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nu Mi 29 al ssi th Mississippi United Methodist oundation Co ssi nf pp C E L E B R AT I N G 5 0 Y E A R S O F S E RV I C E er i en ce M i ssi ssi ppi C onf erence of The Unit ed Met hodist Ch u r ch

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TheCircuitRider Special Annual Conference Edition :: Saturday, June 10, 2017

2017 Annual Conference – JUSTICE is The POWER of We Mandatory Clergy Training Actors inspire clergy through real life scenarios Page 4

Imagine No Malaria Conference celebrates goal to save 100,000 lives Page 6

Crafting a Legacy A portable altar table honoring the Ray family presented Page 7

Connected: A Night of Worship Mississippi Resident Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. presides over his fifth Mississippi Annual Confernce Session at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Doors opened to surrounding neighbors – all welcomed Page 9

Circuit Rider Special Edition photographs taken by Greg Campbell.


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2 0 1 7 S e ss i o n

of

T h e M i ss i ss i p p i A n n u a l C o n f e r e n c e

Justice is the POWER of We

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State of the Conference Centers on Glory Sightings

n her opening statement to the Mississippi Annual Conference, LaToya Redd Thompson, the conference lay leader, referred to Exodus 33 where God informed Moses that He would send help but would not be present to accompany Israel to the Promised Land. Moses questioned how the task could be done without God’s presence and eventually asked God “ Please. Let me see your Glory.”

Bishop’s Journal

G Bishop James Swanson Sr. and conference lay leader LaToya Redd Thompson gave the State of the Conference address.

Thompson asked the congregation “how many people need to see God’s glory?” She stated that in the Mississippi Conference, His glory is visible at every level from individual families to local churches. She reminded them of the conference’s current practice to share God’s glory during meetings and gatherings. So, keeping with the routine, there was a moment for Glory Sightings presented in a video that captured a report from each of the conference’s eleven districts. The reports included stories of professions of faith, youth events, church renewal and celebrations of mission shares. Following the video, Bishop Swanson

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8 pointed out that the Glory Sightings would not have been possible without lay people and clergy working together. He commended the conference for their generosity. He urged the delegates to share their knowledge children and be willing to learn from them. The congregation joined in the reading a litany written by the bishop.

God’s Glory on Display By Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. Leader: “Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with your glory!”

Children from Griffin Chapel UMC, Starkville, thanked delegates at the end of the Glory Sightings presentation during the State of the Conference.

People: The whole of creation displays your greatness, and it is wonderful to behold! Leader: “Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with your glory!” People: Our lives display your Glory. Leader: “Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with your glory!” People: Your Glory is on display through our congregations, and it is so exciting! Leader: “Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with your glory!” People: Even in the midst of God’s glory we are stilled filled with fear and anxiety. Leader: “Hear God’s word Oh my people!" “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!” Amen

Greetings my sisters and brothers of the 2017 Mississippi Annual Conference Session, thank you for your commitment to participate in holy conferencing, vital worship, and shared mission. This year we focused our attention on the theme “JUSTICE.” The biblical basis for the theme is in Micah 6:8 which states: “He has told you, human one, what is good and what the LORD requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God” (CEB). I pray that God’s word over the annual conference session prompted a sense of urgency in you to live out our obligation for justice in our communities and beyond. As the body of Christ, let us remind a discouraged world that God is in control. We must never forget that He is available to us for conversation. It was a joy to worship together, learn together, and pray together while experiencing the POWER of God this conference. I know we will have many wonderful opportunities to share in leading Mississippi into its promising future. Yours in Christ,

Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr.

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A Learning Opportunity: Young Faith, New Mission Age

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nited Methodists and people beyond the Mississippi Annual Conference participated in two pre-conference workshops Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Jackson Convention Complex. Leaders of United Methodist congregations in Mississippi were encouraged to take part in these holy conferencing opportunities.

With pen in hand, Evelyn Wells was ready to take notes during a pre-conference workshop.

