WEST MICHIGAN ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2013
VI. DAILY PROCEEDINGS
of the West Michigan Annual Conference FIRST DAY — CLERGY SESSION Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – 1:30 PM
John Boley welcomed clergy members and led them in the song And Are We Yet Alive.
Motion: Boley moved Sus’ann Busley, Deana Nelson, Mark Doyal, Pros Tumonong and Vicki Gibbs can attend Clergy Session with voice without vote. Motion carried.
Motion: Boley moved all lay members of the Board of Ordained Ministry be allowed in the Session with voice, without vote. Motion carried. Motion: Boley moved Dorothy Smith can join her husband Bob Smith to assist him. Motion carried. Motion: Boley moved Mark Miller, who is coming from the Detroit Annual Conference, can join Clergy Session with voice and vote. Bill Hagar introduced Mark Miller. Motion carried. Deb Johnson highlighted the expectation of Ordination Service. Laurie Haller led clergy members in We Are Called.
Michael Wildschut from Calvin College informed clergy members about weather and emergency safety.
Lou Grettenberger gave the report of the Board of Pensions and Health Benefits. Grettenberger highlighted how the board cares about YOU. Grettenberger stated 45% did not invest in United Methodist Pensions, and he stated health clinics are going on during conference. Grettenberger stated a question and answer sheet is available for every clergy member on their way out from Clergy Session. A video was presented about changes of clergy retirement plan. Grettenberger introduced Pros Tumonong to come forward to entertain questions from clergy members. A video was played about School for Pastoral Ministry.
Melany Chalker, Dean of School for Pastoral Ministry, highlighted changes available to local Pastors and aspects of what to expect this year at School for Pastoral Ministry.
Bishop Deb Kiesey called to order 2013 Clergy Session of West Michigan Annual Conference at 2:17 PM Julie Liske led clergy into Affirming our Call and Spirit of God
Motion: Boley moved to nominate Lynn Pier-Fitzgerald as Chair of the Order of Elders. Motion carried. Motion: Boley moved to nominate Greg Lawton as Chair of the Order of Deacons. Motion carried.
Mike Riegler, Chair of John Wesley Association, highlighted on ministry of John Wesley Association and informed clergy that Jon Pohl and Jeremy Wicks stepped into leadership positions.
Greg Lawton, Chair of Order of Deacons, highlighted the purpose of a deacon, and Lynn PierFitzgerald, Chair of Order of Elders, highlighted the Order of Elder and read a description of Orders of Elder from the Book of Discipline. Bishop Kiesey presented Question 17 and Bob Hundley responded by saying District Superintendents and Bishop accept the clergy to be blameless in their life. Boley led clergy in prayer.
Clergy sang Here I Am, Lord.
Marty Culver presented Question 19a, 19b, and 19c for information only. Culver presented Question 20 for information only.
Motion: Culver moved that Craig Pahl have a one- year extension. Motion carried.
Motion: Culver presented Question 21. Billie Dalton raised concersn about the status of Jorge Rodriguez. Question 21 carried. Culver presented Question 22 for information only.
Boley presented Question 24a and 24b for information only. Motion: Boley presented Question 25. Question 25 carried.
Motion: Boley presented Question 26b. Question 26 carried.
Motion: Kathy Kursch presented Question 28a. Sandra Douglas and Stacy Minger speak on behalf of Nancy Fancher to be selected as a provisional deacon. Question 28a carried. Dean Prentiss presented Question 29a for information only.
Motion: Prentiss presented Question 32a. Question 32a carried. Individually affirmedas elders in full connection were Bryce Feighner, Julie Greyerbiehl, John Matthew Weiler and Ell Zienert. Motion: Prentiss presented Question 32b. Question 32b carried. Motion: Prentiss presented Question 33a. Question 33a carried.
Motion: Prentiss presented Question 34a. Bryce Feighner, Julie Greyerbiehl, John Matthew Weiler, and Ellen Zienert were introduced to Bishop Kiesey, and encouraged to remember their baptism. â€“ Question 34a carried. Wade Panse presented Question 38 for information only. Clergy sang You are Mine (verses 1 and 2).
Panse presented Question 43a-2 and Question 43b-2 for information only. Motion: Panse presented Question 44a. Question 44a carried. Motion: Panse present Question 44b for information only. Panse presented Question 46b. Question 46b carried. Panse presented Question 77c. Question 77c carried.
Sue Babb presented Question 58 for information only. Babb presented Question 59 for information only. Babb presented Question 63 for information only.
Wade Panse presented Question 72b for information only.
Panse presented Question 41 for information only. William Dobbs spoke on his behalf and the reason for his transfer to Detroit Annual Conference. Panse presented Question 42d for information only. Panse presented Question 49 for information only.
Motion: Panse presented Question 50a-1. Question 50a-1 carried. Motion: Panse presented Question 50a-2. Question 50a-2 carried. Motion: Panse presented Question 50a-3. Question 50a-3 carried. Panse presented Question 50a-5 for information only.
Motion: Panse presented Question 52. Question 52 carried.
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Clergy sang You Are Mine (verse 3 and 4).
Motion: John Boley presented Question 53a- Elders. Question 53a carried.. Boley presented Question 56a for information only.
Clergy members took a moment to pray for fellow clergy members retiring.
Panse named clergy members who passed away this year and a candle was lit in their memory. Bishop Keisey prayed and the clergy sang, We Are Called. Motion: Boley presented Question 18a - Question 18a carried. Boley presented Question 18b for information only.
Boley presented Question 73a - Question 73a carried.
Motion: Boley presented Linda Stoddard under an 8-year less than full time appointment. Motion carried. Boley presented Question 73b for information only.
Boley thanked Sus’ann Busley for their work on this report.
Motion: Boley moved to accept the full report of ordained ministry. Motion carried. Clergy sang The Summons.
Bishop Kiesey thanked clergy members for service and patience as she learns new rules and people. Bishop Kiesey ended with a blessing.
FIRST DAY — LAITY SESSION Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – 1:30 PM
Anne Soles, Conference Lay Leader, called the Laity to session at 1:31 pm. Michael Wildschut from Calvin College highlighted safety procedures related to severe weather and how to contact Emergency Services.
Soles introduced Bishop Deborah Kiesey who welcomed the laity and acknowledged their service to the Conference. Bishop Kiesey shared her hope that laity leave the conference inspired, excited and able to take the experience back to their local church. Soles discussed the organization of the Laity Session and recognized the Districts of the Conference. Soles discussed the layout of the auditorium, voting areas and how to approach the microphone. Soles invited the District Lay Leaders to the stage to be recognized and introduced themselves. Soles introduced her intern Kate. Soles encouraged the Laity to ask questions now and throughout the Conference. Susan Wirgau, Petosky UMC, asked where the Missions Trailer was located, which is Parking Lot One. Soles encouraged Laity to speak at Conference and let their voices be heard. Dan VanEllsworth, inquired about how long sessions would be before a break was provided. Dennis Kelley asked for clarification regarding how the Laity Certification process has changed. Soles spoke to these changes and where individuals could go for more information.
Soles asked the Board of Christian Camping to the stage to speak about the opportunities available at camp. Pam Cowgill and Terri Reynolds asked the Laity for excuses for not sending their children to camp. The topic of cost was expressed as an excuse, to which they explained how to reduced the cost of camp through rebates, incentives and scholarships, including funds raised from the Snack Table. Other concerns expressed included children not enjoying camp, children not wanting to “unplug”, outdoor challenges and a lack of established friends at the camp. Family camping was discussed as a positive experience for people of all ages. Specialty camps were discussed as
options for children with various interests. Church growth was attributed to Christian Camping as well as the development of christian leaders.
