WHY DO WE HAVE ANNUAL CONFERENCE?
Annual Conference is a tradition in Methodism whose roots date back to John Wesley, the founder. Wesley believed in gathering together as the body of Christ to worship, give an account and plan for the future discipleship and evangelism of the church. He called this concept "Holy Conferencing", which is sometimes referred to as "Christian Conferencing". The Methodist and Wesleyan traditions are making conscious efforts to reclaim this concept when we gather. It was a frequent reference point at the recent United Methodist Church General Conference that I attended.
The concept is biblical in the sense that the body of Christ was reminded in scripture of the importance of the gathering together and the assembling of God's people (Hebrews 10: 24-25):
"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
The Old Testament is full of stories of the people of God gathering together as a way of dealing with the turning points in their lives (Read these chapters: Numbers 20-21, I Samuel 8, Ist Chronicles 23, 2nd Chronicles 29, Nehemiah 9, Esther 4, Isaiah 34, 45, 49, Joel 2, Micah 2, and Zephaniah 2). In the New Testament Matthew 23, Luke 13 and Acts 1, and Acts 6 echo the theme of "gathering together".
Only a few weeks ago we observed Pentecost, our remembrance of when the believers were gathered together in the Upper Room, as Jesus had instructed, and the power of the Holy Spirit came down upon them (Acts 2). That text says, "they were on one accord in one place". Acts 2: 44-47 then journals the key to the growth of the early church:
"44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
The concept of "holy or Christian conferencing" are intended to help us live as the early church lived together, as well as follow the model created by John Wesley. Eight principles are essential to this model:
1.Every person is a child of God
2. Listen before speaking
3. Strive to understand from another's point of view
4. Strive to reflect accurately the views of others
5. Disagree without being disagreeable
6. Speak about issues; do not defame people
7. Pray, in silence or aloud, before decisions
8. Let prayer interrupt your busy-ness
It should not be difficult to see how this kind of spirit at Annual Conference (as well as at General, District, Quarterly, and Church Conference) and every gathering of the people called Methodists would make a difference and reflect the spirit of Christ, even as we do our business.
2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE INFORMATION
Annual Conference convenes at 8 am on opening day (Wednesday) with Registration. We end around 2 pm on the closing day (Friday). The Bishops' Cabinet and Joint Board of Finance meet at 6 pm the night before opening day (Tuesday). Ministers on Trial should consult with their committee chair about the time they need to arrive.
Alabama Regions (Birmingham, North Central, Southeast)
JULY 27-29, 2016
Site: Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel, Hoover
1000 Riverchase Galleria, Hoover, Alabama 35244
Lodging: $99 + 14% tax, Reservation Code: CME Deadline: July 4, 2016
Hosts: Greater St. Paul CMEC, Rev. Leon Parker III &
Thirgood Memorial CMEC, Rev. Lamont Johnson
AUGUST 3-5, 2016
Site: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sunrise-Sawgrass Mills
13400 W. Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise, FL 33323 954.851.1020
Lodging: $109 + tax, Reservation Code: CME Deadline: July 7, 2016
Hosts: Williams Memorial CMEC & Rev. Cal Hopkins, pastor
A special /tour cruise is planned for Tuesday, August 2nd. See registration form. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
OTHER ANNUAL INFORMATION AND FORMS
ALABAMA $75 if received by July 15th, after that date register onsite for $100
FLORIDA $75 if received by July 20th, after that date register onsite for $100
CHILDREN'S REGISTRATION of $20 should be include on the PARENT'S or CHAPERONE'S FORM
Every individual who is pastoring a church (full connection, supply, minister on trial, or local preacher) MUST complete a final evaluation form and interview with the Presiding Elder. These should be complete by mid-June and certainly no later than the first of July. Click here to get the Pastor's Evaluation Form.
PASTORAL REPORT FORMS
After filling out the form, PRINT 4 copies (Bishop, Presiding Elder, Statistician, Your Copy), then click SUBMIT. (You must PRINT before you click submit. If you only PRINT one copy, be sure to make 3 more copies and bring all to the conference.
Churches should be paying their final 1/3 or any remaining balance on conference assessments. Please get these funds to the Presiding Elder by the date he/she sets.
Pastors, Delegates and other Attendees are asked to be prepared to GIVE as follows:
Wednesday Communion Offering - $100
Thursday Minister's Tithe on one month's salary
Thursday Laity Sacrifical Offering
Friday Mission Offering
The Christian Index - required for all Pastors, Ministers on Trial and Regional, District and Local Church Officers - $30 per year
The Missionary Messenger - $20 per year
Bishop Snorton expresses her deepest appreciation for the
birthday greetings, cards and gifts!
