■ Commission on Communication ■ Board of Global Ministries (which includes functions of Missions, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and Health and Welfare, Board of Discipleship and Camping Ministries)


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Congregations for Children Personnel Committee ■ Journal Committee ■ Committee on Resolutions and Petitions ■ Conference Committee on Standing Rules Rationale: This strike reflects more accurately the work of Journal compilation. This committee is not required by the Discipline, and has not be utilized in Journal production in several years Submitted by: Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary 4. Amend Rule 7. as follows: A. Procedures: Resolutions and Petitions initiated by the Cabinet or in one of the duly constituted conference councils, boards, commissions, committees, or agencies are properly before the Annual Conference without the necessity of referral. All resolutions and petitions presented to the Annual Conference which do not originate in the cabinet or in one of the duly constituted conference councils, boards, commissions, committees, or agencies shall be submitted electronically to the Conference Secretary and to the conference office 20 business days prior to the opening business session of Annual Conference. These resolutions or petitions shall be referred to the Conference Committee on Resolutions and Petitions for concurrence, non-concurrence, amendment, or appropriate referral; and the committee shall report back to the Annual Conference. Any submissions following the deadline will be referred to the Committee on Resolutions and Petitions for consideration at the following Annual Conference. B. All individual or groups presenting Resolutions or Petitions following the March 31 deadline will be responsible for print copies for all members of the Annual Conference and for submitting a copy to the Conference Secretary prior to the opening business session of Annual Conference. Any submissions following the opening session will be referred to the Committee on Resolutions and Petitions for consideration at the following Annual Conference. C. B. Conference Action: Resolutions and petitions shall lie on the table for at least 24 hours after being presented prior to being considered by the Annual Conference. As each resolution or petition comes up for consideration, the Conference Committee on Resolutions and Petitions shall present its position and the underlying rationale. If present, the first and last floor speaker shall be the designated representative for the person or organization that submitted the proposal, irrespective of any other limit placed by the Annual Conference on debate of the proposal. The conference committee shall make a statement after all floor speakers but prior to the final vote by the Annual Conference Rationale: This addition and strike allow a more feasible schedule for the Committee on Petitions and Resolutions to prayerfully reflect upon submissions prior to presentation to the Session of the Annual Conference. Submitted by: Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary 5. Amend Rule 13. Paragraph G. as follows: The committee shall prepare and submit its quadrennial report to the Conference Secretary by March 31 for publication in the Pre-Conference Journal. Rationale: This strike allows a more realistic schedule for the complete work of the Committee to be done and properly vetted. Submitted by: Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary 6. Amend Rule 17 as follows: The resident bishop may appoint a clergy member in full connection to serve as Administrative Assistant to the Bishop. The Bishop’s assistant shall be a member of the Cabinet. and have the same limit on term of service as District Superintendents. The Administrative Assistant to the Bishop shall serve to fulfill such administrative functions as the bishop shall assign. This position may include working with the Advocacy groups, the Administrative Review Committee, the Conference Committee on Episcopacy and the Episcopal Residence Committee. The position shall be accountable to the bishop and the Conference Personnel Committee. Rationale: This strike allows us to be in alignment with the other Director positions on the Extended Cabinet. Submitted by: Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary ■ ■


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7. Strike Rule 23 B. as follows: B. A true copy of the proposal and resolution shall be submitted to the Conference Secretary by March 31 to be printed in the Pre-Conference Journal and distributed to the members of the Annual Conference. Rationale: This strike allows us to be in alignment with the current process as outlined in Paragraph A. Submitted by: Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary 8. Amend Rule 24 as follows: At the end of the last paragraph add the following: “The Trustees shall pay for the closing expenses and care of the abandoned or closed property and selling expenses out of a fund that is made up of 10% of each sale plus any additional required funds from the apportioned Trustee budget. After the payment of the 10% for operational expenses, the balance shall be split equally (45% to each) of Faith Community Formation in the conference and in the district from which the property resided. These funds are restricted in the conference and district as provided by the Discipline paragraph 2549.” Rationale: This brings the Standing Rules in agreement with the Trustees Report from previous years, as well as current accepted methods. Submitted by: David Stotts, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer 9. Amend Rule 25 as follows: All trustees or directors of institutions related to or belonging to The Mississippi Annual Conference shall be elected by the Annual Conference upon nominations made in accordance with the pertinent paragraphs of The Book of Discipline. When the election is otherwise provided for in the charter of an institution, this rule shall not apply; in which case, however, the names of the trustees shall be submitted to The Mississippi Annual Conference for ratification. The Board of Higher Education and Campus ministry will work in consultation with the appropriate campus ministry boards as they elect new trustees or directors. The Camping Ministries Committee Coordinator, in consultation with the trustees/directors of conference camping facilities, shall serve in an advisory capacity to the conference nominating process for selecting trustees/directors of those institutions. Rationale: This addition reflects the relationship between foundation boards and Higher Education and Campus ministry as well as accurately reflects the current Conference structure. Submitted by: Rev. Trey Harper, Conference Secretary

A. Standing Rules The Mississippi Annual Conference Preface “The Annual Conference, for its own government, may adopt rules and regulations not in conflict with the Discipline of The United Methodist Church;” (Par. 604, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2008, hereinafter referred to as The Book of Discipline.) The Annual Conference is incorporated under the laws of the State of Mississippi as The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Incorporated, a non-profit corporation. All references to “Conference” or “Annual Conference” shall mean The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Incorporated. Purpose and Core Values In addition to the Mission, as defined by the Book of Discipline, the Mississippi Annual Conference – empowered by love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship – forms spiritual leaders, faith communities and connections so more disciples of Jesus Christ transform the world. Rule 1: Rules of Procedure and Voting A. The Annual Conference shall be ordered by The Book of Discipline and Wesley’s Rules. In addition, the Standing Rules of the Annual Conference, the Rules of Order of the preceding General Conference and the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall provide guidance. For the purpose of transacting business, the quorum shall be those present and eligible to vote. B. The official roll call of the Annual Conference shall be those who have registered and received voting badges. The record of attendance shall be made from this roll.


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C. Lay members of boards, councils, commissions and committees; lay members of the Conference Staff, and lay persons who are heads of Conference Institutions supported by the Annual Conference, who are not members of the Annual Conference, shall have the privilege of the floor without vote. D. A copy of any motion made on the floor of the Annual Conference must be submitted in writing to the Conference Secretary as soon as the person making the motion returns to his or her seat. E. Any report of a board, council, commission or committee duly presented to the Annual Conference for its action shall be deemed properly before the Conference without the necessity of a motion to adopt and a second thereto. F. At any session of the Annual Conference there shall be Tellers which shall conduct voting as the Annual Conference directs. The Tellers shall include (1) clergy and (1) lay person from each district, nominated by the District Superintendent. The Tellers shall be organized under the direction of the Conference Secretary. G. Voting shall be by voice or by show of hands or otherwise as ordered by the Bishop as chair of the Conference. A standing, balloted, or electronic vote may be ordered on call of the presiding Bishop when necessary. Voting for the election of Lay and Clergy Delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences shall be organized by the Conference Secretary according to the appropriate guidelines as set forth by the Annual Conference. H. The Annual Conference, at the request of the Conference Secretary, shall fix the voting area, also known as the bar of the Conference, at the opening business session and all voting must take place within this designated area. Voting shall be by official badge only. Only those members with the proper badges who are within the bar of the Conference shall vote on Annual Conference matters. I. There shall be a Consent Calendar for the session of the Annual Conference composed of items to be “moved to the record without reading” and such other items which do not necessarily require deliberation by the Conference in open session. The Committee on the Annual Conference, under the direction of the Bishop and Conference Secretary shall determine items to be placed on the Consent Calendar and shall distribute a list of those items in the pre-conference materials. Items placed on the Consent Calendar shall be limited to items requiring a simple majority vote for adoption. The Consent Calendar shall be presented to the floor of the Annual Conference during the opening business session by the Conference Secretary for consideration and adoption. Prior to adoption, a request may be made to the Conference Secretary to remove any item from the consent agenda. This request must have the support of 10 members of the Annual Conference. This request being in order, the item shall be removed and considered at an appropriate time as determined by the Conference Secretary and presiding Bishop.