Soles invited the Board of Campus Ministry and Higher Education to the stage to share what is being done on college campuses. Students shared what Wesley how they got involved in their Wesley Foundation and what it has meant in their lives. Wesley Foundation Alumni spoke to how their experiences shaped their lives and how they carry these experiences with them after graduation. Wesley Foundation gave examples of how to speak at the microphone and encouraged Laity to speak at Conference. Bill Chu, Director at MSU Wesley ,and Soles role-played going through a petition on the floor of Conference and the values that Wesley practices in Holy Conferencing. The petition was discussed with speeches for and against offered by the Laity. Soles adjourned for a 15-minute break at 3:00 PM.
Soles called the Laity Session back to order at 3:20 PM.
Soles invited Max Waagner, Albion District Lay Leader, and Deb Fennell, Lansing District Lay Leader ,to the stage to discuss the importance of connecting the local congregation to the Annual Conference. A presentation from the General Board of Discipleship was shared highlighting the importance of the clergy/laity relationship and the differing gifts and roles of each. Fennell also discussed the fact that Clergy are among the most unhealthy individuals and the factors associated with these health issues. Waagner closed by discussing the concept of taking Pastors for granted and how important it is to be mindful of the Pastorâ€™s time and other commitments outside of the church.
Soles invited Gary Step, Director of New Church Development and Congregational Transformation ,to discuss the Vital Church Initiative and New Church Development. Step discussed the purpose of VCI and the importance of having a healthy congregation. Step reviewed the three phases of the VCI process and also explained the two paths of VCI, one for smaller churches and one for larger churches. Step introduced Joel Brouwer of Lansing Asbury UMC to discuss his experience with VCI. Phase 1 consists of a shared leadership experience. In addition, Phase 1 also involves learning what makes churches successful. Phase 2 consists of a Consultation Event after all the data is compiled from Phase 1. A team from VCI comes to the church and educates the members on the results of Phase 1. A report is written from the data to correlate with Phase 3, which is the implementation of prescriptions. These prescriptions are voted on as a whole by the local church. If the Prescriptions are approved, the church will continue to receive support and consultation. If the prescriptions are voted down, the church will no longer receive support. Naomi Garcia, Smaller Church Path Coordinator, was brought to the stage to offer additional information regarding the VCI Phases and for a question and answer session with the Laity. Garcia took the Laity through the Consultation process for a smaller church. The importance of the Laity in the VCI process was highlighted. Step invited members to greet each other. Step discussed his role in New Church Development and provided a video regarding how new churches are developed. The video highlighted the different models of new church development. Emily Reese, new church consultant, spoke about the creation of new churches and the Lay Missionary Planting Network. Reese discussed the outcomes associated with the Laity who go through the Lay Missionary Planting Network training. Soles directed the Laity to the Response Petition Booklet and gave general information regarding the legislative process. Soles closed the session at 4:44 PM.
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FIRST DAY — OPENING WORSHIP Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – 7:00 PM
Andrew Jackson, Worship Coordinator, opened worship at 7:06 PM by inviting the Conference to stand and sing And Are We Yet Alive?
Jackson welcomed Bishop Kiesey to the West Michigan Annual Conference. Kiesey declared the 2013 West Michigan Annual Conference officially open at 7:09 PM. The Conference sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.
The Choir from Jackson First UMC provided the Call to Worship - How Great Thou Art.
Jackson announced that Karin Orr was not able to be with the Conference this evening and Michelle Brokaw would take her place. Jackson invited the Conference to greet one another and offer the peace of Christ. The Jackson First UMC choir led the song for coming back together - Let There Be Peace On Earth. Brokaw read 2 Timothy 1:3-7 and led the Conference in a Responsive Reading.
The Jackson First UMC Choir led the Conference in the Doxology and an Anthem.
Bishop Kiesey began her message by thanking the West Michigan Conference for their hospitality, patience and trust in her service. Kiesey shared her experiences in the past nine months as she adapts to Michigan. Kiesey discussed the Book of Timothy and its relevance to this year’s Annual Conference. Kiesey highlighted phrases for the Conference to remember and reflect on during Annual Conference. The Bishop read from the Book of Discipline, and spoke to the purpose of Annual Conference members as being a Body of Christ and to celebrate those that have given their lives to ministry. Change for the transformation of the work begins at Conference and will only happen when we are on fire with the Holy Spirit. Kiesey discussed fear and a lack of passion as factors that are holding us back from this rekindling of the Holy Spirit. Kiesey challenged the Conference to remember their faith and prayed that the Holy Spirit be rekindled across Michigan and set this world ablaze. Bishop Kiesey led the Conference in singing Spirit of the Living God.
Jackson thanked Bishop Keisey for her message and invited the members of the Conference to join in singing Lift Every Voice and Sing. Bill Dobbs invited the Conference to give to the Youth Mission Trip to Haiti and United Methodist Community House. Dobbs spoke about each of these ministries and their purpose. The offering was collected while harpist Phyllis Miner played On Eagle’s Wings in the background. Brokaw invited the Conference to ready themselves for Communion through confession and pardon. Bishop Kiesey and Dobbs provided the Great Thanksgiving and invited the Conference to join in Communion.
The Praise Band, “Reconciled”, provided special music - The Bread Has Been Broken, Communion, Breathe and Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone during Communion.
Jackson invited the Conference to greet each other in the peace of Christ and then to join in singing the closing hymn Marching to Zion. Worship was closed at 8:38 PM with the benediction given by Bishop Kiesey. Worship was followed by a reception to welcome the Bishop.
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Second Day — Devotions
Thursday, May 30th, 2013 – 8:30 AM Grand Rapids Metro Ministry led Annual Conference members in morning devotions. The congregation was encouraged to join in singing with Leaning. The Prophet Isaiah, an article titled “Irresistible Revelation”, and 2 Timothy were read during devotions. The congregation sang Everything We Do to Glory of God. An essay by Barbara Brown Taylor called “Church in Ruins” and Matthew 5 were read by the Grand Rapids Metro Ministry. The Bishop and Cabinet sang I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. District Superintendent minutes were given from 1953. Laurie Haller led the congregation in prayer. Congregation sang along to This Little Light of Mine. Morning devotions ended at 9:01 AM with Jeremy Williams on piano.
Second Day — Morning Session Thursday, May 30, 2013 – 9:00 AM
Bishop Deborah Kiesey led the congregation in singing Sanctuary and welcomed the West Michigan Annual Conference congregation.
Motion: Anne Soles moved that Greg Buchner become secretary for the Annual Conference. Motion carried.
Nichea VerVeer Guy welcomes Bishop Kiesey “home” and all others participating in Annual Conference.
Motion: VerVeer Guy moved the limits of the floor be set as all seating in the lower level of the Covenant Fine Arts Center and the center of the balcony and that our guests will be directed to sit on the side of the balcony. Yellow, green, and pink name tags can be in the now designated voting area of the main floor and center balcony. The chairs reserved for voting members who have physical limitations are located on the main level in the walkway aisle. Those with white guest name tags and who have a physical limitation may sit in the designated areas on the sides of the balcony. American Sign Language interpreters are located on the south side of the Auditorium and seats are reserved there for those needing that service. Cell phones are to be turned off or on a silent mode while we are in session. Motion carried. Motion: VerVeer Guy moved the adoption of the Agenda for the 2013 Annual Conference, as printed/posted in the Program Book, with necessary changes as made by the Agenda Committee in consultation with the Chair. Motion carried.
Motion: VerVeer Guy moved that Deana Nelson, Executive Administrative Assistant to the Bishop and Brad Kiesey, spouse of the Bishop, be extended the courtesy of sitting within the limits of the floor. Motion carried.
Michael Wildschut extended greetings from Calvin College and updated the Conference on other public events. Julie Liske welcomed the congregation and gave greetings from The Grand Rapids Metro Ministry. Motion: Benton Heisler moved to adopt Journal Volume 1. Motion carried.
Buchner announced greetings and regrets from others around our conference.