Rev. Daniel Todd, pastor of Freeman Chapel, Lafayette, AL married Martha Moss Turner on April 16th.
Sam Boswell, Southeast Alabama Region Director of Ministry to Men, celebrated retirement on April 1st after 50 years of consecutive employment, 22 of which were with the State of Alabama.
Rev. Jacqueline Nance Cockerham, Pastor of New Mount Zion C.M.E. Church, New Smyrna Beach, Florida was selected as one of the "Women On The Move" in celebration of Women's History Month. Rev. Cockerham was featured in the Mary S. Harrell Black Heritage Museum in New Smyrna Beach during the months of March and April 2016.
Send in your graduates' name, local church, diploma or degree received, and future plans by email to ILoveMyCMEChurch@gmail.com for publication in the next newsletter.
Emory Chapel, Aliceville, AL (Outreach ministry built a ramp for a disabled family in the community)
Frazier, Athens (Youth Empowerment Day)
Conley Chapel, Huntsville (1 convert, 3 youth baptized)
Huntsville District Christian Education Dept (Children's Retreat and Scholarship Banquet)
Poplar Springs, Reform, AL (Youth Validation Ceremony)
Cherokee, Cherokee, AL (Black History program, Good Friday service, first Women's Conference)
New Bethel, Campbellton, FL (Church improvements including paved parking lot)
Send your church's GOOD NEWS to ILoveMyCMEChurch@gmail.com
(Click on underlined links to get more information)
June 25 Pan Methodist Evangelistic Revival, Florence (AL) Coliseum from 12 noon until 10 pm
All churches are asked to attend and to be a sponsor.
Aug 18-21 Florida Region Marriage Enrichment Retreat, Palm Harbor, FL
Sept 17 CME Founder's Day Webcast, locations in each Presiding Elder's District
Sept 22-23 General Connectional Board Meeting, St. Louis Union Station Doubletree Hotel
Nov 20-26 Dedication of the Bishop Teresa Snorton Cathedral in Gisenyi, Rwanda (email ILoveMyCMEChurch.com if you are interested)
Please pray for the families of the following persons who have died.
- Rev. Dr. W. Clyde Jones, retired pastor of Bailey Tabernacle CME, Tuscaloosa
- Rev. Larry Allen, former pastor on the Jacksonville-Orlando District
- Rev. Thelma Dickerson Ware, former pastor in the 5th Episcopal District
- Howard Parham, Sr, great-uncle of Rev. Chris Parham
- The mother of Rev. James Malone, retired pastor, Huntsville District
- Bettye Dwight, the sister of Mrs. Brenda Buie, Florida Region Missionary President
- Albert McEwen, the father of First Lady Lisha Morris, Carter Tabernacle CME, Orlando
- Jimmy Gill, the father of Rev. Christy Gill (pastor of Antioch CME, Russellville, AL) and Ericka Gill, North Central Alabama Region Registrar
- Oscar (OJ) Walker, the brother of Presiding Elder Lionel Walker, Miami-Tampa District
- Velma Louise Little, the mother of Rev. Steven Little, Pastor of Garner Memorial CME, Decatur, AL
- Stevenson Hall, the son of Rev. Izea and Phyllis Blanks, pastor of Grants Chapel CME, Cuba, AL
PRAYERS NEEDED for health challenges, hospitalizations, surgeries, and other life-changing events
- Rev. Conway Spears
- Mrs. Valeria Echoles
- Ms. Jalessa Hall
- The mother of Mrs. Sonya Hicks
- Terina Killings, the niece of Mrs. Valeria Echoles
- The son of Rev. Margaret Boudreaux
- Retired Presiding Elder and Mrs William Wallace (moving to South Carolina)
North Central Alabama Region
- Rev. Cassandra Weakley
- Rev. Gregory Woods
- Rev. J. C. Davis
- Rev. Tina Swan-Branch
- Rev. Alicia Anderson
- Rev. Teresa McMillon
- Presiding Elder Roscoe McKinney
- Rev. George Washington, Sr.
- Rev. O.R. Jackson (living in Pennsylvania with his son)
- Rev. Elliott Callahan
- Rev. Diane Hinton
- Mrs. Nancy Calloway
- Mrs. Alice Sumes
- Mrs. Mae Pearcy
Southeast Alabama Region
- Rev. Abraham Wright
- Rev. Rose Lynn Brooks
- Rev. Marvin C. Lue, Jr.
- Rev. Terrance Blackful
We know there are many more, but we limit this list to active and retired Annual Conference pastors, ministers-on-trial, widows and widowers, and regional officers and their close relatives.
Fifth Episcopal District of the CME Church
email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: cmefifthdistrict.org
Facebook: 5th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME)