It was raining the first day of Conference; but in the middle of a drought, all drops of rain feel like blessings from God. Off to a good start.
The Conference for laity started at 1:00 pm. with registration followed by a laity orientation session. What a great idea. It's been a long time since I've been to Annual Conference and there were many attendees who were there for the first time. It was good to get information on how things were going to happen.
There was a discussion of the items we'd be voting on (district realignment, the budget which includes New People/New Places, and new health benefits for retired pastors and their spouses). There are videos on the Conference website (www.okumc.org) that explain the things we will be voting on.
This first part of Conference was held at St. Luke's UMC. It has a book store, a gift shop and a Starbucks. Anybody else think we need a Starbucks at Indiahoma UMC?
A band from Claremore provided musical entertainment. "Elevate" is a band of 8 teenagers: two 8th graders, two 9th graders, one 10th grader and three 11th graders. I feel like we'll be hearing more from them around the conference.
- Spiritual Servant presented by Janie Wilson
- Church Growth by Ali Shayhan. Young families are the most sought after and the most mysterious.
- Missional Discipleship by Dr. Don Kim
- Small Membership/Rural Churches by Claudean Harrison.
- Lay Servant Ministries by Sherry Hiller.
- Connectional Resources by Herschel Beard