Dr. Jorge Acedevo preached at the morning worship service which began at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Mrs. Hallique Dawson gave the opening prayer for the morning business session.

Mrs. Betty Backstrom introduced Dr. Larry Hygh, Director of Mission Communications for the General Board of Global Ministries, who shared a “Ministry with the Poor” moment. A brief video was shown on the meaning of “With” in the phrase “Ministry with the Poor.” Dr. Hygh challenged the Conference to continue to be in ministry with the poor and practice Wesleyan code all over Louisiana.

Rev. Judith Bazer, representing the Committee on the Journal, reported that the minutes of the Tuesday, June 7, 2011 session had been reviewed and were found to be in order. She recommended their approval. The Journal minutes were approved.

Mr. Gordon Dillahunty offered greetings from the Cokesbury Publishing House. He presented the report of the publishing house. He invited everyone to visit their displays. He talked about some new books that are now available and some that would be coming out soon.

Church Extension and Revitalization Task Force Report #2

Rev. Donnie Wilkinson continued his report of the Church Extension and Revitalization from Tuesday referencing page 58 of the Pre-Conference Report. “Buzzy” Anding made a motion that the question on consideration of this report be divided into proposals 1, 4, and 5, dealing with the change in missional priority, and to consider and vote on proposal 2, dealing with the tithing of the Conference budget, and proposal 3, dealing with the redevelopment of the position of Director of Church Extension separately. The motion was seconded, voted on, and passed. Debate was entertained on the recommendations of the task force. A point of order was made by Rev. Donald Avery to have no applause. A motion was made to extend the debate to five total speeches for and five total speeches against to discuss the proposals more thoroughly. The motion was seconded, voted on, and passed. Dr. Sam Holladay motioned for an amendment to proposal 1 to make new church starts and church revitalization as the main missional priorities. The amendment failed. The proposals 1, 4, and 5 were voted on and passed. Proposals 2 and 3 were tabled until the afternoon session to move on to the order of the day.

The session took a short recess.

Recognition of the Retirees

The opening hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” was led by Rev. Darryl Tate to start the Service of Recognition of the Retirees.

Rev. Tate introduced the retirees: Letty Strawbridge, Glorious Wright, Lyndle Bullard, Yvonne Dayries, Hubert Debo, Wanda Smith, and James Graham. Some retirees gave a short speech.

The Conference gave thanks to the retirees.

In the Service of the Passing of the Mantle, the mantle was passed from Rev. James Graham, representing the retiring class, to Rev. Lane Cotton Winn, representing the new class.

The Service of the Recognition of the Retirees was closed with the hymn “May You Run and Not Be Weary.”

Bishop Hutchinson made several announcements. A word of appreciation was given to the district administrative assistants.

Mr. Fred Loy gave the Courtesy Committee Report. He shared concerns and prayer requests. Bishop Hutchinson prayed for the individuals mentioned in the report.

Kevin Kosh, Jr., Lina McCord Intern, brought greetings on behalf of the Black College Fund.

Rev. Deborah Williams led the prayer to end the morning session.

JUNE 8, 2011

Bishop Hutchinson opened the afternoon business session with “And Are We Yet Alive” which is normally sung to open the Conference.

Board of Trustees Report

Mr. Hap Martin, Chair of the Conference Board of Trustees, presented seven resolutions. The first five resolutions are located on page 45 of the Pre-Conference Report. Resolutions six and seven were written after the printing of the Pre-Conference Report and were located on a handout on the tables. Mr. Martin stated that the report is a record of the transactions that were made from April of 2010 through March 2011. He also stated that many of the resolutions are for recordkeeping purposes for the Board of Trustees.

  • Resolution One is to discontinue and abandon the Hayes United Methodist Church in Hayes, Louisiana in the Lake Charles district. Mr. Martin asked all those in attendance from the Hayes Church to stand and be recognized. The resolution states that the property of the church will be administered and disposed of by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Book of Discipline.
  • Resolution Two ratifies the sale of Felicity United Methodist Church in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The sale of the church property was done through a discontinuing and abandonment of that church by Conference action in 2007, and a price was obtained of $250,000 for that church.
  • Resolutions Three and Four ratify the sale of the parsonages which passed at the 2010 Annual Conference. The Conference Parsonage in Resolution Three was located at 2060 W. Magna Carta Place, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. The Board negotiated a sale of $215,000. Resolution Four ratifies the sale of the Conference Parsonage located at 4044 South Ramsey Drive, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. The Board negotiated a sale of $410,000.
  • Resolution Five is to discontinue and abandon St. James United Methodist Church, Springfield, Louisiana, in the Baton Rouge district. Members of the church were asked to stand and be recognized. The Board of Trustees has been authorized to donate the property to the African Methodist Episcopal Church of the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Union.
  • Resolution Six is to discontinue and abandon St. James United Methodist Church, New Orleans District. The resolution allows the Board to dispose of the property.
  • Resolution Seven authorized the Trustees to donate Pine Hill Methodist Church, St. Helena Parish, Louisiana. The Board of Trustees has been authorized to donate the property to Pine Hill Church and Cemetery Preservation Association.

The entire report was voted on and approved.

Ann Trousdale led a prayer for the afternoon session and spoke about the Holy Land Tour that the Conference sponsored for the ordinands. She thanked the Conference for their generosity.

Church Extension and Revitalization Task Force #3

The Church Extension and Revitalization Task Force proposals three and two were brought up for debate. After questions, Bishop Hutchinson clarified that this position could be part of the appointive cabinet at a different salary from the DS’s. Rev. Lynn Malone moved to refer proposals 2 and 3 to CFA and Church Extension to bring back to 2012 Conference. The motion failed.

