2012 Annual Conference business: May 18


Twenty-three retirees drape handmade prayer shawls over the the shoulders of ordinands in a symbolic passing of the mantle of ministry.

2012 Annual Conference: Second Day – May 18, 2012

Dr. Mary White, chair of the General Conference delegation stated that voting for the three persons nominated for the episcopacy from the floor on May 17 would be separate ballots.  Each would require 2/3 vote for approval. Blank ballots would be counted.

Rev. Tracy Bass withdrew his name from consideration. Ballots would be taken for Rev. Jeff Raffauf and Rev. Irving Cotto . Rev. Raffauf’s ballot was distributed first.

Carol Black presented the amendment to the Rules of Order to increase the time a person can serve on the Board of Ordained Ministry from two to three quadrennium.   The amendment was approved.

Resolution 2012-21: Pre-82 Funding Obligation: Members of the Board of Pensions and CCFA at the podium addressed the need to pay $14 million toward pre-82 pension over the next 8 years.  To help cover this debt, the Board of Pensions, Trustees, and Conference Committee on Finance and Administration has proposed a Capital Campaign to raise $3 million. Amendments: on page 38 Line 69 “Second Tier calls for a voluntary campaign…” “Voluntary” added.  Also added a fourth bullet point: The strategy will be presented at the Fall Session for approval.”  The resolution was approved as amended.

The Bishop asked the Historic Questions of John Wesley of this year’s class of ordinands.  Those who will be commissioned were also presented.  Bishop Johnson recognized full-time local pastor, Tom Grubbs.

The service of twenty-three retirees was celebrated in the Retiree Service.  The retirees officially passed the mantle of responsibility of leadership to those who will be ordained. Retirees then draped handmade prayer shawls over the shoulders of each ordinand, and then anointed them and prayed over them.

A ballot was taken for Rev. Irving Cotto, who was nominated from the floor to be an endorsed Episcopal candidate.

Dr. Dorothy Watson Tatem spoke on conference scholarships.   She noted that there is an “abundance of resources” for UM schools, but there is also money for those going to non-United Methodist-related schools. Yesterday, $3,197.50 was collected and will be divided among five undergraduate students who applied this spring for a scholarship.

Dr. Tatem also reported on Metro Ministries. Last year, $948,919 was entrusted to Metro Ministries by Bustleton UMC.  This money will be distributed four ways: (1) 93 churches in the 19 urban areas have already received $15,000 grants for ministry; (2) stipend for Urban Consultant ($24,000); (3) 13 churches along the Broad Street Corridor and 13 churches in Lancaster will become Parish Centers in their communities – in partnership with Partners for Sacred Places ($50,0000 to Philadelphia and $50,000 to Lancaster); and (4) Carson-Simpson Farm to build a multi-use facility for churches in the area.

Bishop Peggy Johnson welcomed Bishop Alfred, a son of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference who was elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church in 1996.

Rev. Dr. Christopher Kurien, Director of Connectional Ministries, led the Celebration of Ministries.  Suzy Keenan, director of Communications, announced that the conference now has a mobile app for both iPhone and Android phones and tablets.  Irving Cotto showed a presentation of new churches and introduced church planters.   Suzette James, a member of the Congregational Development Team, presented the Harry Denman Evangelism Award to Rev. Mercedes Case, pastor of New London UMC, and to Kenneth Ivory, layperson from Montgomery Square UMC.  Rev. Yvette Davis highlighted some of the past year’s events held by Urban and Global Ministries, and presented the Kim Jefferson award to Grace Community Resource and Empowerment Center, Inc.  Rev. John Lewis accepted the award. Volunteers in Mission included more than 1,000 people involved in local and global mission projects this year.  Dr. Kurien recognized Ben Botti, coordinator of conference Volunteers in Mission.   Asbury Ministry at Drexel University presented a slide show of their activities.   Camp Directors shared news from the camps: Ron Shane from Pocono Plateau, Christy Hefflin from Innabah, and Apryl Miller from Gretna Glen.

Results of the ballots for endorsement of persons nominated as episcopal candidates were announced:

·         Rev. Raffauf :  two-thirds majority not reached

·         Irving Cotto: two-thirds majority not reached.

Rev. Bron Yocum reported on Commission on Status and Role of Women as it turns 40. Celebrations are being planned throughout the Conference.  A 40th Anniversary celebration is being planned for September 29 with Bishops Violet Fischer and Susan Hassinger. The event is open to both women and men.

Business Report by Rev. Chris McLaughlin.