Rachel Krahulik presented the Youth Service Fund Offering and introduced Love Links. Krahulik highlighted how Love Links will not be hung around auditorium this year so youth can be present to vote but the competition is still going on.
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Sue Cobb gave the report on Council on Finance and Administration. She covered where all the Conference Ministry Shares go and thanked the West Michigan Conference for their contributions. Scott Brewer brought greetings from the General Council on Finance and Administration. He thanked the Conference for their support and funds that are very vital for the ministries.
On behalf of the Connectional Table, Kennetha Bigham-Tsai thanked the Conference for its generosity and support for the ministries around the world. Scott Brewer presented Bishop Kiesey with a certificate of achievement for giving 100% to World Service.
Gary Haller presented the first draft of the Nomination Report. Haller explained the nomination report and recognized the people who have served as chairperson on a committee. Haller welcomed Glen Wagner as new Chair for Nominations. Anne Soles presented the Laity Report. Soles thanked the District Lay Leaders and Local Lay Leaders in their respective churches.
Soles introduced Wayne Bank, Lay Leader from Detroit Annual Conference. Bank greeted the Conference on behalf of the Detroit Annual Conference.
Bishop Kiesey welcomed Gary Henderson on behalf of Imagine No Malaria Campaign. Henderson expressed the concern with malaria and the impact ministries/individuals are having with The Imagine No Malaria Campaign. . Motion: Sue Cobb moved to suspend the rules to present a motion related to Imagine No Malaria. Motion to suspend carried.
Motion: Cobb moved in response to the generous mission hearts of the people of West Michigan and with the affirmation of the Council on Finance and Administration, the Conference Leadership Team, the Conference Board of Global Ministries, the Full Cabinet and Bishop Kiesey; I move that an Imagine No Malaria Task Force be named by Bishop Kiesey and that it be empowered to conduct an invitational fund raising effort for Imagine No Malaria toward a goal of $1.5 million for the Michigan Area of the UMC to be concluded by December 2014.
Expenses related to the implementation of this motion are to be covered by existing Conference Budget Resources and a $40,000 grant from the Imagine No Malaria Foundation. Note: As of this date, more than $500,000 has already been raised in the Michigan Area with each Conference having raised about half of this amount. Motion carried.
Bishop Kiesey expressed her appreciation to the Conference for its support to help fight malaria. She announced a 15-minute break at 10:18 AM. The Bishop opened the legislation time by singing This is the Day at 10:34 AM.
Bill Haggard informed the Conference that Cydney Idsinga is il,l and he prayed for her recovery.
Anne Soles introduced the Decision Calendar and which items would be discussed first due to their time sensitive nature. Soles discussed the process of writing and submitting a Response Petition. Laurie Haller will be presenting General Conference Items for vote later in the day. Items on the Decision Calendar can be lifted by noon Friday. Questions were presented for clarification and discussed.
Judy Coffey, Rules of Order Chairperson, presented the Rules of Order Committee Report. Coffey referred people to page 313 for more information regarding the Report. Motion: Coffey presented Item #14. Motion carried.
Motion: Coffey presented Item #15-R. George Lawton spoke in favor of the substitute motion.
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Coffey spoke to an edit that would need to be made if the Item passed. Item #15-R carried. Item #15 as amended carried. Motion: Coffey presented Item #16. Item #16 carried. Motion: Coffey presented Item #17. Item #17 carried. Motion: Coffey presented Item #18. Item #18 carried.
Soles gave a report of clarification regarding removing Items from the Decision Calendar. Items will be lifted from the Decision Calendar for further discussion. Motion: Coffey presented Item #19-R. Item #19-R carried.
Motion: Item #19 as amended was brought to the Conference. Item #19 as amended was carried. George Lawton stated that the body had not voted on the Rules of Order.
Soles introduced Item 1 for review. Benton Heisler clarified that the Rules of Order were before the body and needed to be voted on before the Plan of Organization was discussed. Motion: Bishop Kiesey presented the Rules of Order. Motion carried.
Michael Streevy offered a point of clarification that legislation was passed prior to voting on the Rules of Order. Bishop Kiesey stated that the previous legislation was voted on using the previous Rules of Order. All other legislation would now be voted on using the new Rules of Order.
Motion: Soles presented Item #1. Lou Grettenberger stated that starting in January 2014, if a clergy does not participate in the PIP, the plan will pay lower benefits. Item #2 carried. Motion: Soles presented Item #2. Mark Johnson discussed the unhealthy habits that clergy partake in and the importance of healthy lifestyles. Glenn Wagner spoke in favor. Gerry Beldon asked for a point of clarification regarding the costs associated with the HealthMiles Program. Johnson responded by stating that there is financial gain for clergy who participate. Claire Hills spoke in favor.
Motion: Bill Chu moved to amend by adding: “or some other similar exercise regime.” Chu spoke to this amendment by stating that clergy should be able to exercise without SPRC monitoring or requiring a certain type of exercise. Amendment carried. Item #2 as amended carried.
Motion: Soles presented Item #3 and deferred to the Bishop as Charlie Farnum, make of the Petition, was not available for clarification. Grettenberger spoke against Item #3 by reading a letter from Board of Pensions. Claire Hills spoke in favor of Item #3. Ryan Minier spoke in favor of Item #3. Daniel Yates asked for clarification regarding to what extent clergy not participating in the Insurance Program would have insurance available to them. Yates’ understanding was that all staff members were required to have health insurance as stated in the Book of Discipline. Bishop Kiesey stated that an answer would be provided after consultation. DaAnn Dobbs spoke against Item #3. Jane Lippert spoke against Item #3. Minier asked for a point of clarification regarding who would be opting out of the insurance program. Bishop Kiesey stated that she could not speak to the specifics because the creator was not available. Rob McPherson offered a point of clarification stating that those with set salaries from the Conference are able to opt-out. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai spoke in favor of Item #3. Benton Heisler spoke against Item #3. Nichole Kanyama spoke against Item #3. Motion: Minier moved to amend Item #3 by striking “whose salaries are set by the West Michigan Annual Conference” and adding “Conference Agencies in the West Michigan Conference except those appointed to Campus Ministries.” The amendment was open for discussion. Motion to amend failed. Motion: David Hills moved to refer Item #3 to CF&A, Conference Leadership Team and the Board of Pensions and Health Benefits. Mark Thompson, Grand Rapids Faith UMC, spoke in favor of
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referring Item #3 to allow Farnum to clarify his petition.
Motion: Heisler moved to amend the referral to include a member from the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. Glenn Wagner asked who would call the referral committee together. Heisler stated that he would be organizing the committee. Chu offered clarification of why Farnum is not at Conference. He is on Renewal Leave. Chu spoke in favor of the amendment. Barry Petrucci offered an item of information regarding the addition of another committee member to represent other affected agencies. Motion: Florence Silvernail called the question on all that was before the body. Motion to call the question carried. Motion to amend referral Item #3 carried. Motion to refer as amended carried.
Bishop Kiesey adjourned the session at 11:51 AM with prayer from Anita Hahn, Grand Traverse District Superintendent.
Second Day — Afternoon Session Thursday May 30, 2013 – 1:30PM
Bishop Kiesey called the Conference to order at 1:33 PM. Nichea Ver Veer Guy made general announcements.
Motion: Kathy Cadarette moved that the minutes from May 29 be accepted as written. Motion carried.
Laurie Haller was called to the stage to discuss the General Conference Constitutional Amendments. Haller referred the Conference to page 216 for more information. Haller outlined the process of submitting and voting on items sent to General Conference. Haller discussed the history of the Constitution and commented that it has been amended 42 times since its inception in 1966. Haller explained the proposed Constitutional Amendments and reminded the body that no additional amendments could be made - only a “yes” or “no” vote. Greg Buchner, Conference Secretary, explained the process of voting on the Constitutional Amendments. Each Amendment is to be voted on separately using one ballot. Buchner gave the eligibility requirements to vote. Bucher prayed over the voting process. The floor was opened for discussion prior to each Amendment vote. The Conference voted on Amendment 1 as written. The Conference voted on Amendment 2 as written. Dan Ellsworth spoke in favor of Amendment 3.
