The session was opened with music led by George and Judy Gross.
Dr. Sarah Kreutziger introduced Bishop William Hutchinson, who welcomed and addressed the Laity. In his address he talked about the laity and their importance in the church and how important they have been in the twelve years he has served as Bishop of this Conference.
Dr. Sarah Kreutziger asked the members of our Conference Board of Laity to proceed to the stage.
Mrs. Glennell Cottrill, Treasurer, presented the annual treasurer’s report for the Board of Laity for the year 2011.
The Bob Lay Memorial received contributions from the various districts totaling $52,103. Our Goal for the year was $75,051. The ending balances for the Bob Lay Memorial $246,923, of this amount $83,190 is on deposit for the building of Faith Crossing UMC, $28, 700 is on deposit for the building of The Well UMC, and $135,084 is available by resolution of the 2009 Annual Conference, for loans to churches for redevelopment or growth needs if approved by the 1000 Club appropriations committee. During the year, we disbursed $48,712 to the Well UMC Church to assist for their first building. We had set the goal of $150,000 for each of the three new churches; however, we were only able to raise $119,524 for the Well. We raised $82,893.14 for Faith Crossing which was chartered on Mother’s Day 2012. The current call is for New Song on Perkins Road. All funds collected during the remainder of 2012 will be designated for New Song.
We have made a loan from the Grambling Funds up to $130, 000 to New Song for their new facility. To date we have advanced $20,000.
For the conference year ended December 31, 2011 the Daughenbaugh Matheny Scholarship Fund received contributions from the various districts totaling $27,296. We disbursed scholarships totaling $34,500 to Louisiana United Methodist students attending Centenary College and Dillard University. The ending balance for the Daughenbaugh Matheny Scholarship Fund totaled $8,950. There is a balance of $37,083 in the Endowment Fund at the Foundation. Only earnings on these funds can be used for scholarships.
Dr. Sarah Kreutziger presented the Nominations Committee report. Sarah reported that one of the duties of the Conference Lay Leader is to convene a nominations committee composed of the presidents of the UMM, UMW and conference youth and the District Lay Leaders during the last year of the quadrennial for the purpose of nominating officers for the next four years. This year a discernment process was used to select the slate. After prayer and a review of some guidelines that stressed the importance of selecting individuals because of their passion and competence first, although we were conscious as well of diversity, the following slate was chosen.
Conference Lay Leader: Mrs. Carolyn Dove
Associate Conference Lay Leader: Mr. Terrell Deville
Secretary: Mr. Pete Aguila
Treasurer: Mr. Henry Stamper
Young Adult: Mr. Phillip Bates
Daughenbaugh-Matheny Scholarship Chair: Mrs. Valla Johnson
Lay Speaking Ministries: Mr. Al Franks
1000 Club: Mrs. Eloise Cox
Four at Large Members: Ms. Donna Whittington, Mr. Walter Weiss, Mrs. Willie Mount, Mrs. Nancy Carr
Dr. Kreutziger asked the nominees to stand as their names were called. She then listed each position, called the name of the person the Nominations Committee selected and asked if there were other nominations from the floor.
There were no nominations from the floor for any of the positions. Dr. Anita Crump made a motion to accept the slate as presented. The motion was seconded and the slate was accepted as presented.
Dr. Don Cottrill wished the Laity greetings and presented the following Annual Conference report. Dr. Cottrill noted in the next few days the laity would:
Come to learn, participate in worship service, pray, do holy conferencing and have discussions in regards to work we will do. He stated Tuesday and Wednesday will be presentation of the SVTF/CFA Report and voting on 10 amendments and 4 petitions. This year there will be Marshalls at the entrances to be sure only voting members are on the bar of the conference.
The Harry Denman Awards were presented to the recipients this year: Laity, Mrs. Joyce Robinson; and Youth, Ashlyn Esterly.
Mrs. Joyce Robinson introduced the Program Session.
Mr. Al Franks presented the Lay Speaking Ministries report. The hundreds of laity who have gone through lay speaking ministries training are actively involved in churches throughout the conference. We continue to promote lay speaking ministries as a way for laity to receive training to become better servants and leaders to the world around us. Beyond the basic course, there are over a dozen advanced courses in more specific areas such as worship preaching, storytelling evangelism, prayer, caring, missions, etc. Lay speaking courses are also given in Spanish and Korean in the New Orleans area.