Annual Conference Membership & Expenses

Rule 2: Conference membership shall consist of the following: A. Clergy Membership shall include those identified in The Book of Discipline B. Lay membership shall include those identified in The Book of Discipline. C. Equalizing lay and clergy membership: When necessary, additional at-large members, as certified by the conference secretary, shall be named by the district superintendent in consultation with the district lay leader, to assure an equal number of lay and clergy members as set forth in The Book of Discipline. If not voting members in their own right, all Directors and Senior Conference Staff, including the Executive Director of the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, shall serve as equalizing members. Additional equalizing members may include; Chairpersons of all Conference Boards, Committees, Councils and Commissions (if laypersons), District Presidents of the United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, and United Methodist Youth; and District Directors of Lay Servants. Priority shall be given to consideration and election of additional young adult and youth members. When the number to be elected is unequal to the number of districts, the district(s) with the larger memberships shall elect an additional member in order of size. The Annual Conference shall provide their per diem expenses.


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The Conference Council on Finance and Administration shall provide funding for the expenses of the Annual Conference. Rule 3: Committee on the Annual Conference The Bishop shall gather and convene this committee to develop the Annual Conference agenda, program, worship, and local arrangements.

Annual Conference Order

Rule 4: Annual Conference Order A. The basic Conference Order shall be established in compliance with The Book of Discipline. B. The Vital Congregations Committee is a discernment body that ensures the ongoing effectiveness and Oneness of Annual Conference churches, ministries and committees. The committee will recommend future directions and/or improvements as determined in part by feedback from charge conferences and goal achievements from the three groups (spiritual leader formation, faith community formation and connecting ministries). The committee also seeks to keep the Annual Conference focused on long-term, big picture items like living into the Purpose (including the Core Values). This body seeks to represent the needs and interests of the local church in a wide diversity of ministry contexts rather than conference roles. The Extended Cabinet will nominate membership. Membership is comprised of nine churches (each represented by a pastor plus a lay member). Selection is informed by Vital Signs metrics and a demonstrated presence of the Core Values. There will be an intentional effort to ensure diversity of church size, race/ethnicity and area (north, central, south), gender and age. The Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications convenes this committee and the Bishop and Conference Lay Leader resource as non-voting members. C. The following Operational Groups will serve to conduct the ongoing administration and mission of the Annual Conference in compliance with the current discipline and as further detailed in Appendices A and B and current Conference Structure. 1. Spiritual Leadership Group: (Director of Spiritual Leadership Formation, Rule #18) Staff, boards and committees work together to continually call, equip, assess and deploy excellent clergy and laity into all areas of vital ministry. The committees associated with this area include: : n Board of Ordained Ministry n Board Committee on Equitable Compensation n Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry n Board of Laity, including Lay Servant Ministries, United Methodist Men representatives, United Methodist Women representatives and representatives from the Conference Council on Youth Ministries n Conference Council on Youth Ministries n Collaborative Spiritual Leadership Team made up of an equal representation of Clergy and Lay appointed by the Director of Spiritual Leadership. They will be tasked with assessing, developing and evaluating spiritual leadership formation experiences for lay and clergy and other Board of Discipleship responsibilities as appropriate. 2. Faith Community Formation Group: (Director of Faith Community Formation, Rule #19) Staff, District Superintendents and committees work together to lead and assist in the development of vital communities of faith by creating new faith communities and encouraging vitality in existing communities of faith. The committees associated with this area include: n Faith Community Formation Team n Committee on New Church Starts and Revitalization (which includes functions of the Board of Discipleship, the Commission on Small Membership Church, the Committee on Parish and Community Development) 3. Connecting Ministries Group: (Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications, Rule # 20) Staff, boards, agencies and committees work together to uphold and promote the shared Mississippi Partnerships and ministries of the Annual Conference, Jurisdictional Conference,


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and General Conference as each local church embodies our Core Values. The committees and groups associated with this area include: n United Methodist Women n United Methodist Men n Commission on Communication n Board of Global Ministries (which includes functions of Missions, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and Health and Welfare, Board of Discipleship and Camping Ministries) n Congregations for Children n Personnel Committee n Journal Committee n Committee on Resolutions and Petitions n Conference Committee on Standing Rules n Conference Committee on Standing Rules 4. Administry Group: (Director of Finance and Administration/Conference Benefits Officer) Staff, and committees work together to support and resource the ministries of the Annual Conference. The committees associated with this area include: n Conference Council on Finance and Administration n Conference Board of Pensions n Board of Trustees n Board of Medical Benefits n Commission on Archives and History n Joint Committee on Clergy Medical Leave 5. Episcopal Office Group: (Resident Bishop and Assistant to the Bishop) Staff and committees work together to perform the traditional work of the Episcopal Office, as well as the work of Advocacy throughout the Annual Conference. The committees associated with this area include: n Conference Administrative Review Committee n Conference Committee on Episcopacy n Episcopal Residence Committee n Conference Advocacy Groups including Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, Conference Committee on Ethnic Local Church Concerns, Commission on Religion and Race, Commission on the Status and Role of Women and Multicultural and Racial/Ethnic Ministry (which includes functions of Hispanic/Latino Ministry and Native American Ministry), Church and Society and Committee on Disability Concerns.

Annual Conference Reports

Rule 5: Reports A. The pastors shall file the annual statistical report for each church served, as directed by the conference statistician. B. Reports originating in Annual Conference agencies and groups that are to be presented to the Annual Conference for action or information shall be submitted electronically to the Conference Secretary or his/her designee by the date set for Pre-Conference Journal production. Rule 6: Conference Committee on Standing Rules The committee shall review the Standing Rules annually and make recommendations regarding Standing Rules to the Annual Conference. The recommendations shall lie on the table to be considered and acted upon the next day. The committee shall be authorized to make non-substantive, editorial changes as needed.


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Rule 7: Resolutions and Petitions A. Procedures: Resolutions and Petitions initiated by the Cabinet or in one of the duly constituted conference councils, boards, commissions, committees, or agencies are properly before the Annual Conference without the necessity of referral. All resolutions and petitions presented to the Annual Conference which do not originate in the cabinet or in one of the duly constituted conference councils, boards, commissions, committees, or agencies shall be submitted electronically the Conference Secretary and to the conference office by March 31 for printing in the Pre-Conference Journal. These resolutions or petitions shall be referred to the Conference Committee on Resolutions and Petitions for concurrence, non-concurrence, amendment, or appropriate referral; and the committee shall report back to the Annual Conference. B. All individual or groups presenting Resolutions or Petitions following the March 31 deadline will be responsible for print copies for all members of the Annual Conference and for submitting a copy to the Conference Secretary prior to the opening business session of Annual Conference. Any submissions following the opening session will be referred to the Committee on Resolutions and Petitions for consideration at the following Annual Conference. C. Conference Action: Resolutions and petitions shall lie on the table for at least 24 hours after being presented prior to being considered by the Annual Conference. As each resolution or petition comes up for consideration, the Conference Committee on Resolutions and Petitions shall present its position and the underlying rationale. If present, the first and last floor speaker shall be the designated representative for the person or organization that submitted the proposal, irrespective of any other limit placed by the Annual Conference on debate of the proposal. The conference committee shall make a statement after all floor speakers but prior to the final vote by the Annual Conference. Rule 8: Budget Changes at Annual Conference The Proposed Budget, as presented to the Annual Conference by the Committee on Finance and Administration, will be required to lie on the table for 24 hours before final adoption. When any proposal is brought to the floor of Annual Conference to change the budget that is lying on the table and is approved, the amendment to the budget must be referred to CFA for a funding recommendation before the final vote on the budget is taken.