The Conference voted on Amendment 3 as written.
Lynn DeMoss sought clarification regarding the power that Amendment 4 entailed and whether this would affect a future voting process should there be a motion to merge the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences. Haller spoke to this stating that it was her understanding there was no intent to mandate a merger. Lynn DeMoss spoke against Amendment 4.
Ryan Minier spoke in favor of Amendment 4.
Benton Heisler offered clarification for DeMoss’ question as a member of the Michigan Area Task Force. Heisler stated that there is no outside entity that would force the Conferences to merge.
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The Conference voted on Amendment 4 as written.
Bishop Kiesey closed the balloting for the Constitutional Amendments.
Bishop Kiesey took a minute of personal privilege to discuss Holy Conferencing. Anne Soles presented Item #9 and Item #9-R1.
Jodie Flessner spoke about Item #9-R1 for information.
Motion: Don Buege moved to amend Item #9-R1 by adding “Each district superintendent shall provide at least one cooperative ministry training event at their district conference”. Buege spoke in favor of the amendment, which had been offered as Item #9-R2.
Glenn Wagner, Holt UMC, sought clarification regarding Item #9 and Item #9-R1. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai spoke against the Amendment to Item #9-R1. Esther Jackson spoke for the Amendment to Item #9-R1.
Jodie Flessner spoke against the Amendment to Item #9-R1.
Kate Keegan sought clarification regarding what the District would include. Buege spoke to this. Laurie Haller spoke against the Amendment to Item #9-R1. Amy Latimer sought clarification.
Motion: to amend Item #9-R1. Motion failed. Mike Riegler spoke in favor of Item #9-R1. Item #9-R1 carried.
Item #9 as amended carried.
Bishop Kiesey invited John Boley to give the Board of Ordained Ministry Report. Boley discussed the role and responsibility of the Board of Ordained Ministry, including the oversight of Candidacy Members. Boley introduced Bryce Feighner, Julie Greyerbiehl, John Matthew Weiler and Ellen Zienert as Elders in Full Connection as voted on during the Clergy Session. Boley highlighted the March training provided for the Cabinet, the Board of Ordained Ministry and District Committees and their new policy about online seminary classes. Boley discussed the work the Board of Ordained Ministry has completed within the past year. Boley concluded by thanking all those that serve on a District Committee. Boley congratulated Lynn Pier-Fitzgerald and Greg Lawton to their new responsibilites and recognized those stepping down. Jeremy and Caleb Williams led the Conference in singing Breathe. A video was shown highlighting the importance of the Christian Camping experience. George Ayoup thanked the Conference for their support of Camping Ministries and discussed the challenges that Camping Ministries have had in recent years. Ayuop stated that in 2012, there was a 6% increase in week long camp attendance. Ayoup discussed the fundraising that is taking place to make camp affordable for everyone. Ayoup encouraged all congregations to send children to camp, including children outside of the congregation.
Laurie Haller was invited to the stage for the Africa University Update. Haller discussed the construction taking place at Africa University and the upcoming trip to AU. Haller thanked the Conference for their 100% giving to Africa University in 2012. Haller recognized the task force that have donated its time to Africa University on behalf of the West Michigan Conference. Haller stated that each of the 19 rooms in the Ubuntu Retreat Center will be named after the local church or district that supported the Africa University initiative. Also recognized were churches that collaboratively supported Africa University as well as individuals. Haller invited the District Superintendents to the stage to be recognized for their support of Africa University. The Africa University Task Force recognized the West Michigan Annual Conference for raising $20,000 over
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two years. Bishop Kiesey accepted the award on behalf of the West Michigan Conference.
Bill Dobbs was invited to the podium to recognize Andrew Vorbich as Conference Chancellor. Motion: Dobbs moved Andrew Vorbich for election to Conference Chancellor. Motion carried.
Bishop Kiesey adjoined the session at 3:14 PM.
Second Day — Marking Sacred Time Thursday, May 30th, 2013 – 3:30 PM
Christopher Lane welcomed people to the Marking Sacred Time Service and asked people to take a moment of silence. Lane led Call to Worship.
The Conference sang Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore (verse 1)
Marty Culver recognized pastors who have completed licensing school this year: Sara L. Carlson, Dawn E. Laupp, Noreen S. Shafer, Richard J. Foster, Scott R. Loomis, Paul W. Thomas, Judith A. Hazle, Michael R. Neihardt, and Beverley J. Williams. Culver recognized local pastors who have completed the Course of Study: John D. Messner, David A. Price, Clifford L. Radtke, Melody L. Olin, and Irene L. Vittoz. Local pastors who are in their first appointment in our Conference were also introduced, which are: Richard J. Foster, Judith A. Hazle, Scott R. Loomis, Michael R. Neihardt, Noreen S. Shafer, Paul W. Thomas, and Beverley J. Williams.
John Boley recognized the Holder of the Conference Cane, Bernard R. Randolph. Boley stated that Mr. Randolph was in the hospital, battling health problems. Boley also recognized transfers from other conferences: Ryan B. Wieland, Bo Run Cho, and Ronald VanLente. Finally, Boley reported clergy members serving among us from another UMC Conference as Frederick G. Cain, David Elmore, Julie Y. Elmore, Mark D. Miller, and Deborah S. Thomas. Kathy Kursch introduced Nancy Fancher for being commissioned as a Provisional Deacon..
Dean Prentiss recognized clergy members being ordained in full connection as Elders which are: Julie Greyerbiehl, John Matthew Weiler, Ellen Zienert, and Janice Lancaster Tock. Bishop Deborah Keisey asked clergy members being ordained as Elders the historical questions. Bishop Kiesey welcomed Greyerbiehl, Weiler, Zienert, and Tock as new Pastors. Congregation sang Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore (verse 2)
Chris Lane recognized Dianne Bowden as a retiring clergy member. Lillis led the Conference after a farewell speech. The Conference listened to farewell speeches about retiring clergy members: Dianne Bowden, Victor Charnley, Tom Evans, John Fisher, David Flagel, Ron Grant, Les Longden, Robert Mayo, Laurie McKinven-Copus, O’Ryan Rickard, Katheen Smith, Leonard Schoenherr, Joe Spackman, Carolin Spragg, Sandra VandenBrink and Gregory Wolfe. The Conference sang Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore (verse 3)
Tom Evans and Julie Greyerbiehl came up with Bishop Kiesey to represent the passing of the mantle from one generation to the next. The Conference sang Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore (verse 4) Lane led the Blessing of Dismissal.
Marking Sacred Time ended at 4:46 PM.
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Second Day — Memorial Service Thursday, May 30, 2013 – 7:30 PM
Pastor Cindy Greene opened the worship service at 7:30 PM by introducing the violinist from Alma and Ithaca Praise Team. The Ithaca Praise Team led the congregation in singing How Great Thou Art, To God Be The Glory, and I Will Rise. The congregation was led in prayer and sang Amazing Grace.
The Opening Prayer was given by Jerry Hamm and Ezra 3: 10-13 was read.
Bishop Kiesey introduced Bishop Sharon Rader, who gave the message “Shouts of Joy and Bitter Weeping.” Bishop Rader spoke about Bishop Kiesey, welcoming her to the West Michigan Conference. Bishop Rader shared what new experiences exist with death and that all need to remember this and praise God. Bishop Rader discussed a recent memorial service she attended honoring a former Bishop in which the congregation was reminded to not only mourn, but also to celebrate a life. Bishop Rader talked about the many interpretations of the Last Supper and how this relates to mourning and celebration. She spoke of the strength that can be found when joy and sorrow are mixed to create meaningful, authentic worship. While there is much to lament during this time, it is the reason joy and praise are possible. Joy can be found within pain because trouble will not last always. Bishop Rader concluded by discussing that our God can take it all and the congregation responded by saying “Praise Be To God.” The congregation was led in the Liturgical Reading of Psalm 23.
