Page 1

2012 Calvin College Grand Rapids, Michigan June 6-9, 2012

The West Michigan Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

Table of Contents 1

Welcome from Bishop Keaton


Schedule for Tuesday, June 5


Schedule for Wednesday, June 6


Schedule for Thursday, June 7


Schedule for Friday, June 8


Schedule for Saturday, June 9






Ministry Fair


Meet Tony Campolo


Meet our Pastors


Keynote Speakers


VCI - Vital Church Initiative


Imagine No Malaria


Mind, Body, Spirit - complimentary poster


Leadership Team Update


Full Cabinet Update


Leadership Directory




West Michigan Conference Resources



Additional information, including updates to many conference materials, can be found at To access Calvin wireless internet: Username: conferences Password: summer06 *As a courtesy to others PLEASE SILENCE all electronic devices thank you

We hope you find this program to be a useful tool during your attendance at the Forty-fourth Session of the West Michigan Annual Conference. We have designed it as a resource to keep and share with your church in the coming year. For additional copies please contact us: West Michigan Conference 11 Fuller SE, PO Box 6247 Grand Rapids MI 49516-6247 616/459-4503 Toll Free 888/217-1905

Follow Us! Twitter at #WMAC12

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” - 3 John 2

Welcome! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As we prepare to come together for the 44th West Michigan Annual Conference June 6th through 9th at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, I am reminded of how quickly the time passes. Already we are completing the final year of our journey through the Four Areas of Focus. “A Healthy World: Mind – Body – Spirit” is the theme of our 2012 Annual Conference. It is based on the focus area “Combating the diseases of poverty by improving health globally.” Please join us as we gather to celebrate what God has done in our midst over the past year. Anticipate what God will do through the churches and ministries in the communities of the West Michigan Conference. Join us to hear about General Conference and identify ways to respond to the denominational Call to Action. Come with a willingness to share in worship and workshops, and be inspired by the preaching, teaching and fellowship. Your presence and your voice are important to me and to all of us. Together we seek to do our work of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and prayerfully discern the will of God for our conference. Come with prayerful expectations and, of course, open hearts and open minds. May the joy of the Lord and God’s protection be with us all on our way to Grand Rapids! Sincerely,

Jonathan D. Keaton Bishop, Michigan Area


Conference Schedule

a healthy world...Body, Mind, Spirit

Tuesday, June 5 9:30 AM 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 7:00 PM 8:00 PM

Board of Pensions - Individual Consultations by Appointment Board of Ordained Ministry Clergy & Candidacy Mentor Training Clergy Wellness Clinic until 6:00 PM Board of Ordained Ministry Candidacy Mentor Training AC Production Team Dinner Preconference Worship for Orders of Elders, Deacons, and John Wesley Association Ordination Rehearsal

Location Guide


Van Noord Arena

College Chapel

Convenant Fine Arts Center

Van Noord Arena Lower Level

Chapel Lower Level

Commons Dining Center

Van Noord Arena Main Lobby

Chapel Patio

North Hall - Rm 161

Van Noord Arena Outdoor Patio

See Registration Desk

Hoogenboom - Rm 204


Too Hot? Too Cold? Too Loud? Too Quiet? All requests and questions can be directed to your conference facilitators. Look for their table sign near the stage.

Wednesday, June 6 6:00 AM Clergy Wellness Clinic until 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM 6:30 AM Breakfast until 8:00AM 7:00 AM Registration at Van Noord Arena 8:30 AM Clergy Session 9:30 AM Laity Session 11:00 AM Board of Pensions Q & A Ordination Candidate Photographs Usher Meeting 11:30 AM Lunch/Special Lunches - locations available at the Registration Desk Worship Rehearsal 1:00 PM Opening Worship: Bishop Keaton preaching. Offering: Haiti Youth Council Trip 2:30 PM Break in Place 2:45 PM Organization of Conference - Bishop Keaton Setting Limits of the Floor - Nichea VerVeer Guy Accessibility Accommodation - Nichea VerVeer Guy Setting Agenda - Nichea VerVeerGuy Enabling Motion for Episcopal Staff - Nichea VerVeer Guy Greetings from Calvin College Greetings from Conference Host Grand Rapids Metro Ministry - Julie Liske Acceptance of Conference Journal Volume 1 - Benton Heisler Greetings and Regrets - Bill Chu Conference Youth Service Fund Offering Presentation Conference Council on Finance & Administration - Dale Kimball Conference Committee on Nominations Report - Gary Haller General/Jurisdictional Pool - Laurie Haller Episcopacy Report - Jody Pratt Greetings from Detroit Lay Leader - Michael Clark Laity Report and Recognition - Laurie Dahlman Decision Calendar - Laurie Dahlman Rules of Order Report & Recognition of Ward Pierce - Judy Coffey 5:30 PM Dinner/Special Dinners - locations available at the Registration Desk 5:30 PM Evening Worship Rehearsal 7:00 PM Marking Sacred Time 9:00 PM Late Night Worship: Jeremy Williams


Thursday, June 7 6:00 AM Clergy Wellness Clinic until 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM 6:30 AM Breakfast until 8:00 AM 7:00 AM Worship Rehearsal until 8:00 AM 8:30 AM Devotional Time: Rev. Dr. Stacy Minger, Offering: UM Community House 9:15 AM Legislative Work Board of Christian Camping Update - Jeremy Williams 10:15 AM Break 10:30 AM Board of Ordained Ministry Report - John Boley Legislative Work Greetings from the Detroit Conf. Director of Connectional Ministry - Jerry DeVine Conference Leadership Team Report - Benton Heisler Announcements 12:00 PM Deadline for lifting items from Decision Calendar Lunch/Special Lunches - locations available at the Registration Desk Worship Rehearsal 1:30 PM Time of Devotion 2:00 PM Journal Committee Report New Church Development Presentation Legislative Work Break in Place Africa University Presentation - Laurie Haller Legislative Work Monitoring Report Announcements 5:30 PM Dinner for Memorial Service families Dinner/Special Dinners - locations available at the Registration Desk 6:00 PM Evening Worship Rehearsal 7:30 PM Memorial Service - Bishop Keaton preaching 9:00 PM Strawberry Shortcake Reception - Compliments of Methodist Children’s Home Society 9:45 PM Late Night Worship - Wesley