Elections

As mandated and defined by the Book of Discipline, paragraphs 140 and 502A, the Mississippi Annual Conference will endeavor to ensure that all elected representation will be a fair and inclusive depiction of the Conference. Rule 9: Election of Clergy Delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences The following system of nomination and election shall be followed in the election of clergy delegates: A. Clergy delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences shall be elected from the ordained ministerial members in full connection, pursuant to the provisions of the Book of Discipline, with the exception of clergy on Involuntary Leave of Absence. B. All eligible clergy members shall be listed on the ballot prepared by the Conference Secretary. Those wishing not to be considered for election have the right to decline. C. All clergy who accept their election express their willingness to be a nominee, to attend and participate in the conferences as elected, and to attend all meetings and trainings of the delegation. D. Delegates elected to serve for the General Conference shall automatically serve on the delegation for Jurisdictional Conference. The remaining delegates to Jurisdictional Conference shall serve as alternates, in order of election, to General Conference Rule 10: Election of Lay Delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences The following system of nomination and election shall be followed in the election of lay delegates: A. Lay delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences shall be elected from the voting membership of the Annual Conference.


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B. Each lay member who wishes to be considered for election must electronically submit a completed nomination form to the Conference Secretary on or before March 1 of the election year to allow proper time for verification of election qualifications. District Equalizing delegates appointed after the March 1st deadline may apply for an extension in writing to the Conference Secretary. All nominees shall be required to have an endorsement by a District Board of Laity, District Council, Conference Organization, or an Administrative Board/Council of a local church. C. Nominations forms shall include biographical information including age, race, gender, prior years elected to General and/or Jurisdictional Conferences, participation on boards, councils, commissions or committees of the Annual Conference, and a written summary of qualifications of up to fifty (50) words in length by the nominee. D. All nominees express their willingness to be a nominee, to attend and participate in the conferences as elected, and to attend all meetings and trainings of the delegation. E. Delegates elected to serve for the General Conference shall automatically serve on the delegation for Jurisdictional Conference. The remaining delegates to Jurisdictional Conference shall serve as alternates, in order of election, to General Conference Rule 11: Official Journal and Yearbook The Journal Editor, under the direction of the Conference Secretary, shall be responsible for editing and publishing the Annual Conference Journal each year and shall work in cooperation with the Office of Connectional Ministries and Communications to contract and draw funds from the Conference Administration Fund for the cost of preparing and distributing the Journal. The Secretary shall recommend to the Annual Conference the material to be included in both the Pre-Conference and Official Journals. In addition, the Conference Secretary, in cooperation with the Office of Connectional Ministries and Communications, will release a schedule for the submission of information for the production of both the Pre-Conference and Official Journals. Electronic copies will be provided to the clergy and laity members of the Annual Conference. Access to hard copies will be provided to retired ministers. Rule 12: Memoirs Memoirs shall be published in the conference Journal for deceased ordained clergy, diaconal ministers, and local pastors, their spouses, and their dependent children. A bronze plaque is to be presented by the Conference Board of Pensions to the families of deceased clergy.

Conference Leadership Groups and Nominations

Rule 13: Conference Committee on Nominations A. There shall be a Conference Committee on Nominations of twenty-two (22) members composed of two representatives (one clergy and one laity) from each district. They will be nominated by the District Superintendents and elected by the Annual Conference, with an emphasis on adequate and fair representation. Additional members shall include: the resident Bishop, the Conference Lay Leader, the Conference President of United Methodist Women, the Conference President of United Methodist Men and the President of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. The Resident Bishop of the Mississippi Annual Conference shall serve as the Chairperson for the Committee on Nominations. Any further officers shall be elected by the Committee at their first meeting. B. The following shall be ex-officio members and resource the work of the committee: The Director of Spiritual Leadership, the Director of Faith Community Formation, the Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications, the Director of Finance and Administration, the chairperson of the Commission of the Status and Role of Women, the chairperson of the Commission on Religion and Race, the Chairperson of the Committee on Disability Concerns and the Dean of the Cabinet. C. The committee shall make the following nominations for the Annual Conference: a secretary, a statistician, trustees of property, a lay leader, members of all quadrennial councils, boards, commissions, and committees as specified by The Book of Discipline and Annual Conference Standing Rules. When the Book of Discipline or Standing Rules require nominations be made by other agencies of


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the Annual Conference, those nominations shall be reported to the Committee for publication in Pre-Conference and Official Journals. D. Nominations of chairpersons of all quadrennial boards, councils, commissions, and committees, whose election is not prescribed by the Book of Discipline or other sections of these Standing Rules shall be a nominated member of that board, council, commission or committee and shall be submitted by the Committee on Nominations to the Annual Conference for election. Additional officers shall be elected by the board, council, commission or committee at the first regular meeting. E. Current members of the Committee on Nominations shall not be nominated for membership on any board, council, commission or committee whose membership arises from the nominations of this committee. Ex-officio members of the Committee on Nominations are excluded from this rule. F. The committee, in making nominations, shall develop a process that ensures inclusive representation on all councils, boards, and commissions; and may choose to add up to three additional persons on any board, commission, or committee to ensure inclusiveness or expertise. G. The committee shall prepare and submit its quadrennial report to the Conference Secretary by March 31 for publication in the Pre-Conference Journal. H. Within 90 days, after the adjournment of Annual Conference all conference boards, committees, commissions, and councils shall meet and elect officers. The bishop shall appoint a convener and a nominating committee for those boards, committees, or commissions that are designated by the Book of Discipline to elect their own officers. I. Nominations from the floor: The privilege of nominating from the floor shall be reserved for members of the Annual Conference and shall be referred to the Committee on Nominations to ensure that all requirements, guidelines and equality mandates are met. Rule 14: Conference Committee on Personnel There shall be a committee on personnel policy and practices which shall consist of a chairperson nominated by the committee on nominations, the Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications, the Conference Treasurer, the Director of Faith Community Formation, the Director of Spiritual Leadership, the Assistant to the Bishop, two lay persons with specific expertise in the field of human relations, personnel, and compensation, and a member designated by each of the following: the Council on Finance and Administration, the Board of Pensions, the Board of Medical Benefits, the Board of Ordained Ministry, the Committee on Religion and Race the Conference Board of Laity, and the Cabinet. At least one of the clergy must be serving in a multi-staff appointment. The duties of the Conference Committee on Personnel shall be to establish uniform and equitable policies and practices in the employment and compensation of personnel, in consultation and cooperation with the aforementioned bodies. These policies and practices shall be in accordance with the Social Principles (¶ 162 A, E, F, G, H and I). The committee shall receive and review the rationale for any new position and be satisfied that existing funding to finance the position is available or appropriate plans to acquire the same are being followed. No member of the committee shall participate in discussions, deliberations or vote on any issue which directly affects any aspect of that member’s or that member’s immediate family’s compensated employment. (¶ 613.13 as interpreted by Judicial Council Decision 952). Rule 15: Expectations of Conference Leadership Groups A. Tenure: Unless The Book of Discipline or institutional charters direct otherwise, no clergy or layperson shall serve more than eight consecutive years on any quadrennial council, board, commission, committee, or board of directors or trustees; further, each member shall not be renominated until four years has lapsed. B. Limitation of Membership: No clergy or layperson shall serve on more than one quadrennial body, provided that this rule does not apply to those committees which function only during sessions of the Annual Conference or to ex-officio members. C. Conflict of Interest: It is provided that members of committees are to avoid any conflict of interest in their service and therefore, any member who serves on a committee, commission, board or council who has a personal interest in, or is a recipient of a grant, loan or other monetary award to either