The Praise Band sang I Can Only Imagine, Cry Out to Jesus and Save A Place For Me while pictures were shown honoring those who have passed away.
Benton Heisler read the names of each person remembered while a bell was rung in their honor. Family and close friends were invited to stand during this time.
Bishop Kiesey led the congregation in Holy Communion through a responsive reading and invited all to participate. Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place, Open My Eyes, Jesus Remember Me, Ancient Words and In Christ Alone were sung as communion was taken. An Ithaca Praise Team Member closed the communion time with prayer. In closing, the congregation sang It Is Well With My Soul.
Bishop Rader closed the Memorial Service with the benediction at 9:06 PM
Third Day — Devotions Friday, May 31, 2013 – 8:30 AM
Gary Step welcomed Conference before Jeremy Schaefer led congregation in Build Your Kingdom Here and You Are My Vision. Step led the devotional by highlighting how a person could hit a wall and needs to get off and walk. After sharing 2 Timothy 1:5-7, Step said to remember: why do we gather here? Step stated that when you hit the wall remember: there is someone you can go to. Step said to remember the people you can go to and that there is a loving God. Step asked, “Have you hit the wall so much that you are empty inside?” Step reminded us that we gather together to be renewed in body, mind and spirit. Step led the congregation in Spirit of the Living God because that is what we need to be refreshed. Step closed in prayer. Morning devotion ended at 9:00 AM with a break.
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Third Day — Morning Session Friday, May 31, 2013 – 9:00 AM
Bishop Deborah Kiesey welcomed members to the morning plenary session and detailed direction of the day’s schedule. Bishop Kiesey reminded people about the importance of Holy Conferencing. Bishop Kiesey prayed for the morning session. Anne Soles presented Item #10 and Item #10 R.
Nancy Patera explained the difference between Item #10R and Item #10..
Michelle Claxton said as clergy, she has a issue every year with voting on her minimum salary. Item 10R carried.
Motion: Patera presented Item #10 as amended. Item #10 as amended carried. Sole presented Item #11.
Nancy Patera elaborated on Item #11.
Don Buege presented Item #11-R. Three people spoke against Item #11-R. Item #11-R failed. Item #11 carried.
Scott Manning and Robert Ecker asked a question, which Benton Heisler answered.
Motion: Anne Soles moved to suspend the rules to hear a motion about General Conference. Motion to suspend carried. Motion: Laurie Haller moved in accordance with paragraph 502.3 of the 2012 Book of Discipline and Rule 33A of the Rules of Order of the West Michigan Conference, that the West Michigan Annual Conference authorize the 2012 General and Jurisdictional delegation and the Annual Conference Program Committee to determine by September 30, 2013 whether the election of delegates to the 2016 General Conference will take place in 2014 or 2015. Haller explained the benefits of electing delegates two years before General Conference. Ryan Minier spoke in favor of this motion by saying that other conferences in the jurisdiction have already chosen to go forward. Motion carried. Anne Soles presented Item #13 which was lifted from the Decision Calendar.
Motion: Amee Pararella moved to amend Item #13 by adding Global AIDS Day December 1, 2013 and December 7, 2014. Pararella explained why she believes Annual Conference should recognize Global AIDS Day. Motion to amend carried. Motion: Soles lifted Item 25-R from the Decision Calendar. Benton Heisler spoke on behalf of Item #25-R.
Lou Grettenberger asked about Line Item 32 in the 2014 Conference Budget and how that Line Item got established. Benton Heisler explained where Line Item 32 is in budget. Dan Ellsworth spoke for motion. Item 25-R carried. Sole presented Item #4.
Paul Schlutt was ruled out of order when he tried to move to amend after he had made a speech. Eight people spoke against and six people for Item #4.
Motion: Kate Keegan moved to amend Item #4 by removing “aid and.” Motion failed.
Motion: Ken Bremer called question on all that was before the Conference. Motion carried. John Fisher, maker of Item #4, was allowed to speak in favor.
Melany Chalker asked for a time of prayer before vote on Item #4.
Item #4 was counted by tellers and as tellers were calculating votes, the congregation sang Jesus Loves You. Item #4 carried by 334 to 275. Motion: Bill Dobbs moved to suspend the rules. Motion carried.
Motion: Dobbs moved that Rob Long from Detroit Conference will be able to have voice without vote. Motion carried. Motion: William Chu moved to suspend the rules to limit debate. Motion carried.
Motion: Chu moved to limit debates to 5 in favor and 5 against with 3 minutes per speaker. Motion carried. Bishop Kiesey called a break from morning session at 10:50 AM.
THIRD DAY â€” CORPORATE SESSION Friday, May 31, 2013
Bishop Kiesey brought Annual Conference members back to order at 11:03 AM for Corporate Session. Bill Gehman called Corporate Session to order at 11:05 AM. Gehman presented Item #CS-1.
Bill Haggard explained Item #CS-1 on Discontinuation of Plainfield United Methodist Church. Amelia Stine spoke in favor. Item #CS-1 carried. Gehman presented Item #CS-2.
Robert Hundley explained Item #CS-2 on Discontinuation of East Lansing Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. John Boley supported motion.
Jeremy Wicks asked who bought the church property. Ellen Zienert stated the church was sold to a non-denomination church, and the parsonage was to an individual. Gary Step thanked the church for the donation to New Church Development from this sale.
Denny Oldan asked what would happen if they voted it down. Bob Hundley explained the procedure as outlined in The Book of Discipline. Item #CS-2 carried
Gehman presented Item #CS-3.
A video was presented on Item #CS-3.
Dobbs spoke for the proposal to own an area office instead of leasing property.
Four spoke in favor and five against the Item. Questions were asked and Dobbs provided answers if they were known. Motion: Anne Sole moved to call the question. Motion carried. Item #CS-3 carried.
Gehman closed Corporate Session at 11:44 AM.
Motion: Bishop Kiesey moved that the minutes from Corporate session to be added in journal. Motion carried.
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Benton Heisler introduced Jerome DeVine. DeVine brought greetings from Detroit Conference. DeVine highlighted on the diversity or streams among us.
Heisler delivered the Connectional Ministries Report. Heisler thanked the staff of connectional ministries and communication. Heisler introduced Sonya Luna as the Area Director of Hispanic and Latino Ministries and Mark Doyal as Area Director of Communication. Heisler presented a video about Latin Ministries. Heisler talked about updates on camping, Wesley campus ministries, Vital Church Initiative, and “Good Berry.” Nichea Ver Veer Guy brought announcements to conference members. VerVeer Guy presented an award for Highest Church participation in giving to the Advance in the North Central Jurisdiction. Bishop Kiesey closed morning session at 12:06 PM.
Third Day — Afternoon Session Friday, May 31, 2013 – 1:30 PM
Bishop Kiesey welcomed the Conference back to session at 1:33 PM.
Greg Buchner read the results of the Constitutional Amendment: Proposal One: 561 yes, 2 no; Proposal Two: 547 yes, 14 no; Proposal Three: 550 yes, 10 no; Proposal Four: 453 yes, 97 no. Motion: Sheila Baker moved to approve the minutes of May 30, 2013 for approval. Motion carried. Motion: Anne Soles presented Item 12 on the Decision Calendar to vote. Motion carried.