Pre-conference workshops create opportunities for clergy and laity to access resources and share them with their local churches. The Rev. Kenda Creasy Dean led the workshop titled “Young Faith in a World of Nones and Dones: The Future of Children’s Spiritual Lives and the Ministry That Will Sustain Them.” Dean discussed how young people’s faith is changing fast—and youth ministry is struggling to keep up. Her message addressed what research suggests for young people’s faith today and what the information means for parents and congregations who want their children’s faith to outlast high school. The second workshop, “A New Mission Age,” was guided by Thomas Kemper. He is a layman who leads the General Board of Global Ministries. This workshop looked at today—2017 and forward—as

Guest speaker, Rev. Kenda Creasy Dean, discusses youth leadership during pre-conference workshops.

a new worldwide mission age—an age in which the church is called to exemplify God’s mission of love and compassion, grace and justice. The workshop explored global mission opportunities for United Methodists in Mississippi and the church as a global community of Jesus’ followers.

Required Clergy Training Presents Real Life Scenarios

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erformers from the Vicksburg area portrayed realistic scenarios around sexual misconduct in the church. Nearly 800 Mississippi Conference clergy attended the presentation as part of the conference’s mandatory ethics training. They followed the story of Pastor John who engaged in misconduct with a member, Sally. He was counseling her through a divorce. Their secret unfolded when a staff person, Wanda reported to a district superintendent what she heard and suspected was going on behind the pastor's closed office door. Before the complaint, rumors of the pair’s misbehavior raised. Text messages and social media magnified what facilitators described as “deep injury” to everyone involved including family members, the congregation, and the reporting person. Mississippi clergy learned about the process following the complaint and the goal for everyone to experience healing. They were reminded that each one is vulnerable and to hold each other accountable as brothers and sister in Christ. Training leaders

By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Mississippi Conference Communications Specialist Paul Ballard, far right, portrays Pastor John in a skit at the ethics training. Pictured with him are cast members from Vicksburg area United Methodist churches.

Nearly 800 Mississippi Conference clergy attended the mandatory presentation.

things could happen but God has chosen us as clergy to be strong in our faith and to resist any temptations."

suggested that windows on office doors and refraining from self-deception were actions that could keep the church a safe place. Presenters stressed that regardless who is at fault—there is hope and restoration for all.

Clergy Response: • Kristina Crabtree, age 30 "Another awareness of having caution

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and boundaries was really important to me because I am stepping into a lead pastor position. This was very informative." • Gloria McKinney, age 65 "It truth. It is reality and to bring it to the forefront and actually see characters portraying the things that are not acceptable not only in The United Methodist Church but all churches, was an affirmation that

• Domini Henry, age 36 "I think it is very apparent that we continue to make people aware of this type of misconduct and let them know that there is still care and there is love within the connection we can offer them to move forward." • Embra Jackson, age 64 "Unfortunately, as a district superintendent, we have to deal with a lot of these ethical situations, and I thought the training brought to light a chance for the clergy and superintendents to see exactly how the victims and the pastor both might feel."


Opening Worship: A Message on Justice

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he sound of bells chiming signaled the start of opening worship for the 2017 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference. The room lighting faded, and from multiple entrances, people carrying lights entered the room followed by the procession. The theme for this year’s session was “Justice.” Bishop James Swanson Sr., preached from the scripture Micah 6:8. His sermon was titled “This is Not Pocket Change.” The bishop said people struggle with justice and often justice work does not get done. He called for people to transform their hearts and to become more like Jesus. Once this happens, justice would become a reality. Following the message, the sound of single drum beats prompted the invitation to the table for communion. Four speakers who represented earth, wind, fire, and water positioned around the room to chant a reading.

District Superintendent Mattie Gipson offers communion to a delegate of the annual conference.

Opening Prayer

Delivered by Raigan Miskelly God of Justice and Mercy, you draw us to this place from Biloxi to Byhalia, Meridian to Mendenhall, West Point to Wiggins. O Lord, we come before you with gratitude and gladness of soul. For we come this morning with a desire to lay down our preconceived notions of what we want to be and instead, O God, to be what you, as the head of your church, call us to be. Unite us O Lord, for you alone can give us life. We need a power that is not our own. We need a presence that is not out own. We need a word that is not our own. It is your power, your presence, and your word to which we run.

“No, we don’t have enough money to alleviate all of the aches and pains of the world. But when I look at your hearts, you have enough love to care about the aches and pains of the world. Sometimes all the world needs the church to do is stand up and say we care.” –Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. Rev. Dr. Detra Bishop uses her phone to record opening worship while praising.