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that member, or to the church she/he serves, which is paid from that committee’s disbursements, shall not vote on considerations affecting his or her position and shall abstain from participating in the discussion regarding the same. D. Attendance at Meetings: Elected members of a council, board, commission, or committee shall forfeit membership when they are absent from two consecutive regular meetings of which they have been duly notified, unless they have notified the chairperson of valid reasons for nonattendance. E. Unless otherwise provided in The Book of Discipline, a vacancy in the membership of a board, council, commission, or committee may be filled, ad-interim, by the board, council, commission or committee, with the approval of the Extended Cabinet for the remainder of the Conference year in which the vacancy occurs. At its next session, the Annual Conference shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. The respective board, council, commission or committee shall inform the Committee on Nominations of the vacancy and action by the Extended Cabinet. F. Open Meetings: Unless otherwise provided in The Book of Discipline, the meetings of councils, boards, commissions, committees, and boards of directors or trustees shall be open to all members of The United Methodist Church within the conference. This rule does not apply to cabinet meetings. Those planning to attend a stated meeting shall give the chairperson at least a week’s notice, so that adequate space can be provided. Persons attending such meetings shall have the right to speak only with the permission of the body but shall not have the right to vote. The Board of Ordained Ministry shall hold executive sessions for the purpose of examining candidates for conference membership or other relationships under its jurisdiction. Boards of trustees or directors may vote to hold executive sessions when it is deemed necessary.

Annual Conference Staff Rule 16: Extended Cabinet As defined by the resident Bishop, the Extended Cabinet may include, but is not limited to: the District Superintendents, the Assistant to the Bishop, the Conference Lay Leader, the Director of Forming Spiritual Leaders, Director of Faith Community Formation, Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications, the Executive Director of the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation and the Director of Finance and Administration and Conference Benefits Officer. Rule 17: Assistant to the Bishop The resident bishop may appoint a clergy member in full connection to serve as Administrative Assistant to the Bishop. The Bishop’s assistant shall be a member of the Cabinet and have the same limit on term of service as District Superintendents. The Administrative Assistant to the Bishop shall serve to fulfill such administrative functions as the bishop shall assign. This position may include working with the Advocacy groups, the Administrative Review Committee, the Conference Committee on Episcopacy and the Episcopal Residence Committee. The position shall be accountable to the bishop and the Conference Personnel Committee. Rule 18: Director of Spiritual Leadership The resident bishop may appoint a clergy member in full connection to serve as the Director of Spiritual Leadership. This office is charged with the intentional equipping of the saints for the work of discipleship through the ongoing theological and spiritual formation of clergy and laity in the Conference. Additionally, this office helps sow the Core Value of apprenticeship deep in the soil of the Conference. The Director of Spiritual Leadership is supported by Ministerial Administrative Services and by an Associate Director of Spiritual Leadership, who shall be a lay person. The position shall be accountable to the bishop and the Conference Personnel Committee. Rule 19: Director of Faith Community Formation The resident bishop may appoint a clergy member in full connection to serve as the Director of Faith Community Formation. This office will be tasked with the leading and resourcing the creation of vital faith communities. This includes:


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a.) Assisting congregations in measuring their effectiveness and spiritual development in living into the Core Values so churches can be resourced in the areas needed to become perfected in fulfilling God’s calling and b.) Determining where the fields are ripe for the harvest of disciples so that new congregations can be planted. The Director will be assisted by an administrative assistant and up to three Associate Directors of Faith Community Formation accountable to the Director. The director shall be accountable to the bishop and the Personnel Committee Rule 20: Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications The resident bishop may appoint a clergy member in full connection to serve as Director of Connectional Ministries and Communications. The director shall be accountable to the bishop and the Personnel Committee. The director shall exercise oversight and coordination to the conference Connectional Ministries staff, representatives of the Mississippi Partnerships, and work with the conference Vital Congregations Committee, the district staff, and local churches to promote relationships of ministry, service, and mission between and among local congregations for the fulfillment of the primary task of local churches, which is the making of disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, as embodied in the Core Values.

Conference Finances & Property

Rule 21: Fiscal and Administrative Policies The fiscal and administrative year of The Mississippi Annual Conference shall be from January 1 to December 31. The conference Council on Finance and Administration shall develop, maintain, and administer a comprehensive and coordinated plan of fiscal and administrative policies, procedures, and management services for the Annual Conference as set forth in Par. 611.1, The Book of Discipline. Rule 22: Capital Funds Campaigns There shall be only one Annual Conference capital funds campaign during two consecutive quadrennia. The campaign may begin and end at any time during the eight-year period. No pay period may begin sooner than three years from the end of the previously designated pay period. Rule 23: Advanced Notice of Proposed Action When the board of trustees or directors of any institution belonging to, related to, or governed by The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, whether in whole or in part, or any persons or group of persons desiring the approval of authority of The Mississippi Annual Conference on any matter or proposed action concerning the properties or funds of the Annual Conference or institution, the trustees, directors, or persons shall: A. File a written petition and resolution stating concisely the action that is desired and the reasons therefore, no less than sixty (60) days prior to the opening session of the Annual Conference. Copies shall be filed with the following: 1. The presiding bishop, 2. Conference secretary, 3. Chairperson of the Council on Finance and Administration; and 4. Chairperson of the related board or committee which has a responsibility and interest in the proposed action. B. A true copy of the proposal and resolution shall be submitted to the Conference Secretary by March 31 to be printed in the Pre-Conference Journal and distributed to the members of the Annual Conference. C. No conference action shall be taken on any proposal concerning properties or funds of the Annual Conference or any of its institutions unless advance notice is given. Rule 24: Sale of Conference Property When Annual Conference abandoned or closed property is sold, the mineral rights shall be reserved for the Conference with any net proceeds received to be used by the Forming Faith Communities Group. The Book of Discipline Par. 2548.3 indicates that the conference trustees are ultimately responsible


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for the disposition of any abandoned local church property within the bounds of the Annual Conference Rule 25: Trustees/Directors of Conference Institutions All trustees or directors of institutions related to or belonging to The Mississippi Annual Conference shall be elected by the Annual Conference upon nominations made in accordance with the pertinent paragraphs of The Book of Discipline. When the election is otherwise provided for in the charter of an institution, this rule shall not apply; in which case, however, the names of the trustees shall be submitted to The Mississippi Annual Conference for ratification. The Camping Ministries Committee, in consultation with the trustees/directors of conference camping facilities, shall serve in an advisory capacity to the conference nominating process for selecting trustees/directors of those institutions.