Rachel Krahulik presented the Conference Council for Youth Ministries Report. Krahulik listed the members of CCYM that were not listed on the Nominations Report. Krahulik explained the year of Fallow Time and how it does not mean a time of inactivity. She discussed the work that CCYM has done in the last year and stated that this has been one of the busiest years she has remembered. Bridget Berke spoke about the purpose of CCYM, the projects they are responsible for and the roles of each member. Krahulik thanked all the individuals that supported the CCYM and highlighted the ministry projects that were supported by CCYM in the past year.
David Hills and Emma Kuzer were invited to the stage to present the CCYM Mission Trip to Haiti. Hills and Kuzer discussed the projects they completed and the hardships they saw within the Haiti population. Kuzer expressed her desire to return to Haiti and see the changes that have taken place as well as to experience what God has planned for her. The Conference was thanked for their prayers and financial gifts. that made the trip possible.
Mary Jo Delany requested written copies of the CCYM Report. Naomi Garcia responded that written copies would be available. Delany also inquired about how the individual Districts are handling youth ministry. Garcia responded that the individual Districts are still responsible for their own youth ministry. Wesley Hahn informed the Conference that Spring Splash was still active in the Grand Traverse District. A video from Albion College was shown in greeting.
Gary Step, Director of New Church Development and Congregational Transformation, gave a presentation on New Church Development and the Vital Church Initiative. Step discussed what VCI is and the time that is required to complete the process. Step spoke to the inception of VCI and the different paths that can be taken, depending on the size of the church. Step explained the three phases of the VCI process. Phase One consists of a shared leadership experience, Phase Two consists of a consultation event and Phase Three consists of Implementation of Prescriptions. Churches currently in the various phases were recognized for the work they have completed. Step
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acknowledged Naomi Garcia for her role in VCI. Step also discussed his role with New Church Development and the shift that is occurring within the local church system to a more ‘organic’ way of ‘planting’ churches. He highlighted local churches that have supported new church development through charters, donations and the launch of a satellite church. Step discussed three churches with ‘radius’ studies that offer an insight to the demographics of their neighborhood and outreach potential. A video was shown that explained the multiple models that exist for new church development. Another video was shown that highlighted Sycamore Creek UMC’s “Church in a Diner” program. Tom Author, Pastor of Sycamore Creek UMC, spoke on the creativity of “Church in a Diner” and how this intuitive approach to church affects its members. Arthur discussed the resources that are available to Conference members to assess the readiness for a new church or satellite location. Bishop Kiesey invited Soles back to the stage to continue with the legislative process.
Soles reminded the Conference of the limitations on speeches for and against Items. Soles presented Item 5. John Fisher, creator of the Item, stated he would hold his comments until after the discussion. Motion: Scott Manning moved to amend Item 5 by adding“future sessions of” after “2014. Motion to amend carried. Manning spoke to his rationale for the amendment.
Keith Pratt asked for a point of clarification regarding whether this will bind other Annual Conferences in the future. Bishop Kiesey responded that the Amendment was in order. Motion: Amend Item 5 as described. Motion to amend carried.
NEED NAME offered a point of clarification regarding the limits of the number of speeches on the floor. Bishop Kiesey acknowledged and reminded the body that speeches are limited to 3 minutes per person with a limit of 5 people speaking for and 5 people speaking against each Item. Five people spoke against Item 5 and five people spoke for Item 5.
John Scott moved to make an amendment to Item 5. Bishop Kiesey responded that the body was at an ‘Order of the Day’ and an amendment would not be allowed as the Conference had opportunity to make an amendment in previous speeches. Jane Knapp questioned whether Item 5 would include the bands and the worship members. Bishop
Katie Keegan questioned if after an amendment the five and five speaking rule restarted. Bishop Kiesey responded that this would be the case if the speakers addressed the amendment. John Fisher offered his comments regarding Item 5.
Bishop Kiesey reminded the Conference of the voting limits on the floor.
Motion: Bishop Kiesey moved to vote on Item 5. Tellers took a standing count. Motion carried with 321 votes in favor and 268 against.
Soles presented Item 6 to the Conference. John Fisher, creator of Item 6, stated he would hold his comments until after the discussion. Andrew Vorbich, Conference Chancellor, offered a point of clarification regarding current Michigan Laws relating to Concealed Weapons. Jeremy Wicks offered a point of clarification regarding Michigan State Police’s current codes and laws.
Laurie Haller questioned whether this Item was related to an Item voted on last year. Thom Davenport, creator of the item last year, responded by stating the Items are different pieces of legislation.
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Motion: Lynn Stull-Lipps moved to amend Item 5 by removing “We also call upon the chairperson, or the chairperson’s designee, to ask local churches to display signs stating they are “Gun Free Zones”. Stull-Lipps discussed the rationale for the amendment. Claire Mobey questioned whether the Item was referring to the property or just the buildings. Fisher responded that he was only thinking of the church/worshipping building. Five people spoke against the amendment to Item 5 and five spoke in favor of the amendment to Item 5. Lynn Eichenberg offered a point of information regarding Item 5. Motion: Amend Item 5 as described. Motion failed.
Five people spoke against Item 5 and four people spoke in favor of Item 5.
Motion: Linda Burton-Collier moved to call the question and all the was before the Conference. Motion to call the question carried. Cindy Veilleux wanted to ask a question, but Bishop Kiesey stated discussion was over and a voted needed to be taken. Fisher responded and offered comments regarding Item 6. Motion: Bishop Kiesey moved to vote on Item 6. Motion carried.
Motion: Suspend the rules in order to vote on limiting speeches to the floor. Motion carried.
Motion: Scott Manning moved to limit debate on the floor to three people for and three people against with a 2 minute time limit on speeches. Motion failed.
Motion: Bill Chu offered an amendment to the motion that each speaker would only be allowed a minute and a half to speak. Five people spoke against motion to amend. Motion to amend failed.
Ryan Minier offered a point of clarification regarding debate on setting limits on debate on the floor.
Soles presented Item 7 to the Conference. John Fisher stated he would hold his comments until the end of the discussion. Five people spoke against Item 7 and people spoke in favor of Item 7. Motion: Michael Hayes moved to amend Item 7 by adding “The legislature should provide support for the parents and the child as a result of those born while avoiding abortion”.
Motion: Manning moved to call the question and all that was before the Conference. Motion carried. Motion: to amend Item 7 as described. Motion to amend failed. Fisher offered comments and rationales for Item 7.
Motion: Bishop Kiesey asked the Conference to vote on Item 7. Motion carried.
Bishop Kiesey thanked the Conference for the respectful debate and discussion during the Legislative Process. Bishop Kiesey called the Conference to break at 4:22 PM.
Bob Hundley called the Conference back to back 4:35 PM.
Hundley invited Bill Haggard to the stage to lead the Conference in a Call to Worship. Anita Hahn read Jeremiah 29:11-14a. Neil Davis read 2 Timothy 1:3-7.
Jeremy Williams played the piano and the Conference sang We Are Called.
Jeffrey Maxwell was invited to the stage to give greetings from the Detroit Annual Conference Cabinet. Maxwell thanked the West Michigan Annual Conference for their time in collaboration with Detroit Annual Conference. Maxwell presented Bishop Kiesey with chocolate for her work
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with the Detroit Annual Conference. Maxwell presented Tamara Williams with chocolate to congratulate her on her new position as Dean of the Cabinet. Maxwell discussed the ways the Bishop Kiesey has encouraged the Detroit Conference in their own faith and ministry and has encouraged the collaboration of the Detroit Conference with the West Michigan Conference. Maxwell also discussed the importance of looking into the future of the church.
Hundley prayed before beginning the Cabinet’s Dean report. Hundley discussed the changes that have occurred within the Conference over the past year. Hundley thanked Bishop Kiesey for following God’s call to become a part of our Conference. Hundley explained what exactly the cabinet is and what it does, in an effort to make people think better about the Cabinet. Hundley explained that the Cabinet attempts to do everything keeping the well being of the entire church in mind. Hundley expressed his sorrow that the two Michigan Conferences were unable to join together in 2008. Hundley also expressed his disappointment that a prayer of his, that a great spiritual awakening in the United Methodist Church, has not occurred yet at the the time of his departure from the Cabinet. Hundley encouraged the Conference to make a covenant with himself and each other to renew the presence and importance of prayer within the church. Hundley closed his report with prayer. Bill Dobbs directed the Conference to the Ministerial Appointment Document. One correction was made to the Extension Ministries: Jamey Kendall, changed from Jamey Allen. Bishop fixed the Appointments to the Extension Ministries. Tamara Williams presented Albion District for the fixing of appointments with no changes. Williams was appointed to Albion District. Bishop fixed Albion District Appointments. Bill Haggard presented Grand Rapids District for fixing of appointments with no changes. Haggard was appointed to Grand Rapids District. Bishop Kiesey fixed the Grand Rapids District appointments. Anita Hahn presented Grand Traverse District for the fixing of appointments with a change with Bellaire Community UMC - Peggy Boltz. Bishop Kiesey fixed the Grand Traverse District appointments.Hahn was appointed to the Grand Traverse District. David Hills presented the Heartland District for the fixing of appointments with no changes. Hills was appointed to the Heartland District. Bishop Kiesey fixed Heartland District appointments. Neil Davis presented the Kalamazoo District for the fixing of the appointments with no changes. Davis was appointed to the Kalamazoo District. Hundley presented the Lansing District for the fixing of appointment with Gresham and Kalamo split to Gresham with Bryce Feighner and Kalamo is Dan Phillps. Bishop Kiesey welcomed Kennetha Bingham-Tsai to Lansing District Superintendent. The clergy and laity were led in a responsive reading by Bishop Kiesey. Hills led the Conference in Wesley’s Covenant Prayer.
The Cabinet sang It Is Well With My Soul. The Conference joined in singing the last two verses. Williams led the Conference in Commission and Blessing.
Bishop Kiesey called the Afternoon Session into recess at 5:35 PM.
Third Day — Ordination Service Friday, May 31, 2013 – 7:00 PM
The clergy entered to the Processional Hymn The Church’s One Foundation at 7:04 PM. Bishop Debra Kiesey opened with greetings and prayer.
Bishop Kiesey lead the Conference in Recognition of Common Ministry and Reaffirmation of Baptism.
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Anne Soles, on behalf of the laity, and John Boley, on behalf of the clergy, approved the recommendations of the candidates for ordination.
Sandra Douglas presented for commissioning Nancy Vivian Fancher as a provisional member and Janice Tock Lancaster as a deacon. Dean Prentiss presented for commissioning Bryce Feighner, John Matthew Weiler, Julie A. Greyerbiehl, and Ellen Kay Zienert as ordained elders. Bishop Kiesey led the Conference in recognizing and affirming the candidates callings.
Bishop Kiesey addressed those to be commissioned and ordained in the General Examination.
William Dobbs welcomed the Conference and introduced NAMES and invited the Conference to join in prayer. Brigette Burke read Exodus 14:19-31 and Matthew 14:22-33.
Bishop Kiesey presented her sermon titled “Dangerous Waters”. Kiesey began with stories of her past experiences with water and then related storms that had made rivers dangerous in areas near her to the dangerous waters that were in the two Bible readings. Kiesey addressed the candidates for ordination, discussing the dangers of their future jobs. The risks that she highlighted were how dangerous it may be to love the people they serve, how their faith will be challenged and changed through experiences, that they will no longer be in control as God has control, and that they are offering themselves as servants of God for life. Kiesey referenced the Book of Discipline and explained how the ordained are to become servant leaders however risky this decision may seem. Bishop Kiesey expressed to the candidates that despite all of these dangers they should still wade into the waters with joy, awe, and humility. Dobbs invited the Conference to partake in the offering.
Sandra Douglas began the Commissioning by praying for Nancy Vivian Fancher. Bishop Kiesey prayed over Nancy Vivian Fancher. The Conference sang The Servant Song.
Bishop Kiesey explained the duties of a deacon and examines Janice Tock Lancaster as a deacon candidate. Sandra Douglas prayed for Janice Tock Lancaster.
Bishop Kiesey and the Cabinet prayed over Janice Tock Lancaster.
Bishop Kiesey explained the duties of an elder and examined the elder candidates. Lynn Pier-Fitzgerald prayed for the elder candidates.
The clergy sang We Are Called and the Conference joined in singing the final chorus.
Bishop Kiesey and the Cabinet prayed over and laid hands upon Bryce Feighner, Julie Greyerbiehl, John Matthew Weiler, and Ellen Kay Zienert. Bishop Kiesey washed the feet of the newly ordained as the Conference sang Jesu, Jesu.
Sandra Douglas, NAME, and Bishop Kiesey led the Conference in the Great Thanksgiving, the Lord’s Prayer, and the blessing of the elements.
The Conference sang Let Us Break Bread Together, One Bread, One Body, Jesus Love Me, Surely the Presence of the Lord, SONG, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, He Touched Me, Amazing Grace, and Kum Bah Yah as the newly ordained, their sponsors, and the Cabinet, and then the rest of the Conference, received Holy Communion. Bishop Kiesey led the Conference in the Prayer after Receiving.
Bishop Kiesey invited those who felt called to ministry to come forward.
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The Conference sang Here I Am, Lord as those called came to the front to be prayed for.
Bishop Kiesey closed with a blessing and the Conference sang Marching to Zion at 8:55 PM.
Fourth Day — Morning Devotions Saturday, June 1, 2013 – 8:30 AM
The Conference Praise Team led the Conference in gathering music and a reflective reading was given. Naomi Garcia spoke about how God gathered his Disciples and walked into the world to spread the Message. Rachel Krahulik spoke about how youth can become leaders and related this to the Harry Potter series. Krahulik discussed how youth are often not incorporated into the church until someone decides they are able to be ‘active’ members. She explained that youth should not be separated from the Congregation and should be interacted with and treated the same as any other member. Krahulik discussed the ways in which the youth are involved in the church. She also stated that our story never ends - all we have to do is pick it up and read it again. Krahulik prayed. The Conference Praise Team led the Conference in singing Made To Worship in closing. Morning Devotions ended at 8:56 AM.
Fourth Day— Morning Session Saturday, June 1, 2013 – 9:00 AM
Bishop Kiesey called the Morning Session to order at 9:04 AM by calling for a moment of prayer for the people affected by the recent tornados. Bishop Kiesey stated that the morning offering would be given to UMCOR. Jeremy Wick offered a prayer.
Motion: Merna Francis moved the minutes of Friday, May 31, 2013 be accepted as written and that the Conference Secretary be able to edit the minutes from Saturday, June 1, 2013. Motion carried. Gary Haller presented the corrections made to the Nominations Report. Haller thanked all the members of the Conference Nominating Committee for their commitment and asked them to stand and be recognized. Haller reminded the Conference that corrections may be submitted to the Conference at any time.
Motion: Haller moved that the Nominating Committee Report and the corrections to the Nominating Committee Report be passed. Naomi Garcia gave a point of clarification regarding Committee members needing to be voted on during Conference. Motion carried. Motion: Sue Cobb of the Council on Finance and Administration gave corrections to the proposed 2014 budget that will be reflect in the Final Journal Proceedings.
Motion: Ryan Minier moved to postpone the consideration of Item #20 after the consideration of Item #8. Minier gave rationale for this motion. Ken Bremmer asked whether there was a point of order needed to consider Minier’s motion.Benton Heisler questioned whether the schedule would need to be reorganized for the discussion of Item #8. Steve Young questioned whether the limitations set on the floor were still active. Two people spoke against and three people spoke in favor. Motion carried. Motion: Mike Riegler moved to call the question. Motion carried.
Bishop Kiesey called on the agenda committee for an Order of the Day.
Bishop Kiesey called Anne Soles to the stage to present Item #8-R. Ken Bremmer, creator of the
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Response Petition, moved to withdraw Item #8-R. Bishop Kiesey ruled it within the Rules of Order to withdrawal Item #8-R as it was not known who supported the motion.
Item #8 was presented to the Conference for discussion. A question was raised regarding the terminology of “full participation” and what that entailed. John Ross Thompson explained what the term “full participation” meant. An amendment was proposed. Bishop Kiesey ordered the motion for amendment out of order as the person had already posed a question to the Conference. Two people spoke against Item #8 and five people spoke in favor of Item #8. Motion: Ray Sundel moved to amend by adding the words “all people” for “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals and couples.” Sundel spoke to the Amendment. Four people spoke against the Amendment. Bishop Kiesey spoke to the Order of Day stating that five more minutes would be allowed for discussion on Item #8 and the Amendment to Item #8.
Motion: Riegler moved to call the question and all that was before the Conference. Motion carried. Sundel made closing remarks to the Amendment to Item #8.
Motion: Bishop moved to vote Item #8 as amended. Item #8 as amended failed. Motion: Bishop Kiesey moved to vote Item #8. Motion carried. Motion: Bishop Kiesey move to vote Item #20. Motion carried. Nichea VerVeer Guy gave announcements.
Michael Wildschut gave announcements regarding the services for the rest of the day.
A video was shown as a part of the Wesley. presentation highlighting two alumni that are currently serving in missions. Katie Fahey, discussed how leaders are developed at the Wesley Foundation and how they use their gifts to serve in ministry. Greg Lawton, Director of Wesley Foundation at GVSU, spoke about his call to ministry and the changes that have occurred in the last 10 years in regards to funding. Lawton discussed the connection that now exists between the five campus ministries and thanked the Conference for approving the budget for Campus Ministry earlier in the session. Lawton offered different ways to view how the money is utilized within the Campus Ministries. Lawton thanked the Conference again for their support. Bill Chu, Director of Wesley Foundation of MSU, asked the Conference how many people had been influenced by a Wesley Foundation. Chu spoke about how Wesley Foundation ‘extends’ the table to reach beyond the physical church. Chu presented Bishop Kiesey with a Wesley. stole that is decorated with the names of all the Wesley Foundations and the Wesley. logo. Chu closed by thanking the Conference. Bishop Kiesey adjourned the Conference for a five minute break at 10:18 AM.
Fourth Day — Lovett Weems Presentation Saturday June 1, 2013 – 10:25 AM
Bishop Kiesey called the Conference to order at 10:25 AM through leading the Conference in singing Sanctuary.
Benton Heisler welcomed the Conference and guests to Inspirational Saturday and gave welcoming comments. Heisler invited Bishop Kiesey to the stage to greet the Conference. Bishop Kiesey thanked the West Michigan Conference and all the Conference staff members for their help during the Conference. Bishop Kiesey also thanked the delegates to Annual Conference for their participation, leadership and spirit throughout the week. Heisler introduced Lovett Weems as the keynote speaker and discussed why he was invited to the West Michigan Annual Conference.
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Dr. Lovett Weems expressed his excitement with being at the West Michigan Annual Conference and discussed how his book is being used within the districts. He spoke about how success is not a biblical concept, rather, fruitfulness is and the three questions that John Wesley used during his ministry. Lovett discussed how Wesley not only asked the questions, he also answered them. He spoke on the theory and creation of Lay Leaders and female preachers because of the fruitfulness he saw in them. Lovett reminded the Conference that fruitfulness begins long before the harvest season and the reasons for fruitfulness usually pass by before the fruitfulness comes. Many people seek the ends of grace without practicing the means of grace. Lovett stated that the longer a church has been in existence, the less connected it is with the community. He discussed the Mission of the Congregation, and what is essential to carry out this mission. There can only be one leader for this mission to order for the mission to be successful. Lovett spoke about the importance of ushers in the Mission of Worship and that God may be revealed through those who gather. The two most important words for fruitful ministry are “so that” and Lovett elaborated on the responses he received when this concept was introduced. Lovett introduced the phrase “The desired harvest shapes all planning.” and explained how this thought process will result in more effective planning and ministry. Lovett spoke about the typical ministry planning pathway and explored how frontloaded this pathway is and then explained the difference between this pathway and the fruitful ministry planning pathway, which ends with the desired vision. He discussed the meaning of “Fruitfulness is for focus and direction, not judgement.” speaking to the thought process that is necessary for successful leadership and planning. Lovett asked the Conference to think about their planning in the next year with the focus of “How do we reach more children?” and elaborated on how this is not a narrow minded focus, it could result in the growth of the entire church and how when the focus is God-focused there will be fruitful results. Lovett explained how we need to use the practices that churches have in place for their monetary budgets in people practices, in outreach and planning new events and activities. Lovett spoke to the phrase “God’s fruitfulness is unpredictable.” sharing a story of how plant seed packets grow the plants that they say will grow but with God things are never that easy or predictable. He explained how sometimes God’s plans will be different from our plans and we need to follow God’s plans regardless of what we wanted to do. Nichea Ver Veer Guy announced the lunch break at 12:00 PM and David Nellis prayed over the lunch break period.
FOURTH Day — Closing Worship Saturday, June 1, 2013 – 1:30 PM
Worship was called to order with the video March of the Unqualified. The Conference Praise Team led the Conference in: Marching to Zion, Sing for Joy, Forever Reign, and Breathe. Rick Blunt invited the Conference to join in a time of Confession. Prompts of confession were shown on screen as harp and violin meditation music was played.
The Conference Praise Band led the Conference in singing All the Poor and Powerless in the Time of Forgiving. Blunt read Habakkuk 2:1-4 and Eric Mulanda read 2 Corinthians 4:7-12.
A member of the Conference Praise Band invited the Conference to fill out the “So That” Commitment Cards and a skit demonstrating the importance of “So That” was acted out onstage. The Conference Praise Band led the Conference in singing How Great is Our God with How Great Thou Art and Days of Elijah.
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William Dobbs invited the Conference to partake in the offering which will go to Spirit Journey: Northport Indian Mission. Brendan NAME spoke about this mission for Native American youth that offers healthy alternative lifestyles. Dobbs shared two prayers, for Cydney Izinga who is in the hospital recovering and for the friends and family of Margaret Otis who passed away this morning, as he led a prayer for the offering. The Conference Praise Band led the Conference in singing The River Is Here.
Rev. Dr. Lovett Weems gave a sermon titled “The Harvest Is Always God’s”. Lovett spoke about how the United Methodist tradition and heritage could be traced back to the prophet Habakkuk. He discussed the difference and similarities between faith, faithfulness, and fruitfulness. Lovett spoke on how the harvest of our fruitfulness is God’s alone and he will make the harvest whatever he has destined it to be. He discussed how a change in circumstances will not bring about a change in the fullness of our hearts and our spirits, this can only be caused by a change in one’s self. The Conference Praise Band led the Conference in answering “So That” questions and in singing A New Hallelujah. Bishop Debra Kiesey spoke about her prayers for the Annual Conference and officially closed the 2013 West Michigan Annual Conference at 3:09 PM. The Conference Praise Band led the Conference in singing the closing song Until the Whole World Hears.
Deborah L. Kiesey, Presiding Bishop
Greg Buchner, Conference Secretary
CERTIFICATE OF ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING
This is to certify that on Friday, May 31, 2013, at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan I commissioned as a provisional elder of the United Methodist Church: Nancy Vivian Fancher
I ordained as a deacon of the United Methodist Church: Janice Tock Lancaster
I ordained as elders of the United Methodist Church:
Bryce Feighner, Julie A. Greyerbiehl, John Matthew Weiler, Ellen Kay Zienert
Deborah L. Kiesey, Bishop Michigan Area