Open our hearts and minds that by the power of your Holy Spirit, you would speak to your people—remind us once again what you require of us: “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with you. O God—Speak O Lord, for your servants are indeed listening. Amen Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. stated: “Just because somebody hurts, does not mean you need to go in your pocket, but at least you ought to cry a sympathizing tear.”

Clergy and laity add to the ambiance of opening worship with lights.

District superintendents and district lay leaders prepare for communion.

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Mission Worship: The Early Story

ccording to Thomas Kemper, the key to mission is to heal the sick in spirit, mind, and body. Kemper is the top executive of the General Board of Global Ministries for The United Methodist Church. He delivered the sermon for the mission worship. He explained that Luke 10:1-12 gives a brief account of the first Christian missionary commissioning. Jesus sends 70 disciples into new territory to announce the coming of the Kingdom of God. He gives them four admonitions that

Angela Dossett cheerfully gives to the mission offering.

Of our 350 missionaries, over 50 percent are no longer from the United States. This is a gift of a global church. – Thomas Kemper Kemper says continues to inform mission service today. Kemper pointed out each. He cautioned that mission work is hazardous and to travel light to keep an eye on the objective while demonstrating the love and grace of God. Missionaries are called to honor the hospitality of strangers and acknowledge when it is time to move on and let others take over.

Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, was a guest speaker for the Mission Service. A primary responsibility of Global Ministries is to connect the various parts of the Church as United Methodists engage in global mission.

Imagine No Malaria The St. Paul UMC choir from Moss Point sang during mission service Thursday night.

Starkville First UMC Heavenly Metal of the South played for the mission service. 6 The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION

Conference Raises $405k for Nets

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ollowing the mission worship, Charity Gordon spoke about the Mississippi Conference 2017 mission offering dedicated to Imagine No Malaria. The conference set a goal to save 100,000 lives towards the worldwide United Methodist Church effort to protect people in Sub-Saharan, Africa from the deadly malaria disease. Gordon was the field coordinator for Mississippi. She described various fundraisers. From smashing cars to birthday parties, Mississippi successfully met the challenge! The conference collected $405,403.33 for protective nets and counting continues. One net for $10 can shield up to four people from the mosquito carrying the disease.

Charity Gordon, field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria, gave a passionate account of the conference’s effort to end malaria.


Conference Honors Glory Sightings

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he Mississippi Conference seeks to recognize churches, groups, and individuals in the Mississippi United Methodist Conference that are redefining what Living Out the POWER of We means. On Friday, June 9, 2017, the following awards were presented.

Laity: Chris Adams of Hattiesburg, a member of Petal UMC. Instrumental in Methodist response to January 2017 tornado. Youth: Ethan Oltremari of Greenwood, a member of St. John’s UMC and Delta State University Wesley Foundation.

• Emma K. Elzy Award The Emma K. Elzy Award encourages reconciliation by honoring an individual, group or institution that has shown outstanding achievement in race relations in the state of Mississippi. The award recipient was Nettie Winters from Mission Mississippi. His wife Tommie Winters accepted his award.

• Tobias Gibson Award The Tobias Gibson Award is for individuals who have made contributions to the preservation, collecting and promoting Methodist history. This award was presented

posthumously to Rev. Dr. Jerry Williams. • One Matters Discipleship Award The General Board of Discipleship celebrates the stories of transformation in annual conferences. One person matters to God and matters to us. The One Matters Discipleship Award is intended to rejoice others into a life with Christ that highlights the journey of the change they made to make disciples become more vital. St. Paul UMC, Meridian and Wesley UMC, Ocean Springs received this award.

• Harry Denman Evangelism Award The Harry Denman Evangelism Award, named for the late Dr. Harry Denman, honors United Methodist celebrates the personal evangelism of United Methodist clergy, youth and lay persons who have made a difference in the lives of people, the church, and the community. Clergy: Rev. Dr. Joe May of Anderson UMC, Jackson

Tobias Gibson Award

Emma K. Elzy Award

Harry Denman Evangelism Award

One Matters Discipleship Award

Portable Altar Table Gift to Mississippi Conference By Tamica Smith Jeuitt

Tom Wicker, left, and Rev. Andy Ray, right, stands near the portable altar table they built together in honor of the Ray family’s service to Mississippi United Methodism. It took them two months to make it.