District Matters

Rule 26: Number of Districts There shall be eleven (11) districts in The Mississippi Annual Conference. The districts shall organize themselves according to the current Book of Discipline.

Amendments

Rule 27: Standing Rules may be amended by a two-thirds vote of members present and voting at the Annual Conference. During a session of the Annual Conference, all proposed changes to the Standing Rules must be submitted in writing to the Conference Secretary for referral to the Committee on Standing Rules for a response following a period of at least twelve (12) hours for committee deliberation. The Committee on Standing Rules will then present any proposed amendments to the Annual Conference with or without concurrence.


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B. Mississippi Conference Clergy Behavioral Policy Policy on Professional Sexual Misconduct Table of Contents I. Purpose II. Theological Foundation III. Definitions IV. Response Teams Ethics V. Procedure for Reporting and Responding I. Purpose A church professional (see definition in III.E.) is in a position of great trust, power, and responsibility. This provides the opportunity for unique relationships of grace and caring. Church professionals sometimes violate the trust given them. Sexual misconduct is one of the gravest violations of this trust. This policy seeks to address the abuse of power by all church professionals, both men and, women, who engage in sexual misconduct. The intent is to provide guidance to both laity and clergy of the Annual Conference and the local church regarding sexual misconduct. It is both the ethical and legal responsibility of the Annual Conference to ensure that there are mechanisms for addressing grievances in matters of sexual misconduct. This policy, which includes procedures for complaints, will serve to guard against inappropriate behavior and will outline a means for handling grievances should sexual misconduct occur. II. Theological Foundation All persons are created by God. In the Genesis stories, as in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, it is affirmed that we are created in the image and likeness of God. God values human life, intending all women, men and children to have worth and dignity in all relationships with God and others. God calls us into covenant with each other in God. We are one connected body, holy in Christ, created equal. Where one part of the body is injured, physically, emotionally or spiritually, the entire body is rendered less than God’s intended wholeness. We are called to use our bodies, including our sexuality, in a responsible way. Sexual misconduct of any kind violates a person’s integrity and is an unjust use of status and power, and a sinful behavior against God and one another. The United Methodist Book of Resolutions (1996, p. 481) states: “Jesus was sent into this world that we might experience whole relationship with each other and God. `There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28 RSV).” One who repents for sinful behavior is promised forgiveness. However, discipline should be distinguished from forgiveness. A church professional guilty of sexual misconduct needs and may receive forgiveness and be offered avenues for redemption and change. And yet, the church must still take steps to protect the people of God. III. Definitions A. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT occurs when a church professional engages in sexual contact or sexualized behavior with a congregant, client, employee, student, staff member or other person (adult, teenage, or child) within the professional relationship, or misuses the professional relationship in unwanted behavior with any individual. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment and any form of criminal sexual conduct. Sexual misconduct includes inappropriate use of electronic communication (i.e. email, voice mail, Instant Messaging, internet websites) and any deliberate access of pornographic internet sites for the purpose of sexual gratification. B. SEXUAL HARASSMENT is any unwanted sexual advance or demand, either verbal, or physical, which is perceived by what a reasonable person of the same sex as the accuser would perceive


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as demeaning, intimidating or coercive under the same or similar circumstances. “Sexual harassment must be understood as an exploitation of a power relationship rather than as an exclusively sexual issue. Sexual harassment includes, but it not limited to, the creation of a hostile or abusive working environment resulting from discrimination on the basis of gender.” (2004 The Book of Discipline, ¶161,I) Sexually oriented humor or language, inappropriate questions, or comments about sexual behavior or preference, unwelcome or undesired physical contact, inappropriate comments about clothing or physical appearance, or repeated requests for social engagements are sexual harassment in a situation where there is an employment, mentor, or colleague relationship between the persons involved. C. COMPLAINANT is a person who communicates a concern regarding alleged sexual misconduct. D. GRIEVANT is a person who submits a written allegation of sexual misconduct. A grievant may be a parent or responsible party for a minor or an adult incapable of self-reporting. E. For the purposes of this policy, a church professional is a clergy person, diaconal minister, or local pastor whose appointment is set by the Bishop. IV. Ethics Response Teams A. The purposes of the response teams: 1. To provide support to the complainant, the accused, and the congregation affected by allegations or incidents of misconduct. 2. To provide the complainant with a safe, non-threatening environment within the church family in which he/she can reveal allegations of misconduct and receive support, compassion, and direction. 3. To provide support, compassion, and direction for a person accused of misconduct. 4. To offer congregations affected by incidents of misconduct support and recommendations regarding care and healing for their community and the individuals and families involved. 5. To offer information about the misconduct policy to persons who are referred to the response team. B. The makeup of the response teams: 1. A response team or teams may be named by the Bishop. 2. A response team may consist of three or more persons who are sensitive to issues of sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse. A team may include church professionals (clergy or diaconal), mental health professionals and lay persons. Members of a support team may be chosen from within and beyond the Mississippi Annual Conference. 3. Training on issues of misconduct shall be available and the names of persons receiving such training shall be made available to the Bishop. Such training shall be the responsibility of those to whom the Bishop assigns said responsibility. C. Structure and function: 1. A team may be instructed by the Bishop to respond to the needs of any or all of the following: complainant or grievant, the accused professional, the congregation. 2. A team will: a. explain the procedures available within the structures of the church for dealing with the problem; b. offer resources and consultation to the accused professional, the complainant and/or the con gregation and assist in any appropriate manner; c. encourage the person making the allegation to keep a diary listing time, place, and nature of the offenses; d. support the person if they choose to submit a written grievance; e. accompany the person to meetings with the church authorities if he/she desires it. V. Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Complaints of Misconduct A. Anyone who desires to discuss a concern regarding misconduct may contact their pastor, another United Methodist clergy person, a district superintendent, the Bishop, or a person trained to function as a member of a Sexual Ethics Support Team.


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B. The provisions of Paragraphs 362, 413 and 2702-2706 of The Book of Discipline (2004) shall determine the procedure. C. When an allegation of misconduct is subject to mandatory reporting requirements by the state (as in the case of a minor or an adult incapable of self-reporting), it shall be reported to the Bishop, and to the appropriate authorities and agencies. D. When appropriate the Bishop may utilize the services of one or more of the Ethics Response Teams.

C. Parsonage Guidelines Adopted 1990, Edited 2016

Parsonage Standards The Mississippi Conference I. Parsonage Standards—Overview According to the current Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, it is the responsibility of each charge to provide adequate housing for the clergy family. It is understood that parsonages already owned by churches/charges at present may only meet minimal standards. It is expected that safety of the occupants be a matter of highest priority and that parsonages are inspected annually in accordance with the current Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. 1. General Requirements: (1) House shall meet all local building, health, and safety codes. (2) Equipment shall be good quality, dependable, and, when needed, replaced with energy effi cient models. (3) Electrical wiring shall meet International Electrical code. All installations and upgrades will be performed by licensed electrician. (4) Railing shall be installed on all indoor and outdoor stairways, and around any porch more than 30 inches from the ground. (5) Entry door shall have a window or device by which a caller may be observed before door is opened. (6) Locks shall be installed on all exterior doors and windows to reasonably secure the home. (7) There shall be at least one egress window in any basement area used as a living space. (8) If possible, post copies of an emergency escape plan in appropriate places, and on each level of a multi-level house for the benefit of the residing family as well as any guests in the home. 2. Room sizes/Number of rooms Suggested rooms include: (1) Living room or great room (2) Dining room or eating area large enough for 8 or more people (3) Three bedrooms, each with a closet (4) Kitchen (5) Two bathrooms, with available storage in or nearby for linens/supplies (6) Indoor laundry area (7) Shelter for 2 vehicles (8) Secure, dry storage area (9) In a multilevel home, there shall be at least one bedroom with a full bath on the main level to accommodate persons with disabilities living in the home now or in the future


