“It’s not over until God says it’s over,” said Rev. Charles Boayue. Read his report as Dean of Cabinet and more in this additional coverage of the Michigan Annual Conference.
Senior Content Editor
Much has already been written about the 2019 Michigan Annual Conference meeting May 30-June 2 in Acme. The overview article, “AC 2019 is a greenhouse for leadership” covers worship, legislation, presentations, delegate elections, and more.
Here are additional reports made by conference leadership plus the videos that add sight and sound to all the printed words.
Video coverage of AC 2019
Go to Michigan Conference UMC’s Videos on Vimeo to access videos of all plenary sessions, worship, presentations, and special events at the 2019 Annual Conference. A four-minute video summary of AC 2019 is available there for download, an excellent reporting tool in your local congregation. View here.
Pension and Health Care Report
On Friday morning, May 31, the Rev. Don Emmert, Conference Director of Benefits and Human Resources, gave a spirited report using images and metaphors from the 1968 Detroit Tigers World Series Championship. He spoke of the efforts made over the past year to introduce and interpret the benefits plan for the new Michigan Conference. He noted that some churches had their expenses go down, others did not. He explained elements of the health care plan for active and retired pastors. “The ’68 Tigers consisted of many skilled players who made valuable, strategic, and key contributions. Some stepped back and made way for others. Some stepped out of their normal position to play where needed. But after the final out, it was an entire team that contributed to a world series championship.” He said the benefits efforts have been similar. Emmert’s closing remarks focused on the fact, “our conference has a health problem” and encouraged clergy to participate in preventive and wellness initiatives. One of several statistics: 12% of Michigan Conference clergy are very high risk compared to a 2%-3% benchmark. He concluded, “We have a great lineup … the ball is now in our hands.” Click here for the full report.
Conference Treasurer’s Report
David Dobbs, Director of Administrative Services and Treasurer made his report on Friday afternoon. He also reviewed the efforts he and his staff made to give financial birth to a new conference and nine new districts. Dobbs thanked outgoing Statistician Ron Iris and welcomed the new keeper of the records, Pamela Stewart. Dobbs shared significant numbers including 58% of churches paid 100% of ministry shares in 2018, down from 63% the year before; 82 churches paid 0%. The total budget for 2020 is $14,700,910, reduced by $124,723 from 2019. He offered details of how ministry shares money is spent (see graph) noting that “88 cents of every dollar you give in ministry shares either stays in the conference or does the missional work of the denomination.” Read the full report, including the dollar amounts corresponding to the pie chart on ministry share giving.
Report of the Dean of the Cabinet
The Rev. Dr. Charles Boayue, Jr., Dean of the Cabinet, shared his remarks on Sunday morning, June 2, titled, “The Mission Imperative.” He began, “At a time like this what you would expect me to say about The Michigan Conference and the work of your Cabinet?” He continued, “While I could spend time lamenting all the sad commentaries on the collective behaviors and divisive rhetoric that characterize the current climate across our Church, I would like to take another approach.” The Dean then turned conference members’ eyes to God, “The Apostle Paul, in the 12th chapter of Hebrews, invites them to lay aside their preoccupations and set their priority straight … The race is the mission. Participation requires patient endurance because God gets to call the shots, not us!” Boayue told stories of mission and ministry taking place in each district of the conference and called people beyond the brokenness of the present moment. “The mission is imperative because without it the journey leads nowhere worthy of the travel,” he asserted. Quoting lyrics from Onward Christian Soldiers, he concluded, “Let us remain caught up in this amazing mission, realizing that it ain’t over till God says, ‘It’s over!'” Click to read the Dean’s full remarks. The Rev. Elizabeth Hill, Heritage District, will serve as Dean of the Cabinet during the coming year.
The pdf print-out of the ministerial appointments that begin on July 1, 2019, is available here.