Thoughts on Day 1 at Annual Conference

I’ve been to several annual conferences before, but today was a new experience. This was the first time I attended as a delegate, and a “clergy” delegate at that. Today, I officially moved from the back rows of a visitor and into the halls of the conference.

It was certainly a new experience as the Kentucky Annual Conference began in earnest.

Today’s opening day was about getting started and getting to work. After a morning executive session for the clergy and a lay session, the business began in the afternoon with several reports and the first reading of the proposed $9 million budget.

What the first day of the conference was truly about was two things: reconnecting and confirming. Throughout the day old friends reconnected with one another. The conference halls of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center were filled with people sharing stories and laughter. We United Methodist enjoy a good laugh.

It was also a time of confirming. The opening day’s festivities included the approval of ordinands as provisional elders and deacons and fully ordained elders. This clergy vote, publicly blessed during a ordination service this evening, was the culmination of many years of prayers, hard work, and dedication to a call that God has placed on each person’s heart. It confirmed and celebrated the work of God in each person and the new ministries each will undertake.

As for me, I was confirmed as a local license pastor. This is just the first stop of what I hope to be an onward movement toward ordination as a full elder in the Kentucky Annual Conference. After years of struggling to find my hope, I know without a doubt that God has called Abbi and I to remain in Kentucky and serve God here. Even after a year in ministry, I felt some of the reunion aspects of annual conference in reconnecting with some of the friends in ministry I have made over the past couple of years.

Tomorrow, the business will continue with some of the heavier issues, such as health care, still to be discussed. Also, tomorrow will include an Afternoon of Service. Clergy and lay delegates will go out into the Covington area and serve God by assisting various ministries in the area. It is truly a wonderful thing that we do and I am looking forward to participating by giving blood.

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