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Suggested Room Sizes: [To be considered if building or buying a new parsonage] Room

Minimum sq feet

Good

Excellent

Living Room

240

280

320

Bedrooms

120

150

210

Dining room

120

150

210

Family room/den

224

255

320

Kitchen

90

140

180

Office/study

80

96

120

Bathrooms

35

50

60

3. Equipment: (1) Climate control: heating and air conditioning (2) Stove/oven (3) Sink and counter space (4) Microwave (5) Exhaust fan in each bathroom, per building code (6) Refrigerator with freezer compartment (7) Automatic washing machine and dryer (8) Hot water heater, 40 gallons or more (9) Combination storm windows and screens (10) Whole house fan, window fans, and /or power fan, if needed (11) Fire escape ladder or other provision for upstairs bedrooms (12) Wired for TV antenna, basic cable, or satellite service access (13) Maintained smoke alarms throughout house (14) Maintained carbon monoxide alarm (15) Current fire extinguishers for kitchen and other required areas (these should be tested annu ally and replaced as necessary) (16) Water conditioner, if needed (17) Dehumidifier in basement and/or other high humidity areas, as needed (18) Annual inspection needed to ensure waterproofing integrity tightness (19) Telephone service with private line. (20) Outdoor lighting, preferably with motion sensor (21) At least one, preferably two, outdoor water spigots, one in front, one in the rear of the house (22) Doorbell at the main entrance 4. Maintenance Recommendation: The church should authorize and conduct a baseline evaluation of property, house and grounds. It is further recommended that this be done by a licensed, professional out side inspector, and updated with a complete audit at least once every ten years. A Parsonage Record Book should be established and maintained by the Board of Trustees to record results, reports, and dates of inspections and corrections. Inspections should be made for the following: (1) Radon gas (2) Condition of any exposed asbestos insulation and siding (3) Formaldehyde foam insulation and paneling (4) Condition of exposed, un-encapsulated lead-based paint (5) Fungus, mildew, molds


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(6) Water purification system, whether whole house or individual faucets provided as deemed necessary by church and clergy (7) Environmental setting, especially if parsonage is near an old industrial complex, any disposal area, or chemical plant. The local health department should be contacted to obtain educational information, and the results of the baseline and periodic setting inspections by a certified environmental inspector/service provider be kept in the Parsonage Record Book (8) Periodic pest control inspection and treatment to ensure the foundation walls, attic eaves, and soffit areas shall be secure to keep out rats, mice, bats, birds, and squirrels. (9) Periodic inspection and treatment for termites and other insects. (10) Inspection of duct work, cleaning as needed (11) Landscaping should be representative of the neighborhood and included in the annual parsonage inspection (12) Church is responsible for any large, permanent plantings such as trees and shrubs, including major pruning and/or replacement (13) Regular schedule for inside painting, outside painting/tuck-pointing (14) Annual hardscape inspection and repairs as needed (15) Annual carpet cleaning (16) Annual fireplace and chimney inspection and cleaning (17) Annual air conditioner (including outside units), furnace, and wiring inspection by licensed contractor Recommendation: Like many standard rental procedures and agreements between landlords and renters in communities across the United States, churches may wish to require proof of such renter’s insurance to cover the pastor’s personal property, including library collection, or a signed waiver of responsibility in case of damage or loss to personal property. Recommendation: Consideration should be given to the budget amount set aside for routine parsonage maintenance and for large, predictable expenses for replacement of mechanicals and roofing. A starting point for consideration may be to annually set aside 2 to 2½ percent of the replacement value of the parsonage in an accruing, interest-bearing account. 5. Pets Pets are acknowledged as “part of the family”. The parsonage family is responsible for any damage done to the parsonage by their pets. 6. In-home Business In the event a parsonage family wants to have a business in a church-owned parsonage, there shall be a contract among the following parties: the District Superintendent, the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, the Trustees, and the parsonage family (statement approved at Annual Conference 2016). 7. Modification of property Changes to the existing parsonage structure and property, such as playgrounds, decks, sheds, wheelchair ramp, or a permanent or temporary nature designed to enhance the livability for the parsonage family including children, pets, and persons with disabilities or unique situations shall be negotiated between the pastor, Parsonage Committee, Staff-Parish Relations Committee, and Trustees. 8. Disability Accommodations When purchasing/building a parsonage, consideration should be given to fulfilling the needs of those with disabilities who may live in the parsonage now or in the future. ADA has produced a set of guidelines that may be useful in the purchase/building. II. Parsonage Furnishings Appliances are the responsibility of the church (see section I.3.) To help clergy families feel more at home in church-owned housing, to help transition in appointments from a housing allowance to a parsonage, and to ease financial impact of retirement, we


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propose a shift from church-provided furnishings to all clergy providing their own furniture, except major appliances and window and floor coverings. The clergy person shall be responsible to provide furnishings for the master bedroom and the family room by July 2019. In July 2021, the clergy family will be responsible for furnishing the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms. By July 2022, the clergy family will be responsible for furnishing the entire parsonage except for major appliances and window and floor coverings. Used furniture and equipment donated to the church shall not be placed in the parsonage except by request of the clergy family. In that case, it shall remain the property of the church. III. Parsonage Maintenance 1. Yard: (1) Landscaping and fertilization shall be the responsibility of the church. (2) Cutting of the lawn and trimming of shrubs is usually handled most cost-effectively by the church. If not handled by church, a lawn mower, suitable in size for the lawn, shall be pro vided by the church. (3) Outside storage for yard care equipment and other necessary items should be provided. 2. Parsonage maintenance provided by church: (1) Should be kept well painted. (2) Check exterior cornice moldings for rot and paint peeling. Repair and replace when needed. (3) Check outside windows and door seals. (4) Replace any broken windows immediately. (5) Check and maintain roof. Check for loose shingles in case of high winds associated with storms. Repair any damage immediately. This will prevent further damage to the outside as well as prevent leaks. (6) In the event the parsonage has a septic tank, the tank should be pumped as needed. (7) Check and clean gutters as needed. IV. Forms & Check Lists to be provided by Annual Conference Trustees 1. Parsonage Agreement The parsonage agreement is a written form letter stating the basic entitlement of the pastor and family to reside in the church owned parsonage. This agreement letter is to be signed within 5 (five) days of the pastor’s arrival. It is signed by: the pastor, the P/SPRC chairperson, the chair of Trustees, and the chair of the Parsonage Committee (if applicable). A signed copy is then mailed to the District Superintendent to be placed in the pastor’s permanent file. 2. Annual Parsonage Review This form is to be completed when the new pastor arrives and at the beginning of each new conference year thereafter. This shall be an onsite inspection of the parsonage as directed by conference action and the current Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. This review form will be included in the Mississippi Conference Charge Conference forms and will be due at the annual charge conference. 3. 10-Year Inspection Form Beginning in 2018, all United Methodist Church parsonages shall have a 10-year inspection form completed by the church board of Trustees. The completed form will then be presented to the church and the District Superintendent at its 2018 annual charge conference. This form will be included in the Mississippi Conference Charge Conference forms in every 10th year, in calendar years that end in “8” (ex.: 2018, 2028, 2038, etc.) Included in the inspection form will be: a. Pictures of the outside of the house and yard of the parsonage b. Pictures of all interior rooms of the house c. A current floor plan


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4. Vacating Parsonage Each clergy person living in a church-owned parsonage will complete, with a member of the board of Trustees, Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee and/or Parsonage Committee, a vacating parsonage checklist. This form will be given to the Trustees representative (or appropri ate party) when the parsonage and church keys are returned before the pastor’s departure. These forms are to be distributed at the annual Transitions Seminar for pastors who are relocating. This checklist will be for the local church Trustees and a copy will be forwarded to the District Superintendent. 5. Pastor’s Move-In Form The pastor and at least one member of the board of Trustees, P/SPRC and/or Parsonage Committee will make this inspection prior to the pastor unloading at the new parsonage. This form will be made available at the annual Transitions Seminar for pastors.