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ables were throughout the Jackson Convention Center for many reasons. Some were in place for registration. Others lined the convention center halls topped with everything from books to religious artwork and jewelry and handouts about programs of The United Methodist Church. Nevertheless, the highly regarded table in the venue was the portable altar table—a gift to the Mississippi Conference in honor of the Ray family. The Rays, deep-rooted in Mississippi United Methodism, share more than 200 years of service as clergy. According to the Rev. Andy Ray, his father Wilson Ray, grandfather Guy Ray, and three great-uncles with the same last name are deceased Methodist pastors. His great-grandfather, Franklin Elmore Ray was a district lay leader before he passed away. In 2016, Ray retired as the superintendent of the Mississippi Conference’s Senatobia District. He served 45

years and led 65 local churches where he made a family connection at all but 12 churches. “The good thing was I didn’t have to apologize for my family at any of those churches,” he humorously stated. Ray also jokes about hoarding items such as Bibles and ordination papers that belonged to his ancestors.

“I don’t want to have to start a Ray museum. I’ve got Bibles that date all the way back to 1832. It’s quite a treasure. I don’t want this stuff to get lost.” Speaking of lost, Ray also doesn’t want his family’s legacy to the church forgotten. His retirement was significant—marking the end of clergy with family’s surname. But thanks to a good friend and layman, Ray found a way to honor his family. He and Tom Wicker, a member of Tupelo First UMC, built the portable altar table. The maple wood table weighs roughly 450 pounds and breaks down into three parts. The 2017 annual conference celebrated the table’s debut in tribute to the Rays. The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION 7


"Love is the juice..."

Churches Split from UMC Discussed

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he Mississippi Annual Conference session 2017

the two congregations and the

marked sadness, frustration, and anxiety at the

surrendering of their credential by

announcement of the discontinuance of and the

the affected clergy.

vote for closure of The Orchard United Methodist Church

afternoon, David Stotts, conference

in Tupelo and Getwell Road United Methodist Church

treasurer, and Rickey Haynes, chair

in Southaven. Both churches had been engaged in a

of the conference trustees, came

discernment process to determine whether the respective members of each church would remain a part of The United Methodist Church or would withdraw. The Rev. Andrea Summers of Atlanta, Georgia led the morning Bible studies at the annual conference. On this day she taught about God's perfect love as it relates to justice. Summers said many times churches do a lousy job responding to justice and do it out of guilt and fear. She explained that perfect love is the starting point and love is the juice that justice requires. There are two ways to act to justice— with love, or with fear. With love, there is no fear. With fear, there is no hope.

Later Friday

In the three weeks before Annual Conference, a vast majority of the memberships voted to withdraw their

Stephen Sparks

to the stage to explain the process Mississippi Conference Finance and Administration and the conference

trustees used in making a decision on the disposition of the property of both churches.

membership in The UMC thus rendering both churches

Because both churches had a debt to asset ratio that

unviable to continue with the few members that re-

made retention of the property untenable, the trustees

mained, leading to their discontinuation by each of the

made the decision to sell the property to the respective

respective district superintendents.

churches for the mortgage balances. Both agreed to fully

On Thursday afternoon space was given for a question and answer time that resulted in an outpouring of

fund their commitment to the 2017 mission share and clergy benefit invoice.

emotions around the departure of the members of

New Churches to Vital Congregations

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he vital congregations committee (VCC) is a discernment body that ensures the ongoing effectiveness and oneness of annual conference churches, ministries, and committees. The extended cabinet nominates the membership comprised of nine churches. Once the call is accepted, the congregation recommends a pastor a congregational member with demonstrated leadership ability. The nine vital congregations divide into three rotating classes. Rolling on to the vital congregations committee this year are Greer Chapel (East Jackson), St. Paul (Hattiesburg), and Grenada First (Greenwood). Rolling off the VCC are Iuka First (New Albany), Parkway Heights (Hattiesburg) and Trinity (Senatobia).

2017-2018 Vital Congregations Committee • Anderson (West Jackson) • Columbus First (Starkville) • Crystal Springs (Brookhaven) • Cedar Lake (Seashore) • Cooper’s Chapel (Meridian) • Union Grove (Tupelo) • Greer Chapel (East Jackson) • St. Paul (Hattiesburg) • Grenada First (Greenwood)

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Image from Lightstock

The extended cabinet nominates the membership which is comprised of nine churches. The nine vital congregations are divided in three rotating classes.