Lay Speaking courses were held throughout the Louisiana Conference this year. During the coming year, greater effort is going to be made to insure that the basic lay speaking course and advanced courses are designed to meet the needs of the conference churches. There are a total of eight Certified Lay Ministers in the LA Conference
Mr. Walter Weiss reported on the 1000 Club and noted they did not reach their goal for this year. He reported that the three new church starts are all now certified. Walter encouraged everyone to promote more giving in their churches as this is a laity initiative.
Dr. Barbara Ferguson reported the United Methodist Women have embraced servant leadership. The UMW sent out a survey asking “How are we doing”. The UMW will use the results of the survey to develop a plan of action for the Conference UMW. She noted that the local unit of UMW is the foundation and purpose of the UMW Organization.
Mr. Gard Wayt presented the United Methodist Men report. He stated the UMM partner with and support with funds, the Scouting Program, The Upper Room which provides prayer for people and SOSA-The Society of St. Andrew who provides meals for those in need. Gard announced that the UMM have made arrangements to have 1000 ears of fresh corn and 4000 yams to be available after conference on Wednesday to those wanting to take them back to their food pantries. He also stated the UMM is offering classes to men on “How to Manage Money Better.” They are also focused to paying more attention to the Hispanic Ministry in the next quadrennium. Gard reported Wayne Prejean from the Acadiana District, will be the new UMM president.
Mrs. Carolyn Dove introduced two Daughenbaugh-Matheny Scholarship recipients: Jason Harris and Darrius Hills, who each gave their story of how this Scholarship affected their life.
Mrs. Carolyn Dove reported on the Daughenbaugh-Matheny Scholarship Fund. She reported for the school year 2012-2013 there were twenty four scholarship recipients. The amount of scholarship is to be determined. The following is a listing of the recipients by district. Acadiana District: Robert Green and Tamar Johnson, Dillard; Alexandria District: Morgan Brewton, Centenary; Baton Rouge District: Abigail Dillard, Centenary, Jasmine Frank, Dillard; Lake Charles District: Paige Pritchett, Logan Settoon and Austin Rinehart, Centenary; New Orleans District: Joshua Bouligny, Nathaniel Cyprian, Moniqua Osbey, Dillard and Robin Chailland, Sam Chigumira, Jessica Lehman and Amanda Price, Centenary; Shreveport District; Cameron Brandao, Alissa Brown, Calvin Davis, Ryan Elledge, Jay Frazier, Kaitlyn Squires, Faith Willhite, Abbie Woods and Kristen Young, Centenary.
Madeline Blackwood presented the report of the Conference Council of Youth Ministries. The LA Conference Youth had a fun, spiritually uplifting, and busy year. They focused on 3D faith: Discipline, Discipleship, and Devotion and Romans 1:16-17.
The Youth started off the year with DCTM Training or what is now known as United Methodist Youth Leadership Training. Youth night hosted over 600 Jr. High and Sr. High students. The Jr. High retreat had a 76% increase from last year and Sr. High had a 58% increase from last year.
Joyce Robinson announced there are still tickets to be sold to the Laity breakfast on Tuesday morning. Joyce encouraged laity to contact their District Lay Leader to purchase tickets if they have not done so and for District Lay Leaders to turn all monies collected for the sale of tickets to Glennell Cottrill.
Buzzy Anding presented Certificates of Recognition to each of the following members of the Conference Board of Laity who will be leaving the CBOL. Sarah Kreutziger, Joyce Robinson, Marverne Terrell, Carolyn Dove, Glennell Cotrill, Walter Weiss, Pete Agulia, Betty Blackman and John Evans. Buzzy also presented Sarah Kreutziger with a silver bracelet as a going away gift.
Dr. Kreutziger called Dr. Don Cottrill up to present him with a gift for being a loyal and faithful member of this CBOL for the last four years and thanking him for always being there when needed.
Dr. Sarah Kreutziger called all newly elected members of the Conference Board of Laity to the stage to be commissioned to the board. There was a Service of Dedication and Commitment to Servant Leadership and Worship.
Dr. Sarah Kreutziger introduced Rev. Tu’uta who gave the Benediction in his home language.