D. Clergy Vacation and Days Off Policy Adopted as a Guideline June 2005

The Mississippi Annual Conference recommends that all charges of the conference provide their pastor(s) with paid annual vacation periods of at least the following schedule and make necessary financial arrangements for pulpit supply during the pastor’s absence from the pulpit. Guidelines for vacation periods shall be based on the total credited years of service published annually in the conference Journal. This policy is for pastors serving appointments within the bounds of the Mississippi Conference. Regardless of years of service, part-time pastors and retired ministers serving under appointment are recommended to receive two weeks including Sundays annual paid vacation, with the charge responsible for pulpit supply. Conference Relationship

Years of Service

Full-time Local Pastors in process, Attending the four-week Course of Study Full-time Pastors (Full Members, Probationary Members, Assoc. Members, Full Connection Deacons, FTLP) Full-time Pastors (Full Members, Probationary Members, Assoc. Members, Full Connection Deacons, FTLP) Full-time Pastors (Full Members, Probationary Members, Assoc. Members, Full Connection Deacons, FTLP)

Vacation Time

2 weeks incl. Sundays

5 years or fewer

2 weeks incl. Sundays

6 to 10 years

3 weeks incl. Sundays

More than 10 years

4 weeks incl. Sundays

NOTE: “Years of service” refers to years of service in an annual conference(s) of The United Methodist Church, not years of service in the local church to which the pastor is appointed. These years of service include years under appointment to seminary or beyond the local church.

Vacation time is on a conference-year basis. Vacation time not used in one year cannot be carried over into the next year. It should also be remembered that participation in camping programs and similar conference activities, plus time used for Continuing Education, as defined by The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church and according to the rules set by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry, shall not be considered as vacation time or used instead of vacation time. It is the joint responsibility of the pastor and the PPR committee to see that such participation does not become abusive and a hindrance to effective ministry within the local church. Meanwhile, it should also be remembered that we are a connectional faith and should expect to reasonably share our talents to uplift the whole Body of Christ where needed.


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Churches should encourage their pastor(s) to participate in physical exercise programs, good nutrition programs, and to get regular checkups with their doctors. Pastors and churches should work together to establish a days off policy which will accommodate church tasks while providing time for the pastor to maintain personal and spiritual health.

E. Safe Sanctuaries Policy and Minimum Requirements for Conference Ministries and Guidelines for Local Church Ministries The 2006 Annual Conference approved a resolution that the conference “shall develop safety and risk-reducing policies and procedures for the purpose of providing protection to children, youth, and vulnerable adults that come to us, to staff and volunteers from unwarranted allegations of abuse, and to limit the extent of legal liability.” A task group developed the following policy, which will be presented at the 2007 Annual Conference for adoption. Introduction Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a child…welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5). He also said, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones…it would be better for you if a great millstone were fasted around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6) Our Christian faith calls us to offer both hospitality and protection to those who cannot protect themselves. We affirm this responsibility for the safety of children at each child’s baptism by our congregational response, pledging: “With God’s help we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that this child, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.” (Book of Worship, Baptismal Covenant, Congregational Pledge, 11) Purpose Building on our theological and spiritual foundation, our purpose for establishing this policy and accompanying procedures is to demonstrate our absolute and unwavering commitment to create a safe environment that will foster the comprehensive health, growth and development of all within our charge and care. Intent As a Christian community of faith, the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church, we pledge to conduct the ministry of the gospel in ways that foster the safety and spiritual growth of all. Nothing in this policy or procedure is designed to hinder or prevent the investigation of suspected, reported, or confirmed violation of any Mississippi criminal laws. We hereby declare our intent to: 1. Follow reasonable safety measures in the selection and recruitment of staff and volunteers. 2. Provide adequate training for staff and volunteers regarding the implementation of our policies and procedures. 3. Implement prudent operational procedures in all programs and events that will encourage the development of our adults and children. 4. Design a clearly defined procedure for reporting instances of injury, harm or abuse in accordance with the requirements of state and federal laws. 5. Respond with compassion and integrity to needs as they present themselves following incidents of harm, injury, or abuse. 6. Review our policies and procedures regularly to meet changing legal, health, and safety standards. Conclusion In all of our ministries, the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church is committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ so that each person is “surrounded by steadfast love… established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.” (Baptismal Covenant II, United Methodist Hymnal, p.44).


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Definitions ADULT – Any person 18 years or older CHILD – Any person under the age of 18 CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES – Any activity or program for children or youth sponsored by the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, its local churches, or Conference affiliated ministries CONFERENCE – The Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church NATIONAL BACKGROUND CHECK – A Background check that includes ■ National Criminal Background Check ■ National Sexual Offenders Check ■ Social Security Number Verification RESIDENTIAL CAMPING – Any overnight event is considered residential camping. This includes but is not limited to residential camping settings, conference camps, a conference or district lock-in, youth related overnight events, or mission work outside the boundaries of your residential dwelling STAFF PERSON – Any person employed by the conference who is responsible for youth or children’s activities SUPERVISOR – The person who has direct and immediate oversight and responsibility for any event VOLUNTEER – A person 18 years of age or older who assists in conducting youth or children’s activities under the supervision of a staff person VULNERABLE ADULT – Any person over 18 years of age with diagnosed diminished physical, mental, or emotional capacities 1. Selection and Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers 1.1 All persons employed to serve in a supervisory capacity for children/youth shall: 1.1.1 Be at least 21 years of age (in certain circumstances, such as Camp Wesley Pines and Camp Lake Stephens leadership, 18 years shall be the acceptable minimum age when combined with adequate training in the conference policies and procedures and competent oversight by a qualified adult, such as the camp director.) 1.1.2 No one shall be employed in a supervisory capacity unless he/she is at least four years older than the oldest student 1.1.3 Complete an application/commitment form 1.1.4 Provide three character references with full contact information 1.1.5 Demonstrate an active relationship with their local church for at least 6 months prior to employment 1.1.6 Be interviewed by the director of the ministry/program 1.1.7 Consent to a national background check 1.2 All volunteers serving in a supervisory capacity for children/youth shall: 1.2.1 Be at least 21 years of age 1.2.2 Complete an application/commitment form 1.2.3 Demonstrate an active relationship with their local church for at least 6 months prior to serving in a supervisory capacity 1.2.4 Be interviewed by the director of the ministry/program 1.2.5 Consent to a national background check 1.3 All volunteers serving in a helping capacity for children/youth shall: 1.3.1 Complete an application/commitment form 1.3.2 Be interviewed by the director of the ministry/program 1.3.3 Consent to a national background check 1.4 In the event that a substitute worker needs to be brought in under last-minute circumstances, that person must: 1.4.1 Complete an application/commitment form 1.4.2 Complete a basic orientation/training provided by the director or other supervisor before actually beginning work.


