AC 2018 Daily

Recap from June 16, 2018

We hope you enjoyed your time at the 2018 Great Plains Annual Conference Session in Wichita, Kansas. We wish you safe travels as you return home.

Therefore Go 5K draws 147 walkers, runners

The inaugural Therefore Go 5K drew 147 runners and walkers to the edge of the Arkansas River on Saturday morning.

Although not a competition, the Rev. Joshua Clough, associate pastor of Church of the Resurrection, was the first to cross the finish line. Cyndi Ericksen, laity from Wichita, was the first female.

The Rev. Nicole Conard, young leadership development coordinator, said a portion of the race entry fee went toward Mercy & Justice scholarships.

The race was sponsored by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund.

Nominations approved, vacancies still remain

Nominations for the 2018/2019 conference officers were approved. Some vacancies remain on the committee.

Send questions to the Rev. Tessa Zehring, chair of the conference nominations team, at You are encouraged to nominate others and yourselves for conference committees and teams by going to

Conference approves budget in final session of 2018

The Great Plains Conference approved a 2019 budget of $15,490,264 during its session Saturday morning. Reports showed a “clean audit” in 2017, and a 12.6 percent increase in funds and reserve accounts from the end of 2016 to the end of 2017, according to Brent Messick of the Council on Finance and Administration.

The conference voted down, by a 396-374 margin, a resolution that called on the United States government to adhere to the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act for the rights of children living under Israeli occupation.

The conference voted in favor of resolutions creating a partnership between the Great Plains and the Methodist Church of Haiti; asking political leaders to affirm the rights of immigrants of refugees; and a call to offer dignitary and sanctuary to “all of God’s children.”

Charles File, president of the conference’s United Methodist Men, and Karen Dunlap, president of the United Methodist Women, each gave their reports as well as video presentation. Dunlap, who brought a bouquet of balloons celebrating the UMW’s 150th anniversary, said the organization worldwide contributes 41 cents to missions – every second.

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. introduced members of the cabinet and their spouses. He gave short tributes to the Rev. Bruce Emmert, leaving his post as Kansas City District superintendent to become pastor at St. Andrew’s UMC in Omaha; and the Rev. Eldon Davis, retiring as Elkhorn Valley superintendent. The Rev. Anne Gatobu was introduced as the new KC District superintendent.

The Rev. Nan Kaye-Skinner, conference secretary, announced that the 2019 Annual Conference sessions will be from May 30 to June 1 in Topeka. 

Special offerings net $15,000

Offerings in three collections during the conference session raised more than $15,000. Those offering totals are as followed.

  • Opening worship/memorial service: Christmas Camps - $5,446.80
  • Youth worship: Youth Service Fund - $6,464.46
  • Ordination: Seminary students to participate in mercy and justice experiences - $4,442.08
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