Friday, June 8 6:00 AM Clergy Wellness Clinic until 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM 6:30 AM Breakfast until 8:00 AM 7:00 AM Worship Rehearsal until 8:00 AM 8:30 AM Devotional Time: Rev. Bo Rin Cho, Offering: Africa University 9:15 AM Corporate Session - Chuck VanLente Legislative Work Break Report of the General Conference Delegation - Laurie Haller Deaconess Recognition/HAPI - Valerie Mossman-Celestin Black College Intern Greeting School for Pastoral Ministry Promotion 12:00 PM Lunch/Special Lunches - locations available at the Registration Desk Worship Rehearsal 1:30 PM Devotional Time 2:00 PM Journal Committee Report Final Legislative Work Break Conference Nominations Final Report - Gary Haller General/Jurisdictional Final Nominations Pool - Laurie Haller Monitoring Report Announcements 5:30 PM Dinner/Special Dinners - locations available at the Registration Desk 6:00 PM Evening Worship Rehearsal 7:00 PM Ordination and Commissioning Service: Bishop Bruce Ough preaching 9:00 PM Fireside Chat

Location Guide Van Noord Arena

College Chapel

Convenant Fine Arts Center

Van Noord Arena Lower Level

Chapel Lower Level

Commons Dining Center

Van Noord Arena Main Lobby

Chapel Patio

North Hall - Rm 161

Van Noord Arena Outdoor Patio

See Registration Desk

Hoogenboom - Rm 204


Saturday, June 9 6:00 AM 6:30 AM 7:00 AM 8:30 AM 10:30 AM 10:45 AM 11:00 AM 12:15 PM 2:00 PM 2:15:PM 3:30 PM

Clergy Wellness Clinic until 8:30 AM and 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM Breakfast until 8:00 AM Worship Rehearsal until 8:00 AM Conference Council on Finance and Administration Final Report - Dale Kimball Greetings from Detroit Conference Cabinet Cabinet Dean Report - Neil Davis Fixing of Appointments - Bishop Keaton Episcopal Blessing of Servants - Bishop Keaton Staffed Ministry Fair opens at 9:00 AM Greetings from Albion and Adrian Colleges Break/Gathering Time - Miracle Saturday Worship Welcome - Benton Heisler Greetings from Bishop Keaton Worship: Tony Campolo, preaching. Offering: Imagine No Malaria Lunch and Ministry Fair Travel time to keynote address locations Keynote Addresses Body: Rev. Gary Henderson and Imagine No Malaria Slam Dunk Mind: Rev. Dr. Leister Longden Spirit: Rev. Dr. Charles Boayue Jr. Adjournment

Location Guide Convenant Fine Arts Center


Van Noord Arena

College Chapel

Commons Dining Center

Van Noord Arena Lower Level

Chapel Lower Level

North Hall - Rm 161

Van Noord Arena Main Lobby

Chapel Patio

Hoogenboom - Rm 204

Van Noord Arena Outdoor Patio

See Registration Desk

Hoogenboom Complex

Welcome! Thank you for your participation in the 2012 West Michigan Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Whether you are here for all four days or only on Miracle Saturday, I trust you will experience a number of moments of inspiration and celebration. I encourage you to use this Program Booklet as a resource in your home and local congregation in the coming year. We extend our appreciation to Clark RetirementCommunity for their generous contribution which provides for the publication of this booklet. We are also grateful for all of you who have made the sacrifice of time and resources to be a part of this event. We pray that the worship experiences, keynote presenters, available resources and engagement with those you encounter will help equip and connect you for a more vital ministry in your community. The West Michigan Conference leadership is committed to assisting your congregation and you as we serve Christ in a wide range of contexts. Let us know how we can better serve you. Peace,

Rev. Benton R. Heisler Director of Connectional Ministries

On behalf of the congregations and United Methodist-related ministries in metro Grand Rapids, welcome to Annual Conference! We look forward to a time together filled with God’s presence and energized by the Spirit’s guidance. Through this gathering, in all that we do and say, may each and all find deeper relationships, greater wisdom, wider understanding and a renewed sense of God’s call in us as the Body of Christ. Rev. Julie Liske Executive Director United Methodist Metro Ministry of Greater Grand Rapids

The West Michigan Conference is an incredible opportunity to come together to not only address the business of our conference, but also to become an engaging faith network. We gather to pray and worship…we fine tune our skills in listening and gather courage to speak. We come to celebrate our sacred community and to vision what that could be. We share in the grace of an abundant God. I am excited that you have come to this place at this time…Welcome. I pray that your experience will open not only your minds, but also your hearts to the meaning of being West Michigan United Methodists.

Nichea VerVeer Guy Chair, Annual Conference Program Committee


Welcome to Annual Conference We hope your time at Annual Conference is pleasant and want to make your visit to the Calvin College campus as enjoyable as possible. If you find yourself in need of assistance or additional information there are many people waiting to serve you: • Calvin Staff Assistants – ready to make your stay at Calvin a pleasant one. • Conference Facilitators – for questions regarding Annual Conference procedures. They are seated on the Annual Conference floor near the front. Look for their sign. • West Michigan Conference Registration Staff – for help with materials, your registration or other conference needs. Located at the desk in the Arena lobby • Welcoming Committee – here to welcome you and provide directional assistance. Just look for the purple shirts! CAMPUS The Calvin College Bookstore, located in the Commons, is open from BOOKSTORE 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and carries personal items, magazines, cards, etc.

COKESBURY Cokesbury Book Store is located in Hoogenboom - Room #280. BOOK ROOM CONFERENCE Laura Witkowski and Joyce Showerman are your Conference Facilitators. FACILITATORS Their job is to help anyone who needs assistance in understanding and

using the procedures and resources of the Conference in session. You will find them seated at a table on the Arena floor.