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1.5

All information obtained from background checks will be received and reviewed by the Conference Director of Connectional Ministries or their designee, who may, in their discretion, share applicable information with the appropriate supervisory staff person(s). Additionally, if the record of a staff member or candidate for a staff position shows a criminal conviction, the Conference Director of Connectional Ministries or their designee will consider the employment on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise all such information will be held in confidence, except for any disclosure required by lawful court action. 1.6 Any prospective volunteer or candidate for a staff position with a conviction for a sex offense or abuse or neglect of a minor is prohibited from work with children or youth. All other convictions will be considered on a case by case basis. 2. Training 2.1 Training must be a mandatory component of each event’s design. The design team shall be responsible for assuring that adequate insurance for the specific event and/or activities either from the conference or the district is in place. 2.2 The design team must have a person available at the event who is trained and certified to receive any report of allegations of abuse and follow through according to the conference guidelines and the requirements of state law. 2.3 All workers shall be trained annually in safety, first aid, and child abuse prevention. 2.4 Training shall include information, explanation, and discussion of : 2.4.1 The annual conference policy 2.4.2 Behaviors or other indicators which may signal problems 2.4.3 Requirements of Mississippi law for reporting incidents of abuse 2.4.4 Procedures for response to incidents of abuse and for reporting incidents of abuse. 2.5 All persons serving as directors shall complete certification training for processing allegations and reports of child abuse. 2.6 All workers and leaders will sign a covenant to abide by the conference policy at the conclusion of each training prior to an event. 3. Operational Procedures for Programs and Events All district and conference ministries with children/youth shall be governed by these guidelines: 3.1 Two unrelated adults shall be present at all times. 3.2 If there are both male and female participants, then the adult leaders should also include both males and females. 3.3 The number of adult leaders and chaperones required for each event (above the minimum of two) will be set by the established conference ratios as follows: 3.3.1 Day Care/ Nursery Programs (In compliance with Mississippi State Regulations) Infants (Non-handicapped & Not Walking) 1 Adult to 5 Infants Toddlers (Walking, Non-handicapped) 1 Adult to 9 Toddlers 2 years of age 1 Adult to 12 Children 3 years of age 1 Adult to 14 Children 4 years of age 1 Adult to 16 Children 5 years of age 1 Adult to 20 Children 6 years of age & Older 1 Adult to 25 Children 3.3.2 Mixed Age Groups 6 weeks to 30 months 1 Adult to 5 Children 2 to 4 years 1 Adult to 8 Children 2 to 3 years 1 Adult to 10 Children 2 1⁄2 to 3 years 1 Adult to 12 Children 2 1⁄2 to 5 years 1 Adult to 14 Children


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3 to 5 years 1 Adult to 16 Children Grades 1-4 1 Adult to 16 Children Grades 5-12 1 Adult to 20 Children 3.3.3 Residential Camping Grades 1-8 1 Adult to 10 Children Grades 9-12 1 Adult to 12 Children 3.4 In residential camping situations, the adult chaperone must always be the same gender as the campers he/she is supervising. 3.5 Unauthorized visitors/volunteers will not be allowed to remain with the group. 3.6 Participants will not be allowed to leave the designated meeting area without permission/supervision. 3.7 During ministry events, one-on-one activities shall not be conducted “behind closed doors” or in an isolated area away from trained supervisory persons. 3.8 All ministry events will be carried out in appropriate locations with adequate equipment and trained adult supervisors present. 3.9 Registration materials for activities in which children are outside direct supervision of their parents/guardians shall require a signed written permission form that includes pertinent health information in order to participate. 3.10 If the participants are old enough to understand, they shall sign a covenant of participation listing rules for all trips, overnights, etc. 3.11 This paragraph three (3) shall be advisory guidelines only, as applied to ministries in the local church and shall not be considered as requirement for the local church. 4. Reporting Incidents 4.1 All reporting of alleged incidents or actual incidents of child abuse must strictly follow Mississippi law. 4.2 A worker who has reasonable cause to suspect that child abuse has occurred should secure the safety of the child, if possible, and then immediately report the incident to the director/supervisor and the certified safety person of the ministry event. It is never the responsibility of a worker with children or youth to investigate allegations of child abuse. The director/supervisor and the certified safety person will then follow all appropriate procedures for reporting to the child’s parents or guardian, authorities of the annual conference and/or district, and local law enforcement and/or child protective service agencies. 5. Responding 5.1 A quick, compassionate and unified response to an alleged incident of child abuse will be initiated. All allegations will be taken seriously. 5.2 The Communications Director of the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church, or her/his designee, is the only person authorized to make statements to representatives of the media. All requests for statements should be directed to the appointed Safe Sanctuaries person for the event. 5.3 Pastoral support will be available to all persons involved in the incident. Conclusion We take our policies to reduce the risk of child abuse seriously and are committed to their enforcement for the safety and security of all our children, youth, and those who work with them. All conference and district ministry events are required to comply with these policies. Each conference ministry event shall be subject to review by the Safe Sanctuaries Committee of the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries and the conference staff person related to that event. Each district ministry event shall be subject to review by the executive committee of the District Council on Ministries or its equivalent. Conference and district ministry events not sponsored by the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries or the district council or its equivalent will be subject to review by the team, committee, or board that initiates the event.


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Non-compliance with these policies shall result in potential loss of sponsorship by the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries, district council, or the sponsoring team, board, or committee. The Conference Office of Connectional Ministries shall review these policies and procedures at least biannually. MS Annual Conference Approved 2007


General Boards

and

Agencies

General Commission on Archives and History P.O. Box 127 Madison, NJ 07940 973-408-3189 | www.gcah.com

Connectional Table 8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 404 Chicago, IL 60631 773-714-1517 | 866-648-9584 www.umc.org/connectionaltable

General Board of Church and Society 100 Maryland Avenue, N.E. Washington, DC 20002-5649 800-967-0880 | http://umc-gbcs.org

United Methodist Communications P.O. Box 320 Nashville, TN 37202-0320 615-742-5400 | www.umcom.org

General Council on Finance and Administration 1 Music Circle North Nashville, TN 37203 866-367-4232 | www.umc.org/gcfa

General Board of Discipleship P.O. Box 340003 Nashville, TN 37203-0003 615-340-7200 | www.gbod.org

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry P.O. Box 340007 Nashville, TN 37203-0007 615-340-7400 | www.gbhem.org General Commission on Religion and Race 100 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20002 202-547-2271 | www.gcorr.org Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 300 New York, NY 10115 212-870-3800 | www.ocuir.org

1-800 Board

and

General Board of Global Ministries 475 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10115 212-870-3600 | 800-862-4246 www.cmission.org General Board of Pension and Health Benefits 1901 Chestnut Avenue Glenview, IL 60025-1604 800-851-2201 | www.gbophb.org General Commission on the Status and Role of Women 77 W. Washington Street, Suite 1500 Chicago, IL 60602 800-523-8390 | www.gcsrw.org www.umsexualethics.org

Agency Telephone Numbers

Free 800 telephone numbers are available for local church leaders who need answers or information concerning the ministries of the church, or actions of the boards and agencies of the church, or who need resources and curriculum for church use. Info-Serve: M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Central) inforserv@umcom.org Upper Room Prayer: 1-800-251-2468 prayer@upperroom.org

Cokesbury: 1-800-672-1789 M-F, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Central) www.cokesbury.com cokes_serv@cokesbury.com

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