Business/Presentations Thursday Afternoon
During the Thursday afternoon session, members of the Tennessee Annual Conference heard the nominations report and the following ministry presentations:
Recognition of Missionaries, Home Missioners, and Deaconesses
Cal Turner Jr. “My Father’s Business” conversation
Cal Turner and Bishop McAlilly chatted about Cal’s book, covering his conversion to Christianity as a boy, his relationship with his father, and his calling to serve God in the workplace in a Fortune 500 company, Dollar General.
Connectional Ministries Restructuring Team & Nominations
Director of Connectional Ministries Melinda Britt presented a restructuring plan for Connectional Ministries and nominations for chairs and leaders for Tennessee Conference boards, commissions, and committees.
Next Gen Discipleship Operational Team
One example of Next Gen’s impact can be seen in a video presented about young adult, Maggie Wade.Team representatives also offered their visions and values.
Martin Methodist College
Dr. Mark La Branche, president of Martin Methodist College, thanked the annual conference for its continued support of the college. He also introduced new staff members at the college, including Rev. John Collett, retired TNUMC elder, as the Director of Church Relations and Thriving Rural Communities.
Executive Director Courtney Aldrich gave an update on the work of this program, now in its seventh year. More than 700 children in five counties are participating this year. There are 92 interns working in 10 site churches and 90 partnering churches across the Tennessee and Memphis conferences.
Camp & Retreat Ministries
Brian Marcoulier, Russell Casteel, and Sarah Ratz shared information about various retreats, summer camps, new programs, and church connections going on at Beersheba Springs Assembly and Cedar Crest Camp. Events at these sites have been used as important tools in the missional strategy for intergenerational and multicultural discipleship in our local churches including confirmation retreats, Next Gen Ministries BE Retreat, Summer Sizzler, and a Prayer Shawl Retreat.
Scholarship and Awards Recognition
A video was shown of the many scholarship and awards recipients across Tennessee Conference ministries.
Executive Director Debbie Robinson shared mission and ministry provided by Miriam’s Promise. She presented London’s story via video.
Stratford Ministry (Dalewood)
Rev. Sean Stanfield shared information about Dalewood UMC’s partnership and ministry with Stratford STEM Magnet High School. Located less than a mile from one another, time separated the two for decades. But in August 2017, a chance meeting with Lee Brown from Fellowship of Christian Athletes led to a discussion about how the church might help feed Stratford’s football team. Today, church members regularly attend games and cheer the team on; feed the football, basketball, and baseball teams and cheerleaders; and stock a food pantry.
Older Adult Ministries & Golden Cross Foundation
Kent McNish and Shirley Vaughn presented a new resource, Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry with the Forgotten by Bishop Kenneth Carder. Designed for small groups, this five-session study was created to generate discussion on ways congregations can be in ministry with people who have dementia and their families and caregivers. For more information, click here.
Angy Trimmer, Annie Hardison, and Cynthia McGowan provided an overview of some of the programs and ministries offered by FreshSTART—a recovery ministry in Columbia, Tennessee—that provides solutions for families struggling with the effects of addiction, alcoholism, poverty, incarceration, mental health issues, and abuse.
Recognition of Lay Servant Ministries
Jackie Elliott, Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries, along with Lay Leader Holly Neal and Associate Lay Leader George Brown, recognized the many lay servants within the conference. She also praised the success of the first Hispanic lay servant training held earlier this year.
Day of Discernment District Gathering and Prayer Service with Dinner
The second of three prayer services conducted in each district setting.