Connected: A Night of Worship This is an expression of our conference. It doesn’t matter what race, denomination, believer or non-believer, we wanted to invite everybody to celebrate Jesus with us. – Mike Howington, Youth and

Nicolett Bell of St. Matthews lifts her hand while praising to the worship band Shane and Shane.

By Tamica Smith Jeuitt

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ome one, Come all for Connected: A Night of Worship! That was the message from the Mississippi Conference for weeks leading up to the start of the annual conference session. On Wednesday, June 7 people were encouraged to join the Methodist family for an evening to hear from guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean who spoke about young people like the

the

Families Coordinator for Mississippi Conference

Good Samaritan. Dean is an ordained pastor in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference is the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. Those who attended enjoyed performances from Shane & Shane, a Texas-based, contemporary worship music band known for acoustic praise and worship music. The presenting sponsor for the program was The United Methodist Hour television broadcast.

Endia Cook uses her cell phone during the reading of the gospel. She is the daughter of Rev. Dr. Stephen Cook, Superintendent for West Jackson District.

The worship band performance moves Rev. Ginger Holland of Cornerstone UMC in Tupelo, left, and Joyce Barrett of Madison.

Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean delivers an enthusiastic message on being a Good Samaritan.

Shane Barnard leads a song for area families attending Connected: A Night of Worship.

Rev. Steve Casteel host of The Hour television broadcast and Mike Howington “The Youth Guy,” take a moment to greet the crowd.

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Service of Ordination and Commissioning

he call to ministry is between the individual and God. On Friday, June 9, there was singing, praying and celebrating for the men and women commissioned and ordained for the work of ministry. Called to be servants, these individuals will now go out to proclaim and live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Associate Memberss: Finis Pierre Beauchamp, Dale Edward Moore, Mark Regan Nail, Jeffrey Michael Sims, and Gregory Alan Smith

Commissioning: Samuel Edward Burcham, Amber Lea Gray, Joshua Daniel Gray, Haywood Issac Hannah, Haley Meredith Jones, Jeffery Earl Riddle, and Jean (Trey) Thomas Skaggs III

Ordination as Elders: Sarah Jo Adams-Wilson, Erin Elizabeth Beasley, Joe Miller Coggins, Christopher Carone Diggs, Domini Stallworth Henry, William Nance Hixon, Chandler Kenneth Ragland, and Neville Sidney Vanderburg (Names are not in order as pictured.)

Commissioning

Associate Members

Ordination as Elders

Celebration of Retirees Thirty- two retirees pictured with their spouses.

• Members in Full Connection - Sherrill Stanley Judy, Carolyn Fulgham Webster • Elders - Carolyn Abrams, Carlos Perez Bonilla, Hiram J. Coker, Mark E. Covington, A. W. Crump, David Lee Cumbest, Harry Bryan Davis, Roger Alan Flowers, John Garrott, Grover Cleveland Glenn, William Garner Johnson, James Ronald McDougald, Gloria McKinney, Cathy Wells Monroe, Edward Charles Moses, Willis Ray Poole, Susan Lee Woodard • Associate Members - Ronald Kitchens, Joseph Randall Lawson,

• Local Pastors - James Merle Black, Thomas Michael Dowd, Lynn Fair, Mark

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Scott Falgout, Dale Fulgham Glenn, Lou Eva Hughes, Samuel Odell Napier,

Richard Ray Sebren, David Lee Steveline, Mary Ann Veasley, Betty E. Weaver


Thanksgiving and Remembrance

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Memorial Service | Friday, June 9, 2017

he sermon for the annual conference Memorial Service was titled “Living in the House of the Lord.” The Rev. Darian Duckworth of First United Methodist Church in West Point, Mississippi delivered the message. She told the audience they were celebrating the lives of men and women who spent so much time in churches that they probably felt like they “lived in the house of the Lord all the days of their lives.” She asked, “What does it truly mean to be in the house of the Lord?” Duckworth explained this is an eternal home built not by the works that saints of the faith have done with their power—all are working to build

the house of the Lord through lives of sacrifice.” Duckworth stated the names of men and women who have given soul, life, and all to something unseen, will be called. She reminded the living of their responsibility to keep building. She acknowledged that in mourning, it is not easy to look at the empty seats once occupied by a loved one and declare, “This isn’t fair.” However much about living doesn’t seem fair she shared. The death of the Son of God upon the cross was not “fair,” but his death brought about justice. Justice was the theme for the 2017 annual conference session.