CONFERENCE All conference materials are available online at WestMichiganConference. MATERIALS org. Daily News, a summary and preview of upcoming events, is emailed each evening to all members to Annual Conference. Printed copies are available each morning.

EMERGENCY In case of any emergency, messages will be announced and you will

be directed where to head for safety. In the event of an emergency on campus, dial Campus Safety at 3333. Persons needing to contact you in the event of an emergency can call 616/526-6291 8 AM to 6 PM. After hours, please call 616/526-6452.

EVALUATIONS We value your comments and suggestions for improving Annual

Conference. These surveys are used to evaluate how we can improve our event for next year. Please take time to share your thoughts online: For Annual Conference (Wed – Sat) For Miracle (Sat only)

MEDICAL A Health Station is located in the Van Noord Arena and is staffed by a nurse during the hours that ASSISTANCE Conference is in session. If you have any health concerns or needs, or just need a cot for rest, please feel free to make use of this service.

HANDICAP Hearing devices: Excellent units are available upon request at no cost at the registration desk for use ASSISTANCE in the Arena. Shuttle service: A limited number of golf carts are available to help people get to various

locations. Schedules listing times and pickup points are available at the registration desk. Wheelchair accommodations: Space is reserved on the main level of the Arena for wheelchair positioning. Space is also reserved in the Chapel for wheelchair placement. If you have need of any assistance while at Annual Conference please visit the registration desk.

MINISTRY FAIR The 2012 Annual Conference Ministry Fair is a time to showcase the West Michigan Conference of


the United Methodist connection to the “world beyond home.” The Ministry Fair will be accessible for viewing Saturday in the field house adjacent to the arena, beginning at 8:00 AM. Tables will be staffed with ministry representatives from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM.



To keep plenary time moving smoothly, requests for “personal privilege” (speaking about an item of personal interest, making a special introduction, or another matter that interrupts scheduled business) will be referred to the Agenda Committee, who will determine the next best opportunity. Requests may be taken to the Program Committee Chairperson, often found at the front right of the arena. Please be prepared to check back, as they will be unable to track people down. WMC-HOPE hosts this private quiet space for reflection. You can find this room off the Hoogenboom Lobby - Room #204. It is open each day from 7:30 AM until adjournment of the evening’s activities.


Information on dining rooms for special meals, messages and other updated information can be found at the registration desk in the lobby of Van Noord Arena.


The Snack Bar is operated by the South End Community Outreach Ministries (SECOM) of Grand Rapids. It is located in the lower level of the Arena. On Saturday refreshments will be available at the Van Noord snack bar as well.


Men’s and women’s restrooms are located near the entrances to the upper and lower levels of Van Noord Arena and also in the Hoogenboom Recreation Complex. Calvin College is a smoke-free campus. There is no smoking inside or outside campus buildings. In fairness to all , we will enforce time limits on reports. When a speaker is introduced, the amount of time will be given. One minute before the time is up, the bishop will announce “one minute.” When the time is up, the bishop will say, “Thank you.” 15 seconds later the microphone will be turned off. Thank you for honoring the time limits.

Special Thank You to all who contributed to the conference Annual Conference Program Committee Members Nichea VerVeer Guy, Chairperson Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries Mark Doyal, Director of Communications Steve Place, Worship Coordinator William W. Chu, Conference Secretary Laurie Dahlman, Conference Lay Leader William Dobbs, Clergy Asst. to the Bishop Sarah Goldner, Childcare Coordinator Lynn Grimes, Board of Ordained Ministry liaison Neil Davis, Cabinet Representative Judy Coffey, Rules of Order Chairperson Dave Wiltse, Stage Manager Mike Bremer Julie Liske Mary-Jo DeLany Scott Manning Sue Stickle Veroneze Strader Mark Thompson Laura Witkowski

Special Meals/Ministry Fair



Valerie Mossman-Celestin

Emma Corrine Blair Cutler Joe Delany Art Turner Jennifer Wheeler

Lisa Aldrich Joseph Jennings Dave Morton Karin Orr Dick Strader


Hospitality Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers!

Ann Buck Wendy Clark John Kosten Pamela Stewart

Karen Kleinheksel, Director Dave Wiltse Tony Asmus Tom Huis Zach Oaster Lindsay Oaster Jake Wiltse Sean Quashnie

Office of the Secretary


Communications Kay DeMoss Kathy Hippensteel Kiri Salazar Jim Searls Courtney Van De Burg Betsy Weems


Becca Farnum, Asst. Secretary Julie Greyerbiehl, Head Teller

Counters Megan Higdon Allegra Smith Dan Phillips

Calvin College Michael Wildschut Steve Niedzielski

Pat Brook Dan Brook Andrew Stange Jake Wiltse

Journal Editor Don Hiler


2012 Ministry Fair Display Location Key 81


















































































Camping Display





Experience the United Methodist connection and learn more about West Michigan Conference missions and ministry at the Ministry Fair. The Ministry Fair is open every day during Annual Conference with hosted tables beginning on Saturday at 9:30AM. For an updated list, please visit the Annual Conference website.


9 MICAP 10 METHESCO 11 Christian Unity 12 Town & Country 17 COSROW 18 JFON 19-20 UMW 21 NECOM 22 MVCCOH 23 Trinity CM 24-25 Open Door 26-27 Church & Society 28 NOMADS 29 GRASP 30 DRT 31-32 PET 33-34 Camping 35 Disability Concerns 36 FRB 37 PAPAS

38 Bwafwano 39 Haiti New Church 40 MAHTF 41 Camp New Day 42 Prison Ministry 43 Archives & History 44-45 CWS 46 ICC 47-48 HAPI 49 Church Mutual 50 WM FUMMWA 51 Pension & Health 52 CBGM 53 Heifer Intl 54-55 UMCOR / Hunger 56 Mission Personnel 57 MARC 58 MASPM 59 UMF 60 PBS

