Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday at Annual Conference

Monday morning began with a Service of Holy Communion. We begin every day this way. Then, we spent some time organizing the Conference- electing officers, secretary, parliamentarian, etc. We had some courtesies welcoming us to Florence, SC. On this day, we spent some time presenting the recommended budget, and the proposed nominations of officers for another year or more. These are presented early in the week and then voted on the last day. We heard a report from a Task Force organized since last year to look at the possibility of re-organizing the SC Conference. We have 12 districts in the conference; we are in Spartanburg, of course. Economics, demographic changes, and other things moved some to think that we need to reduce the number of districts. The Task Force asked for another year to make sure they had all the information in hand before making a recommendation to the Annual Conference. The trend is toward reduction, I would say. Epworth Children’s Home made a report and we heard a few other reports and then adjourned for lunch. We came back at 2pm for our Memorial Service. This is the time when we honor and remember those who have died since last year: pastors and pastor’s spouses. Families of those who have gone on come to join in the celebration and memories. It is always a sad but victorious time. Over 30 persons were remembered. There is always someone whom I knew well on this list. The Sermon was preached by Dr. Charles Johnson, Greenville District Superintendent, who is retiring this Annual Conference. He preaching on the subject: “Their Works Follow Them.” We took a break to greet the families and others and then came back in session at around 3pm. Then, we heard a lecture/message from Gil Rendle, a church consultant who talked about the current situation that we are facing in the church. He talked about the way in which we have moved from being an established part of the culture to being on the fringe of the culture. That’s true of all Christian groups, but especially mainline Protestant churches of which the United Methodist Church is one. He talked about see the current situation not as a problem to solve but as an opportunity to work with. He spoke on Monday night and will speak again for us before we leave. I will share more of his thoughts, which are not unique to him, later. Blessings! Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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