Rev. Darian Duckworth preached the sermon “Living in the House of the Lord.”

Robert Sharp, son of a deceased clergy, rang the memorial bell.

Acolytes Noah and Caleb Carr are the grandsons of the late Rev. Jimmy Carr.

2017 Deceased Clergy & Clergy Spouses From May 15, 2016 to May 15, 2017 Clergy

• J A Sharp................................................................May 25, 2016 • Shelton S. Hodge Sr..........................................June 29, 2016 • James Raymond Cox........................................ July 23, 2016 • Franklin Wilson Ray Sr......................................Aug. 23, 2016 • Garry E. Ruff.............................................................Oct. 3, 2016 • Charles Kenneth McGill......................................Oct. 5, 2016 • Charles W. Kelly...................................................Oct. 27, 2016 • Howard Newton Carroll.................................. Nov. 10, 2016 • Arthur (Art) Kinstley........................................ Nov. 25, 2016 • Claudell D. Miller...................................................Dec. 3, 2016 • Charles Elmer Paseur..........................................Dec. 6, 2016 • Benjamin Franklin (BF) Lee..............................Jan. 24, 2017 • Charles Warren (Nick) Nicholson....................Feb. 1, 2017 • William Edwin Curtis.........................................Feb. 18, 2017 • James David Milner.........................................March 6, 2017 • Dennie Keith Tonkel........................................March 8, 2017 • Jimmy Lee Carr............................................... March 18, 2017 • George A Cutrer............................................. March 25, 2017

• John Hamlin Harper........................................... April 1, 2017 • Samuel Oliphant Morris III............................... April 3, 2017 • Jack Milton Loflin................................................ April 5, 2017 • George Robert Pulliam...................................April 17, 2017 • Reynolds F Johnson.........................................April 22, 2017 • Jerry Donnell Norrells......................................April 22, 2017 • John Curtis (JC) Hubbard...............................April 26, 2017 • James Spencer Price........................................April 26, 2017 • Charles Earl Brister............................................April 28, 2017 • James Hershel Wiygul......................................May 15, 2017

Spouses of Clergy (Spouse of deceased italicized)

• Sally Ann Lewis Benjamin F. Lewis...............June 4, 2016 • Maxine Henry James E. Henry........................Aug. 3, 2016 • Helen Williams Terry Williams......................Aug. 13, 2016 • Suzanne Tanksley Oliver Perry Tanksley ........................................................................................Sept. 3, 2016 • Marlene I. Minty William R. Minty.................Nov. 5, 2016

• Carrie P. Ray Douglas M. Ray.........................Nov. 23, 2016 • Beatrice Smith E. Binford Smith.................. Dec. 14, 2016 • Sara F. Hillman Adam Byrd Hillman........... Dec. 28, 2016 • Janice Hill (Sherry) Felder Charles Bertram Felder ....................................................................................... Jan. 17, 2017 • Barbara J. Tyler Lowry William T. Lowry .....................................................................................March 2, 2017 • Glennis Juliette Brown D. Elton Brown ..................................................................................March 10, 2017 • Ametta H. Rankin Percy Rankin.............. March 24, 2017 • Sammie Lee Crumble Sr. Cora L. Crumble ..................................................................................March 25, 2017 • Faye S. Curtis William Edwin Curtis........ March 29, 2017 • Scottie Stauddy James Robert Stauddy ......................................................................................April 10, 2017 • Cassie Hargrove James Johnny Q. C. James ......................................................................................April 11, 2017 • Katherine Virginia Irwin Harrell Guy Clarke Harrell ......................................................................................April 19, 2017

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Mississippi United Cultivating a Culture of Bishop Pendergrass was appointed to Mississippi in 1964 and was influential in establishing the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation on June 13, 1967.

In 1987, several endowments were created to benefit the surviving spouses of clergy. These funds continue to provide a Christmas gift every year.