61-62 Native American 63-64 SECOM 65 Clark 66 CBOD 67 GBOD 68 UMM 69 UMM, Kzoo 70 Adrian 71 UTS 72 MSU Wesley 73 GVSU Wesley 74 Ubuntu 75 Educational Opportunities 76-77 Scouting 78 AMBS 79 Garrett-Evangelical 80 DAC Wesley 81 CMU Wesley 82 Kzoo Wesley

Tony Campolo is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He previously served for ten years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Eastern College and earned a Ph.D. from Temple University. Founder and President of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), Dr. Campolo has worked to create, nurture and support programs for “at-risk” children in cities across North America, and has helped establish schools and universities in several developing countries. Dr. Campolo is a media commentator on religious, social and political matters, having guested on television programs like The Colbert Report, Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live, CNN Dayside, CNN News and MSNBC News. He co-hosted his own television series, Hashing It Out, on the Odyssey Network, and presently hosts Across The Pond, a weekly program on the Premier Christian Radio Network in England. He is also a highly respected and sought-after guest on radio stations across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Campolo speaks about 350 different times each year around the world for a wide variety of groups including churches, colleges, youth groups and the business community. He is the author of 38 books, with the latest releases in February 2010, Choose Love Not Power (Regal); May 2010 Connecting Like Jesus (Jossey-Bass) co-authored with Mary Albert Darling; and September 2010 Stories That Feed Your Soul (Regal).

Miracle Saturday


Some of the recent titles are Red Letter Christians, A Citizen’s Guide to Faith and Politics (Regal 2/2008); The God of Intimacy and Action (Jossey-Bass 7/2007) co-authored with Mary Albert Darling; Letters to a Young Evangelical (Basic Books 2006). Dr. Campolo is an ordained minister, has served American Baptist Churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and is presently recognized as an associate pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia. Dr. Campolo and his wife, Peggy, live in the Philadelphia area and have two grown children and four grandchildren. For more information on Dr. Campolo, see

Special Thanks! Dr. Campolo’s visit today was made possible through the generous support of the following churches: Cornerstone, DeWitt Redeemer, Petoskey, Ludington and by other private donors, and by the Conference New Church Committee who invites you to meet our new Church Developer Gary Step. Learn more at


Meet Our Pastors Wednesday: BISHOP KEATON Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton has served as the resident bishop of the Michigan Area, which includes the Detroit and West Michigan conferences, since September 1, 2004. Prior to his Michigan Area appointment, he served for eight years as resident bishop of the Ohio East Area. An active servant on the general church level, Bishop Keaton served as a member of the General Council on Ministries and is currently a member of the coordinating committee for the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century program as well as a member of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Bishop Keaton has also co-authored two books, “The Confessions of Three Ebony Bishops” with Bishop Edsel A. Ammons and Bishop Ernest S. Lyght and “Our Father, Where Are the Fathers?” with Bishop Ernest S. Lyght. He also contributed to, “God Delivers Me - a Model from Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century.”

Thursday: REV. DR. STACY MINGER We welcome home Stacy Minger, Associate Professor of Preaching at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. She joined the faculty in 2004 and is the 2007 recipient of the Faculty Mentoring Award. She received an B.A. from Hope College, 1986; M.Div. (1989) and D.Min. (1998) from Asbury Theological Seminary; and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, 2004. In 1998, she received the Distinguished Dissertation Award from Asbury Seminary for her dissertation, Preaching Biblical Financial Stewardship for the Whole-Person Response. Dr. Minger was ordained in the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church as a deacon in 1988 and as an elder in 1991.

Friday: BO RIN CHO Pastor to the West Michigan Conference’s only Korean congregation, Bo Rin Cho serves the 120 member Lansing Korean UMC, located in Okemos, MI. Bo Rin originally came to us from the Minnesota Conference where he served as an Ordained Elder. While there, he started two new Korean churches, in Rochester and Woodbury, Minnesota. He also served three other churches in his previous conference. While in Minnesota, Bo Rin was also the Vice President for the Minnesota Conference Council on Religion and Race, the Board of Ordained Ministry, Korean Pastors Council, and Vice President of the North Central Korean United Methodist Pastors Association.

Ordination: BISHOP BRUCE OUGH We welcome the resident Bishop of the Ohio West Area, where he is the spiritual leader for more than 230,000 United Methodists in 1,188 congregations in 58 Ohio counties. Prior to his election and consecration as a Bishop in July 2000, he served as the senior pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, a 2,800-member congregation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His previous appointments included five years as Cedar Rapids District Superintendent in the Iowa Conference. During his tenure, the district began five new congregations and pioneered several effective revitalization models for existing congregations.He served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He is currently a member of the General Board of Global Ministries.


A Canadian who lives as a permanent alien resident in the U.S., Les Longden, Associate Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship at The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, has been a pastor in a small rural church, and a Minister of Education and Senior Pastor in two large churches. His ecumenical experience includes teaching assignments in an Episcopal Prepatory School, a Roman Catholic college and diocese, and two United Methodist universities. As an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church in the West Michigan Conference, Dr. Longden has served as a delegate to the General Conference, a columnist for the United Methodist News Service, and a participant in several national dialogues sponsored by the United Methodist General Commission on Church Unity and Inter-religious Concerns. In addition to reviews and articles published in Catalyst, Circuit Rider, Methodist History, and The Michigan Christian Advocate, Dr. Longden has edited two volumes: The Wesleyan Theological Heritage: Essays of Albert C. Outler (co-edited with Thomas C. Oden) and Albert C. Outler Ecumenical Theologian. Future writing and research interests include an intellectual biography of Albert Outler, an historical study of Wesleyan practices of evangelism and catechesis with practical suggestions for local churches, and the exploration of the possibilities for evangelization as an ecumenical activity.

Body: REV. GARY HENDERSON The Imagine No Malaria SLAM DUNK will be introduced by the Rev. Gary R. Henderson, executive director of the Global Health Initiative of The United Methodist Church. The initiative is part of the church’s long-term effort to raise awareness and understanding of global health issues. It aims to develop support and participation across the denomination for expanding health ministries, and to significantly reduce illness and death related to diseases of poverty such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The initiative’s goal is to mobilize the full resources of The United Methodist Church to effect health care changes on a global scale.

Keynote Speakers


As executive director, Henderson works with a steering committee to develop a communications and fund-raising strategy, create partnerships to expand the reach of the church and collaborate with agencies involved in global health issues. He maps out the distribution of health resources across the globe, aligning people and resources to meet urgent and critical needs and to maximize their effectiveness.

Spirit: REV. DR. CHARLES S. G. BOAYUE, JR. The Reverend Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue, Jr. is in his 13th year as the pastor of Second Grace United Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan. A native of Liberia, and the ninth of 23 children. A product of Liberian United Methodist schools, he served as President of the Liberia Conference United Methodist Youth Fellowship, chairperson of the World Methodist Council Youth Committee, and member of the World Methodist Council Presidium successively until he entered Seminary. Following the 1980 military coup d’état in Liberia which plunged the West African nation into military dictatorship and strangulation of the education system, Boayue matriculated from the University of Liberia to the United States in August 1983 and completed his bachelor of science degree at Bethune-Cookman College in Dayton, Beach, Florida in May 1984. In addition to Bethune-Cookman, he completed the MBA, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministries degrees at Florida Southern College, Duke University and United Theological Seminary respectively.


Vital Congregations


Making Steady Progress

Rev. Benton R. Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministry

During the past 10 years our Conference has declined in worship attendance by more than 8,000 persons. Our stated intent as a Conference Leadership Team is to help lead the Conference and its congregations toward the altering of this trend. We have taken the healthy stance of addressing the processes and the systems that have led to this decline. We have set realistic goals and have a clear understanding of how we will achieve them. We are committed to accountability at every level of our church.


As the “Drivers of Vitality” were published in the 2010 Call to Action Report, our Michigan Area Leadership was already engaged in a review and design process that would focus upon five key vision areas. The West Michigan conference has made significant progress in these five key vision areas over the last few years. Here are just a few examples:

Leadership Competency Annual Conference sessions shifted gears in 2009 with the goal to significantly equip and inspire leaders of the local church. Speakers have included “Vital Signs” author Dan Dick, who inspired an understanding of the components of systemic change. In 2010, keynotes by the founders of the Church for All People in Columbus, Ohio resulted in almost a dozen “free stores” emerging across the Michigan Area. Last year, the launch of Miracle Saturday helped attendance to swell on the final day of Conference. This special “drive-in day” more than doubled attendance from the week. Pastor Rudy Rasmus led 2000 clergy and in a day of worship, 53 training workshops and two inspirational keynote presentations on how to engage in ministry with the poor. Since 2004, we have continued to grow an annual event called “The Bishop’s Day on Stewardship and Evangelism.” The first single site area event, initiated by Bishop Keaton, attracted 300 persons. Since that time it has multiplied to every district with a combined annual Michigan Area attendance ranging between 2,500 to 3,000. This is a ten-fold increase from the first effort!

Accountability with Support The Cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry collaborated to establish “Criteria of Effective Ministry” as well as “Indicators of Ineffectiveness” and a process to address clergy ineffectiveness. The “Characteristics of Effective Congregations”, which came out of the Call to Action Report, was also revised and expanded. These were then distributed to all clergy and lay members of Annual conference and congregations.

Vital Churches in West Michigan West Michigan 76 Albion Grand Rapids Grand Traverse Heartland Kalamazoo Lansing 14

10 14 15 15 9 13

408 18.6% 71 66 68 70 72 61

14.1% 21.2% 22.1% 21.4% 12.5% 21.3%

In 2011, the former 63 member Conference Council on Ministries (CCOM) proposed a revised Conference structure to the 2011 Annual Conference. This 16 member Conference Leadership Team was approved. It has had a fruitful first nine months of existence and took a number of significant steps toward accountability and alignment of resources toward the Conference vision. See page 18-19 for more on this work.

Congregational Development The Michigan Area has also collaborated to implement the Healthy Church Initiative developed by the Missouri Conference. We have named our process the Vital Church Initiative (VCI). We have contracted with the Bishop Ruben Job Center to receive the multiple modules of training so a wide range of

persons are equipped to move the VCI forward. To date 25 persons have received extensive training in the various components of the VCI and 12 congregations from the Lansing and Albion districts have participated in “pilot implementations” of the VCI and I have made presentations about the VCI to more than 500 persons on three of the six districts. By the Fall of 2012, some phase of the VCI, both larger and smaller congregational paths are projected to be underway on all 6 districts. This will involve between 40-50 congregations, that is more than 10% of our total congregations in the West Michigan Conference.

New Church Start Training and Support The Conference Leadership Team, in collaboration with the Committee on New Church Development, allocated resources and hired a new full time staff position. Rev. Gary Step joins the conference staff on July 1, 2012. Gary will be responsible for oversight of the VCI and the starting of New Congregations. The Committee on New Church Development has developed a five-year strategic plan for the new director to implement. To assist local churches in understanding the communities they serve we have also provided every congregation in the Conference free access to MissionInsite, a demographics research provider. Since 2010, more than half of our churches have accessed detailed demographic information on their communities.

Holistic Generosity To show our Christian love for the world we have undertaken numerous fundraising efforts for ministry and mission around the world and in our own backyards. This year the Grand Rapids District, and its Superintendent, Rev. Laurie Haller, led a Conference wide fundraising effort to raise $500,000 for the construction of a retreat/study facility on the campus of Africa University. These are but a few examples of where we are headed. We look forward to the positive decisions and directions that will come out of the 2012 General Conference. Our Conference Leadership is committed to moving forward in faith toward the future God holds in store for the Church.