A friendly amendment was received by the Committee to change the wording of the last sentence of the third proposal from, “The Director should be part of the appointive cabinet” to read as, “It is recommended that the Director be a part of the appointive cabinet.” Another friendly amendment was received by the Committee to add “recommends” to the first sentence to instead of “should” in regards to retaining the position as full time. Rev. Donnie Wilkinson stated that it is a strong recommendation. Proposal three was adopted as amended.

A friendly amendment was received to add, “as allowed by the Book of Discipline and the Conference Rules” to the last sentence of the proposal. Another friendly amendment was received by the Committee to delete the first, third, and fifth sentences of the second proposal and to add as the second sentence, “Beginning with the 2013 budget, the CFA will begin increasing the church extension budget by at least 12.5% annually until Church Extension funding reaches 10% of the Conference budget.” Proposal two was adopted as amended.

The session took a short recess.

Disaster Recovery Ministry Report

Rev. Darryl Tate, CEO of the Disaster Recovery Ministry for the Louisiana Annual Conference, gave the final report on the Disaster Recovery Ministry. The hymn “We Are Marching” was sung. Those who volunteered for or financially supported the disasters Louisiana has faced over the past six years were asked to stand to be recognized. Dr. Anita Crump shared communication from the state Senate which declared June 8, 2011, as Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Committee on Relief Day. Rhonda Whitley and Rev. Tate were recognized for their hard work. The Board of Directors from Disaster Response was given thanks.

Rev. Tate introduced Rev. Tom Hazelwood who brought greetings from his Annual Conference in Arkansas. Rev. Hazelwood was presented with a fleur de lis plaque representing disaster recovery in the name of God as a gift of gratitude.

The Conference applauded Rev. Tate and Dr. Don Cottrill for their leadership of the recovery response.

Committee on Rules Report

Rev. Lyndle Bullard, representing the Committee on Rules, presented the proposal from Rev. Larry O’Dell as part of the report for the Committee on Rules for a change in the year of Methodism from June 1 through May 31 to July 1 through June 30. The motion passed, and the new Conference year will begin July 1 in the year 2012.

Rev. Bullard presented a second proposal, found on page 146 of the Pre-Conference Report, to allow any lay person selected as the chair of the Conference Ministry Team to be counted as a member of the Annual Conference. Rev. Bullard moved for adoption by acclimation. The motion passed.

CFA Report #2

Mr. Henry Stamper, Chair of the Council on Finance and Administration, presented report #2 of the Council on Finance and Administration and referenced pages 4-9 of the Pre-Conference Report.

He presented the proposed budget of $8,196,981 for 2012, a .36% increase from the 2011 budget and a net increase of $29,888. He noted that the World Service and Conference Benevolences Apportionments were reduced by approximately $65,000, but there were increases in the Wesley Foundation, the Louisiana Conference Administration Fund, and the District Superintendents Fund, and the Episcopal Fund. He also noted item 9 on page 7 that describes funding for the Conference Contingency Fund. Mr. Stamper read aloud the paragraph of item 14 on page 9 regarding undesignated conference receipts from gas leases and royalties and two one-time estate gifts. An amendment was made to add “as allowed by the Book of Discipline and Conference Rules” and to add “future gas leases and royalties” to the item. The amendment carried. A motion was made to call the question. The motion passed. Reports #1 and #2 were voted on and adopted. Bishop Hutchinson thanked CFA for their hard work.

A motion was made by Dr. Ramonalynn Bethley and seconded to “put feet” to the line items in the Committee on Episcopacy report on page 147 of the Pre-Conference Report and allow Bishop Hutchinson to assign a new strategic vitality task force to work with CFA and report back to the Conference with definitive proposals on how to realign Conference resources to accomplish our mission. The motion passed.

Committee on Petitions Report

Rev. Fred Wideman presented two petitions. He stated that the Board of Global Ministries reviewed the petitions and voted non-concurrence on each of the petitions. Maribel Calvo, representing the General Board of Global Ministry, presented the rationale for non-concurrence.

  • Petition #1 regarded withdrawal of endorsement and approval of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and any other organization or group that espouses abortion as a response to pregnancy. Speeches were made for and against the petition. The petition was voted on and failed.
  • Petition #2 regarded the United Methodist Church severing ties with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Speeches were made for and against the petition. The petition was voted on and failed.

Rev. Larry Miller made one correction for the Nominations Report and referenced page 21 of the Nominations Booklet. The following change was made: Scott Wright as the Director of the Wesley Foundation was added to the Board for Louisiana Tech Wesley Foundation. The report was approved.

Rev. Jon Lord gave a report on Imagine No Malaria. A brief video was shown. Mrs. Margaret Johnson asked that the Conference fill out cards to send to Senators Vitter and Landrieu. Mrs. Johnson prayed over the cards.

Dr. Don Cottrill made several announcements.

Rev. Donnie Wilkinson made an omnibus motion that all reports not dealt with on the floor be received. The motion was approved.

Because of the lateness of the day, the Service of Sending Forth was not held. Dottie Smith, a member of the Worship Team, was thanked for preparing and designing the service.

Bishop Hutchinson fixed the appointments for the next year.

All newly elected delegates were asked to come forward to receive a blessing by the Conference. The Service of the Passing of the Mantle of District Leadership and the Deconsecrating of Space adjourned the 2011 Louisiana Annual Conference.