Dr. J. W. Leggett, Jr. was the Foundation’s first executive director appointed in 1969. The Foundation originally shared a building with the Annual Conference.

In 2002, Rev. N.A. Dickson and Mary Dickson were honored when Judge Chet Dillard created the Dickson Order which is bestowed on clergy and laity for extraordinary service. Executive Director Rev. Mike Hicks stands next to Rev. Roy McAlilly who was honored in 2015.

For more information on any of these endowments or if you would like to host a meeting in our facility, visit our website at www. ms-umf.org or call 601-948-8845 to reserve a meeting space.

“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready foundation for the future, so that they may take hold 12 The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION


Methodist Foundation Generosity for 50 years Every year, several endowments provide close to eighty scholarships to ministerial and college students from United Methodist churches. Rev. Mitchell Hedgepeth received one of these scholarships over thirty years ago. Recently, he and his wife, Catherine, established, in memory of Rev. HJ and Orell Hedgepeth, one of the endowments that currently provide scholarships.

The groundbreaking ceremony for a new building was held in Spring of 2005. The staff as pictured moved into the brand new building in 2006. The building currently houses the staff and three meeting rooms that are open to conference affiliated institutions who would like to host a meeting.

In mid-2015, the Stewardship challenge began to give churches the tools to promote generosity among its members. Early this year, this was changed to Creating a Culture of Generosity.

to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good of the life that really is life.� 1Timothy 6:18-19 The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION 13


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1973 Board Meeting

Mississippi United Methodist Foundation Celebrates 50th Anniversary By Mike Hicks, Mississippi United Methodist Foundation Photo courtesy of Andrew Welch

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he Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, Inc. began July 13, 1967 as the Mississippi Methodist Foundation, Inc. The Foundation was established to assist the conference, associated institutions, and congregations in the collection of bequests, donations, contributions, and other gifts. Today, our mission is to “resource the Church for effective ministry and fruitful generosity.� This mission begins with developing a culture of generosity among the people and congregations of the United Methodist Church in

Our desire is for every member of every local church to know the fullness of joy that comes through Christian generosity. Mississippi. The Foundation offers its Creating a Culture of Generosity initiative for use in congregations. The Foundation assists pastors in their own generosity journey through the Residence in Ministry process for newly commissioned clergy and continuing education opportunities. We provide up to date information on materials for personal financial management as well as church financial literacy. The Foundation also offers planned giving services. We assist churches in creating an endowment for the

purpose of receiving bequests and other assets from its members for permanent, enduring support of local church ministry. In addition, the Foundation assists individuals in creating endowments to support a variety of church and educational ministries. Today, church funds comprise the majority of the $110,000,000 in funds under management at the Foundation. In striving to resource the local congregation, we continue to offer the best possible return for all funds invested with the Foundation. The Foundation strives to be a servant of the churches of the Mississippi Annual Conference. Our desire is for every member of every local church to know the fullness of joy that comes through Christian generosity.

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2017 Annual Conference PhotoFile

Bishop Swanson stressed that justice should not be taken lightly and that it is something that God’s requires.

United Methodist Women president Dorothy Carter reports to the delegates.

Mississippi State Senator, Sally Doty, a member of Brookhaven UMC spoke to laity about social justice.

Vera Thomas and Rev. Mitchell Hedgepeth made a motion for Bishop Swanson to organize small groups to discuss the UMC future.

David Stotts demonstrates how to operate the toy backhoe tractor he presented to Byrd Hillman in honor of Hillman’s 16 years of service as the conference clergy retiree liaison.

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Africa University sent the conference a thank you print on canvas. The conference raised over one million dollars for the United Methodist-related university.

Mississippi Annual Conference secretary Rev. Trey Team Wesley! Fourteen is the mission shares line item to give Wesley Foundations. Directors showed Harper set the bar. off their support.


An

nu Mi 29 al ssi th Co ssi nf pp er i en ce

Annual conference chairs, Rev. Andy Stoddard and Dorothy Terry greets the delegates.

James Martin of Wells UMC helped coordinate worship music.

Conference treasurer, David Stotts answered questions from the delegates.

United Methodist Men president, Andy Tentoni introduced the speaker for the laity session.

The Crossroad UMC worship band was a part of the Faith Community Formation report.

Cokesbury representative Dan Parker gives information about robes to a customer.