Dump on Us: A Vital Church Ministry

A year ago, Trinity UMC in Battle Creek found they had a problem. People were using their dumpster as a way of getting rid of old junk. Not only were they filling the dumpster, they were piling stuff all over the church yard and parking lot. The Trustees went into problem solving mode. Their first solution was to get a different dumpster, with a key, so that unauthorized people couldn’t use it. No one broke the lock on the new dumpster. Problem solved? Not exactly. People simply piled everything on the ground surrounding it. As the frustrated Trustees went back to the drawing board, Trinity became involved in the denomination’s Vital Congregations Initiative. They participated in the pilot year of the “Small Church Initiative” program and members of Trinity began attending meetings with persons from other small churches. While seated at the table with reps from Jackson Trinity UMC, new possibilities began to present themselves. “They shared how they had gotten a dumpster and invited people to fill it,” remembers Trinity pastor Bruce Kintigh. Trinity’s Small Church Initiative Team returned to Battle Creek. “We realized that we didn’t need a bigger lock and tighter security,” Kintigh said. “We didn’t have a problem. We had an opportunity to do ministry!” About the same time, the church was in negotiation with their garbage company. A sales rep promised to cooperate to improve the quality of service and the rates, facilitating next steps of their plan. At the next Small Church Initiative gathering, Trinity gave a progress report. “We told them we were putting together a “Dump on Us” program,” reports Kintigh. As they described their transitional neighborhood’s abundance of rental units with absentee landlords, Superintendent Tamara Williams became excited and suggested Trinity apply for funding through the Albion District. Pastor Kintigh calls the results unexpected and interesting. They rented a very large dumpster and only had seven vehicles come with trash. But that was not the true measure of success. A number of people walking through the parking lot enjoyed cider, doughnut holes and friendly conversation. “Several wanted to see the inside of the building,” Kintigh says, “and to be totally honest, the minute the first vehicle came we were already 100% above the number of people we normally make an effort to talk to and invite inside.” Dump On Us proved to be a very non-threatening way to meet and greet neighbors. Thanks to the trust, friendship and sharing developed through the Vital Congregations Initiative, “Dump on Us,” will become an ongoing ministry of Trinity UMC in Battle Creek.

15 15

MALARIA. It’s a disease responsible for killing an estimated 655,000 people each year, mostly children under the age of five and pregnant women. “Malaria” is a Latin word meaning “bad air.” We know it better as the name of a disease caused by a parasite transmitted to humans through the bite of a female anopheles mosquito. It’s a pervasive killer in the developing world. For many, malaria has taken away everything precious they have ever had. Every day, this tragic story is repeated throughout Africa. But, malaria is a preventable disease. It is a treatable condition. Conquering it is a winnable fight, and progress is being made every day. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization released its annual World Malaria Report, which cited the reduction in malaria’s toll to a death every 60 seconds, effectively cutting its impact in half in the few short years ago since we began this fight.

A Compassionate Response

The United Methodist Church formally joined the United Nations Foundation in the fight against malaria in 2006, as a founding partner of the Nothing But Nets campaign. The immediate success of Nothing But Nets created an opportunity to do more, to take bold steps in partnership with the people of Africa, and Imagine No Malaria was born. “Something as simple as an insecticide-treated bed net can save lives and prevent malaria,” the Rev. Gary Henderson, executive director of the United Methodist Global Health Initiative, said. “But Imagine No Malaria means doing more: improving healthcare infrastructure and empowering the people of Africa with the tools to overcome this disease.”

16 16

Changing Lives in Africa

To date, compassionate and generous support for Imagine No Malaria has provided 846,000 mosquito nets, trained more than 5,000 community health workers and established 12 health boards in Africa to oversee and manage malaria programs. Later in 2012, the ministry will distribute its 1 millionth bed net to protect a family in Africa. “I ask people to think of Imagine No Malaria as Nets Plus,” Henderson said. “Nets are important, but to end malaria deaths, we need to embrace a comprehensive and sustainable approach.” That strategy has produced remarkable outcomes. Leaders in places like Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo have reported net usage rates above 80 percent and a dramatic decline in the incidence and death rate from malaria.

Our Faith in Action

From Michigan to Arizona, churches across the United Methodist connection are responding to the call for help. Efforts to support Imagine No Malaria range from formal gala events to lemon-AID stands. Getting involved in Imagine No Malaria is as easy as 1-2-3. 1. Advocate! Speak up for the children of Africa. Raise your voice to let friends, neighbors, church leaders and even our elected officials in Congress know this is an important issue and deserves to be a priority. 2. Raise Funds! To continue making progress against this killer disease, we must continue to share gifts and resources with families in Africa. Make a personal commitment to save lives and get your entire church family involved in this ministry. Help youth groups, Sunday school classes and your entire church to be a part of it. 3. Engage Your Community! Share this life-saving mission in your community. Imagine No Malaria is a great way to show how your church is changing the world. Check out for news, ideas, downloadable resources and more! You can also connect on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Leadership Team Update The West Michigan Conference:

Casting New Nets...

John 21 3:6 The Message The disciples went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him. Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?” They answered, “No.” He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.” They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in. We are all aware that for far too long our nets have been less than full. Last year, the Annual Conference approved a new plan of organization that included creating the Conference Leadership Team (CLT). Our stated intent as a Conference Leadership Team is to help lead the Conference ministries and its congregations toward the altering of our current path and to discover “new ways of fishing.” One year later, we are intentionally “throwing our nets off the other side of the boat.” This new 17-member team began diligently meeting to evaluate current realities, identify critical areas of focus, project a vision and create a plan to better equip and connect the Annual Conference for ministry. The CLT met nine times these past 12 months, including a two-day and a half day retreat with chairpersons from the boards and agencies. Meetings were intentionally held at camping ministry sites, local churches, Wesley Campus Communities and the Conference Center so the CLT could witness these ministry settings first-hand. The CLT first developed criteria for visioning and evaluating what actions need to be taken to advance our mission as a conference. We are determined that any action taken by the CLT contributes to: • making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world • equipping the local church for effective ministry • a high level of accountability, transparency and trust • the connectional nature of our church • advancing the Four Foci of The United Methodist Church • the strategic alignment of our resources From these criteria we devoted significant time to the development of immediate-and-long-term vision and action plans. We believe that for us to meet the calling of creating new disciples for Jesus Christ we must, as a conference body, intentionally focus our resources on these following critical areas during the next year:

Vital Church Initiative We are confident the local churches that welcome coaching and guidance through the VCI will be invigorated. To that end, by the fall of 2012 we expect the VCI to have continuous learning clusters underway in all six districts involving over 50 congregations. The learning clusters of laity and clergy are guided and coached by more than a dozen clergy and laity from the West Michigan Conference. We are multiplying the best practices demonstrated by the vital congregations and effective leaders among us - see page 14 for more information.


Ministry with Young People Youth and young adults are essential to growth of The United Methodist Church. We are committed to using the next 18-24 months to reimagine, strategically staff, and adequately fund young person inspired and adult mentored ministries that actively engages them in their local church, cares for their spiritual life and strengthens their leadership potential. We look forward to the spiritual, creative and financial resources the Conference is willing to direct toward this focus.

Camping Last year we reported on the serious financial challenges that occurred in our camping ministry. The CLT directed the Board of Christian Camping (BCC) to engage in a comprehensive review and evaluation of our camping program and properties to determine how we can best utilize this vital spiritual formation ministry. Already, the CLT, working with the BCC, and the Council on Finance and Administration has seen significant changes to the accounting procedures and process of supervising Camp Directors. The CLT and BCC also contracted with a national independent camp ministry consulting firm to review and develop a long-term strategic plan by the end of this calendar year. 
Communication Vitality in our congregations spills over into the essential ministries of our conference. The CLT has begun to refocus energy and resources in the conference towards the steady, incremental progress of improving the vitality of our ministries. We are committed to receiving your input as we move forward. As we “cast this net on the other side”, we welcome your ideas, feedback, prayers and support. We invite you to reach out to any of the Conference Leadership Team in the coming year.

The 2012 Conference Leadership Team

Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai Pastor, Milwood UMC, Kalamazoo Richard W. Blunt Pastor, Lowell UMC

Iain Charnley Lay Member, Grand Rapids First UMC Andrew Croel Pastor, Carson City UMC William D. Dobbs Clergy Assistant to the Bishop Mark Doyal Director of Communications Patricia A. Harpole Pastor, LifeSpring Church - Oshtemo

Benton R. Heisler Conference Director of Connectional Ministries Devon R. Herrell Pastor, Lake Ann UMC Robert L. Hundley Lansing District Superintendent Michael Johnson Lay Member, Battle Creek Chapel Hill Bishop Jonathan Keaton Michigan Area Bishop Dale Kimball Chair Council on Finance and Administration

Glen Kinder Lay Member, Mason UMC Leonard R. Schoenherr Pastor, Marshall UMC Anne Soles Conference Lay Leader Prospero Tumonong Conference Treasurer

19 19

Cabinet Leadership Rev. Neil Davis West Michigan Cabinet Dean

“We will understand it better by and by.” In my role as Dean of the Cabinet for the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church, I am privileged to work alongside people who possess a great passion and love for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, our denomination’s mission. Over the past twelve months, a lot of time and energy has been used to identify and put into action the best practices to carry out the mission of the church. We must realize our reality in a fast-changing world, while continuing to strive for relevance and vitality. We are vessels through which God’s plans are carried out, so we must open ourselves to God’s will being done here on earth as it is in heaven. I have often used the metaphor of a jigsaw puzzle when it comes to the building of God’s Kingdom here on earth. There are many pieces, and they must fit together, by the will of God, in order for the puzzle to be finished. I submit to you the same metaphor applies to the cohesion of an Annual Conference for the cause of Jesus Christ. My primary focus is on the local church, Appointive Cabinet, Full Cabinet, and the Annual Conference. Many pieces to a larger puzzle are involved in each one of those four areas.

The West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church is made up of 406 congregations. According to the Statistical Table I summary, we had a 4% decrease in membership last year, going from 61,231 in 2010 to 60,336 in 2011. But we also had a 15% increase in new members received through Profession of Christian Faith. In other words, we declined by 877 members and increased by 1,522 new members. When we take a closer look at our age demographics, we will easily see that most of our members are over the age of 50. In his book, “Focus: The Real Challenges That Face the United Methodist Church,” Lovett H. Weems, Jr. suggests that we should focus on gross numbers, not net numbers, because older generations are passing on. According to Weems, “Looking only to the net numbers will not only lead to discouragement but also may tell a false story of the spiritual energy of a congregation. Churches have relatively little control over losses, especially deaths. Churches have tremendous power to affect gains. So, even if the net figures for professions of faith minus deaths or new members minus lost members are negative for several years in a row, as long as the gross numbers for the professions of faith and new members consistently increased during those years, there is reason to celebrate. The increasing gross numbers represent the church’s spiritual vitality far better than the net figures. And it is precisely this positive energy that is needed for the years ahead.” That is good news! A major role of the Appointive Cabinet is working in collaboration with the Bishop to apply due diligence in the appointment making process, matching pastors and congregations in order for positive momentum to be sustained in the local church. In my humble opinion, the local church is the core of who we are. It is at the local church level where our mission is carried out most effectively. The Full Cabinet must be focused on ways to resource local churches with what they need to be relevant and vital in their local community and the greater church.


Full Cabinet Effective July 1, 2012 Jonathan D. Keaton

Michigan Area Bishop

Bill Dobbs

Robert Hundley

Lansing District Superintendent

Benton Heisler

Clergy Assistant to Bishop Keaton

Director of Connectional Ministries

Tamara Williams

Prospero Tumonong

Albion District Superintendent

Conference Treasurer

Bill Haggard

Anne Soles

Grand Rapids District Superintendent

Conference Lay Leader

Anita Hahn

Ray Marshall

Grand Traverse District Superintendent

David Hills Heartland District Superintendent

Associate Lay Leader

Mark Doyal

Director of Communications

District Lay Leaders Max Waagner

Albion District Lay Leader

Michael McDonald

Grand Traverse District Lay Leader

Helen Reid

Grand Rapids District Lay Leader

Larry Wyman, Sr.

Heartland District Lay Leader

Leadership Directory

As a Conference we come together to not only strengthen one another, but to also participate in the initiative of the wider church, because the world is our parish. We are at a crucial turning point in the life of the United Methodist Church. In the months and years to come, we will be faced with challenges far beyond our understanding at this time in history. But I am convinced that if we remain true to God through Jesus Christ, our Wesleyan heritage, and open to the movement of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to tell the story of how we have overcome. “We will understand it better by and by.�

Sandy Lash

Kalamazoo District Lay Leader

Deborah Fennell

Lansing District Lay Leader

Neil Davis

Kalamazoo District Superintendent


ANNE SOLES New Conference Lay Leader

21 21

Service of Ordination

of Elders and Deacons, Commissioning, and Recognition of Associate Member Friday, June 8, 2012 ~ 7:00 p.m. ~ Fine Arts Center, Calvin College

The West Michigan Conference Board of Ordained Ministry invites your attendance at the Ordination, Commissioning and Recognition Service as we celebrate God’s call upon the lives of these candidates. Your presence will share your appreciation for these who will lead the Church of Jesus Christ into the future!

Full Elders:

THOMAS FAULMAN ARTHUR Home church: Sycamore Creek Church, Lansing Seminary: Duke Divinity School, May 2008 DeANN JANINE DOBBS Home church: University UMC, East Lansing Seminary: Methodist Theological School in Ohio, May 2010 KAREN J. SORDEN Home church: Fremont UMC, Fremont Seminary: Iliff School of Theology, May 2005

Full Deacons:

KIMBERLY ANN DeLONG Home church: Coldwater UMC, Coldwater Seminary: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, May 2010 CHRISTINA LYNN WRIGHT Home church: Marshall UMC, Marshall Seminary: Harvard Divinity School, June 2006

Provisional Elders:

ERIC MATTHEW BURTON-KRIEGER Home church: Chapel Hill, Sodus Seminary: Vanderbilt University Divinity School, December 2011 ERIN LEA BRODHAGEN FITZGERALD Home church: Albion First UMC, Albion Seminary: Vanderbilt University Divinity School, May 2012 EMILY KATHRYN SLAVICEK BEACHY Home church: Stevensville UMC, Stevensville Seminary: Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, May 2010 CORI LYNN CYPRET Home church: Delton Faith UMC, Delton Seminary: Asbury Theological Seminary, May 2012

Provisional Deacon:

CHERYL A. MULLIGAN Home church: Genesis UMC, Grand Rapids Seminary: Garrett Evangelical, Asbury Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids Theological May 2012

Recognition of Associate Member:

MICHAEL ALLEN RIEGLER Home church: Lake Ann UMC, Lake Ann Seminary: Garrett Theological Course of Study, August 2010


If you have any questions for a Board of Ordained Ministry Registrar, please begin by asking Rev. Dean Prentiss, who will be seated near ASL Interpreters during Annual Conference sessions.

West Michigan Conference Resources Get Connected This Year!! Daily updated in-depth resources and news to equip your local church. Weekly News Wednesday publication with the latest news, resources and information on our conference. West Michigan Conference Mobile APP Facebook Group Daily conversations, friendship and ideas about our conference Facebook Page LIKE US to get news and information on the West Michigan Conference Twitter Latest tweets on the conference. Discussion and more! Follow #WMCUMC and #WMAC12 You Tube Channel Interviews and videos from the conference. Flickr. Photos of recent conference events for download and use.

23 23

Offerings Wednesday: CCYM HAITI MISSION

Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) is sponsoring its first international mission trip to Haiti, June 20th through 30th. This will be the first Youth Volunteers in Mission Team allowed to work in the Port-au-Prince area since the highly destructive earthquake of January 2010. Led by Rev. David Hills and Rev. Mona Joslyn, the team is comprised of eight youth from around the West Michigan Conference, plus two additional adult volunteers. At this time UMCOR and the Methodist Church of Haiti have not designated the Priority Project where they will be working, but we do know that they will be staying at the Methodist Guest House as they offer their hands in helping to rebuild hope in the aftermath of the disaster. Your gifts of support for the team’s work are greatly appreciated, as are prayers for safe travel and for their safety while in Haiti.


This non-profit agency based in Grand Rapids has a mission to increase the ability of children, youth, adults and families to succeed in a diverse community. UMCH offers a nationally accredited Child Development Center with before and after school programs, tutoring, mentoring, recreational activities, sports and more for at risk children, a Center for Family Development and transitional housing for young people. It also has a large Senior Development Center with meal programs, transportation, health education and outreach. Your support of this superb program is a wonderful way to support ministry actively engaged with an at-risk community.



In one of the most difficult regions of the world 1,200 students from 23 countries are engaged in studying to become the future moral, ethical, and spiritual leaders on the continent of Africa. This is Africa University. The Grand Rapids District, on behalf of The United Methodist Church, is seeking to raise $500,000 to build a retreat center (Ubuntu Gathering Center) on campus. This 32 bed hospitality center will allow visiting professors, campus visitors, Volunteers in Mission teams to engage with these students as well as provide gathering space and housing for conferences and dialogues among people from many nations. Your support will make this engagement possible.



Every 60 seconds, malaria claims a life in Africa. Millions of lives, needlessly lost each year. A continent. Entire nations… slipping away. Slipping through life’s precious net. Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary $75 million dollar effort of the people of The United Methodist Church, putting our faith into action to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa, especially the death of a child or a mother. Achieving this goal requires an integrated strategy against the disease. As a life-saving ministry, Imagine No Malaria aims to empower the people of Africa to overcome malaria’s burden. West Michigan has the opportunity to be a part of this life-saving mission. Photos courtesy of Paul Jeffrey


Clark residents don’t spend much time talking about the good old days. They are too busy looking forward to tomorrow. We have spent more than 100 years mastering the art of Clark, which means creating a vibrant community rich with opportunities for personal growth, friendships, and lots of fun. To learn more about how you can enjoy life at Clark, call us at 616-452-1568 or visit today. r etir ement community

Independent & Assisted Living | Skilled Nursing | Dementia Care | Rehabilitation | Clark At Home

Calvin College campus map

2012 Annual Conference Program  

Schedule and proceedings of West Michigan AC UMC

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you