Oklahoma Annual Conference The United Methodist Church
I never come away from Annual Conference that I don’t feel enthusiasm, joy, hope excitement and anxious to find out what God has in my future. When you’re surrounded by people who love God the feeling of joy is overwhelming. And you let that joy carry you through the week and hope that joy stays with you when you go back to that comfortable nest that you left for a week. Many reports and too numerous to cover them all so I have chosen a few to share with you. 1. Health Insurance Changes. Coverage changes due to the Affordable Care Act and Pension Benefits due to a revised pension program passed at the 2012 General Conference. 2. Four goals for approved by our conference A. Start more worshipping communities B. Revitalize and increase the number of vital congregations C. Recruit and train new leadership D. Help local churches be in mission 3. A Mandatory workers compensation program for all churches If you have questions regarding any of these topics, see Pastor Mark. You can ask me, but I’ll refer you to Pastor. 2006 to 2012 Worship attendance had continued to decline. Evangelism measures the number of people who have joined the church by profession of faith……..2006 to 2012 it has declined Spiritual Formation measure the number of small groups and in the past 4 years it has declined. Now the positive……. Missions measures the number of people from congregations engaged in local, national and international mission/outreach ministries. Folks it has increased in the past 7 years and Stewardship measures the total amount given by congregations to other organizations for the support of benevolent and charitable ministries……It has increased in the past 7 years. The following churches had resolutions for Discontinuance. Hillcrest United Methodist in Oklahoma City, Fuente de Vida UMC Renfrow United Methodist in Renfrow, Oklahoma First United Methodist in Commerce, Oklahoma Such a negative when churches close, but let me add some positive.
Apportionments are still with us and will continue to be, they are not going away. UMCOR video unloading supplies at First UMC in Moore Lydia Patterson Institute graduated 81 students in May, 2012. all of whom are in college today and 95% of their 2013 graduating students are going to college. The accomplishments by many churches, small and large makes me wonder if we are really doing enough at Lakeside. Are we in just a state of being satisfied…….. We do mission work with our participation and giving, but is that enough? We have love, but do we have enough? We reach out, but do we reach out far enough? Are we satisfied with what we give and what we do? After hearing about what is happening in Methodist churches across our state I’m not sure that Lakeside should be satisfied with what we are doing to be a church. Small churches reaching out into their community to give, to provide, to love, to help others no matter the task. No matter how uncomfortable it makes them feel. So I would like to challenge our church, Lakeside United Methodist church….I would like for all of you to put your minds to work and dream, think, and pray. Pray for how we can be disciples of God by reaching out when it is uncomfortable, love until it hurts, give more than we thought we could. Don’t be satisfied for status quo…………..Go beyond. When I say go beyond, let me leave you with this. We have sustained and further developed our relationship with The Methodist Church in Bolivia. We have a Bolivia/Oklahoma Partnership. The peasants of Bolivia earn $1.00 a day. The peasants who worship at the Bolivia Methodist Church fasted for an entire day and sent their earnings to aid the tornado victims of Moore, Oklahoma. This is love for God and fellow man and going beyond.
Barbara Smith attended the Oklahoma Annual Conference in May. These are her notes from the conference.