The Southern Komfort Brass Band played “When the Saints Go Marching In� at the memorial service.

Rev. Tim Thompson directs the Office of Faith Community Formation for the conference.

Bishop Swanson get up close and personal with the ordinands.

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Abbeville Charge

Upcoming Administry Events

New Albany District Oxford, MS

3“L”Academy

August 14-15, 2017 Hilton Jackson, County Line Road, Jackson, Mississippi

2017 Local Church Administry Training Dates & Locations • Sept. 23, 2017 - Senatobia District Office • Oct. 14, 2017 - West Point First UMC, Starkville District • Nov. 18, 2017 - Meridian District Office • Dec. 9, 2017 - Williamsburg UMC Collins, Hattiesburg District

Register for any event online at www.mississippi-umc.org Contact David Stotts at 769-243-7020 to learn more about any of these events.

District Supt.: Rev. Billy Owens Senior Pastor: Elder Rev. Bobby Dailey Assistant Pastor: Rev. Marvin Quarles Buford Chapel UMC Sunday Sch. - 1st & 3rd 10 am / Worship: 11 am Sunday Sch. - 2nd & 4th 8 am / Worship: 9 am Providence UMC Sunday Sch. - 1st & 3rd 8 am / Worship: 9 am Sunday Sch. - 2nd & 4th 10 am / Worship: 11 am

Living Out The POWER of We

Leader: Assist. Pastor St. Peter UMC Sunday Sch. - 1st & 3rd 10 am only Sunday Sch. - 2nd & 4th 10 am / Worship: 11 am

You Are Welcome to Worship With Us!

Stay Connected with the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church Conference Website: www.mississippi-umc.org Subscribe to The Circuit Rider: http://bit.ly/2r2RDtQ (Submit events and stories to news@mississippi-umc.org) Facebook Page: http://bit.ly/2sgqSlL Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mississippi_UMC ConnecTText: Text the letters ‘MSUMC’ to the number 95577 and press send

Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church

Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church

18 The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION


Rev. Mattie Gipson 50th Anniversary Celebrating a Legacy of Faith, Hope & Renewal More Rivers to Cross, More Milestones to Reach

Congratulations

Rev. Larry Pickering Associate Member

î ś

From your Byrd’s Chapel Family

Thank You for being our District Superintendent. We love you!

From the Greenwood District

Stay Connected. Highlighting all of the latest news from around the Mississippi Conference For more information go to www.mississippi-umc.org/thecircuitrider

The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION 19


West Jackson District

Living intoThe POWER of We...

•

Connecting resources... Touching lives... Challenging hunger... Promoting healthy communities... Encouraging school partnerships...

Congratulations

Heidelberg Stained Glass

4418 27th Street • Meridian, MS 39307

Design, Fabrication, Restoration

To

The Rev. Joe Coggins On Your Ordination Shiloh United Methodist Church 1704 Shiloh Road | Mantachie, MS 20 The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION

For prices, designs and appointments, please write or phone

Phone: 601-616-1390 Fax: 601-483-7958 or visit http://heidelbergstainedglass.com


The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION 21


Snapshots from the 2017 Annual Conference Session

Pastor Ron Kitchens hangs out with his sons John and Jacob in the conference’s Youth Zone.

Rev. Rob Gill performs during the clergy session.

Shell Ennis, Olivia White, and Darrell Henderson controlled lighting for the annual conference session.

For ten years Anthony and Amy Thaxton have videotaped the annual conference sessions.

Delphine Swanson sported a dress with a pattern of the Africa University logo.

District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Stephen Cook gave the appointive cabinet report. Dr. David Beckley was all smiles when he gave the standing rules report.

Mississippi Conference clergy participated in a breathing exercise led by facilitators of the mandatory clergy training on ethics Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Nearly 800 clergy attended. The training happens every four years. 22 The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION


The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION 23


Photo courtesy of Andrew Welch

MISSISSIPPI UNITED METHODIST FOUNDATION

Planting Seeds of Generosity for 50 Years 601-948-8845 | www. ms-umf.org P.O. Box 2415 Ridgeland, MS 39158-2415 24 The Circuit Rider :: SPECIAL EDITION

2017 special edition circuit rider final web2  

Special Edition Circuit Rider for June 10, 2017 Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church

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