Warm greetings in the Name of our Risen Savior!
The Bishop and the Cabinet re-appointed me for my third year in serving the Lord as Lead Pastor of
Davis Street UMC! Praise the Lord! We look forward for another year of partnering with God in His
mission to transform lives, make disciples of Jesus Christ, impact our community through justice,
reconciliation and restoration, and bear witness to the work of the Spirit. We are truly humbled and
blessed to serve Davis Street UMC!
Here are some of the major highlights of the 2019 NC Annual Conference: Just over 1,600 lay and
clergy members of the NC Annual Conference gathered in Greenville, North Carolina from June 12-15, 2019 for the
Annual Conference session presided by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward.
NC Conference Missions & Outreach
The NC Conference celebrated the strength of mission and outreach with the number of worshippers engaged in mission
up 3,118 for a total of 51,488 in 2018. And, in part due to extensive need after regional hurricane damage, NCC churches
were very generous in 2018 and gave a total of $18.6M to local and United Methodist benevolences, an increase of
More New Faith Communities Started Than Any Other Conference
The NC Conference, over the past two years, has chartered and begun more new faith communities than any other
conference in the United States. We celebrated that six new faith communities are launching this year in Chapel Hill,
Durham (2), Hillsborough, Raleigh, and Mebane. A new program is beginning where “anchor churches” partner with new
faith communities, both to help the existing churches be strengthened, and to help the new faith community thrive.
Churches that are seeking to cultivate the gifts of evangelism and hospitality today will receive training and grow in that
Conference Budget Reduction Celebrated
The Conference Council on Finance Administration expressed appreciation for the 91.58% of the apportionments that
were paid in 2018. The NC Conference was one of 26 annual or missionary conferences that fully paid apportionments
to the General Conference. The proposed NCC annual conference budget for 2021 represents a 23.13% decrease from
the approved 2020 budget. This reduction was largely due to meeting funding goals for retiree pension and health care
and removing the need to fund an episcopal residence. Annual conference members approved the request for
$16,205,448 for the 2021 annual conference budget.
NCC Statistician’s Report
The Conference Statistician reported on membership, worship attendance, and benevolent spending. The total
membership for the conference at the close of 2018 was 225,987, a loss of 1,184 members from 2017. There were
2,289 professions of faith reported including those who returned to the church and had their membership restored.
The reported average worship attendance was 71,276 worshiping in the pews, which represents a decline, but, there
was a large increase worshiping online. There were 1200 fewer bodies in the pews but, 11,992 persons worshiped online
for an actual increase in worship of 7,200.
Resolutions 7, 10, 11, and 12 were all related to full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons. Thanks to a spirit of holy
conferencing by their respective authors, the four resolutions were combined into Resolution 15: Supporting Full Inclusion
of LGBTQIA+ Persons and Rejecting the Traditional Plan. After some amendments and lively debate, Resolution 15
passed by a vote of 60.31% Yes to 39.69% No.
The Conference Youth Legislative Affairs Person presented four resolutions from the 2018 Annual Conference Session
for Youth. These resolutions addressed efficient church energy usage, called for diversity in youth events, advocated for
churches to serve fair trade coffee, and encouraged churches to help address the pain caused by the opioid epidemic by
hosting Narcotics Anonymous family support groups in every county.
Finally, resolutions supporting continued dialogue for full communion with the Episcopal Church, condemning solitary
confinement in prisons, embracing immigrants, and addressing the age definition of “youth” within The United Methodist
Church were all approved by the NC Annual Conference.
As we journey together for another exciting year, please join with me in praying daily:”Lord, let Your miracles break forth
everyday and let me not be an obstacle in any way!”