Resolution #2014-12 to the 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION
Resolution relating to A Yearlong Commemoration of Our Journey toward Wholeness: From the Birth of the Former Delaware Conference in 1864 to the EPA’s Merger in 1965
Presented by the Joint Conference Committee to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Former Delaware Annual Conference
WHEREAS in 2014 we are called to commemorate the birth in 1864, 150 years ago, of the former Delaware Annual Conference, a seminal predecessor body of this annual conference that was created to foster dignity, self-development and self-determination among its segregated African American membership, and
WHEREAS we also commemorate this year the momentous decision made in 1964, 50 years ago, by that same august body in its centennial year to dismantle and merge into geographically-based conferences, including our present-day, racially integrated Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and
WHEREAS we will commemorate in 2015 the 50th anniversary of the formation of our present-day, racially integrated annual conference in 1965, and
WHEREAS the respective journeys toward birth, death and rebirth of our predecessor and present-day annual conferences required more than a century of struggle, strategizing and ardent supplication to finally reach this “new day begun,” and
WHEREAS for 101 years, the former Delaware Conference was a crucible where faith formation, leadership development and mission engagement were forged, where countless disciples were made, and where African Americans persevered and prevailed, laboring “apart but within” this branch of Methodism, always seeking and striving for the day when we would be united as one church:
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the 2014 Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, commemorate and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the former Delaware Annual Conference in 1864 and also the 50th anniversary of that conference’s 1964 decision to dissolve.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, the members of the 2014 Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, call upon members and churches of our conference to commemorate over the next year–from now until the 2015 Annual Conference– these significant dual milestones in our common journey, and also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 rebirth of our present-day, racially inclusive annual conference from its exclusive predecessor bodies.
FINALLY, BE IT FURTHER resolved that we, the members of the 2014 Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, encourage members and churches to consider including in their commemoration:
Person Responsible for Presenting Resolution: Rev. David Brown(Deacon, EPA Conference)
Joint Conference Committee to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Former Delaware Annual Conference (Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Peninsula-Delaware Conference):
Bishop Peggy Johnson (Philadelphia Area), Rev. David Brown(Deacon, EPA Conference, Joint Committee Convener), John Coleman (EPA Conference Communications Director), Lawrence Lee (EPA BMCR Coordinator); Dr. Mary White (EPA Conference Lay Leader), Rev. Dr. H. Ward Greer (Pastor, Mount Joy UMC, Wilmington, Pen-Del Conf.), Rev. Hilda Campbell (EPA, retired), Rev. Dr. Gary George (EPA Metro Ministries), Rev. Lillian Smith (Tindley Temple UMC, EPA), Lenora Thompson(Wharton-Wesley UMC, EPA), Dr. Philip Lawton (Barratt’s Chapel, Pen-Del Conference), Rev. Dr. Shirlyn Brown (Peninsula-Delaware Conf. Director of Connectional Ministries), Shirley Jackson (Pen-Del Conference).