United Methodists to meet in Paducah
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:44 pm
The Messenger, June 2, 2011
More than 1,000 United Methodists from throughout Western Kentucky and West Tennessee will be in Paducah, Ky., beginning Sunday and continuing through Wednesday.
Delegates and others are attending the 2011 Annual Conference of the Memphis Conference of United Methodist Church at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center for an agenda of worship, preaching, music, community service, business, elections, awards, youth activities and other special events for United Methodist clergy and laity.
The Memphis Confe-rence includes more than 450 United Methodist Churches in Western Kentucky and West Tennessee, as well as numerous programs and ministries. The Paducah District is one of seven in the conference.
“Risk-Taking Mission and Service” is the theme for the event, as announced by Memphis Conference Bishop Richard J. “Dick” Wills Jr., who will preside.
The Paducah District of the Memphis Conference is hosting the event. Co-chairs of the host committee are Dwayne Stice, programming director at WPSD-TV in Paducah; and the Rev. Sky McCracken, Paducah District Superintendent.
They have been hard at work, planning this event, since last year. The last time the Memphis Conference met in Paducah was in 2006.
The following worship services are on the schedule for Annual Conference:
• Memorial service at Broadway United Methodist Church in Paducah Sunday at 4 p.m. Preaching will be Dr. Rick C. Dye, senior pastor at Murray (Ky.) First United Methodist Church and former Paducah District Superintendent.
• Opening worship service at Carson Center Main Auditorium Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Guest preacher will be the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor at Grace Church in southwest Florida.
• Retirement and commissioning service at Carson Center Main Auditorium Monday at 11:45 a.m.
• Ordination service at Carson Center Main Auditorium Monday at 7 p.m. Preaching will be Memphis Conference Bishop Richard J. “Dick” Wills Jr.
• Tuesday evening worship service at Carson Center Main Auditorium Tuesday at 7 p.m. Guest preacher will be Bishop Raul Garcia de Ochoa of the Eastern Conference of The Methodist Church of Mexico.
• Closing worship service with communion at Carson Center Main Auditorium Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Preaching will be Wills.
The Rev. Acevedo will conduct a two-part Bible study Monday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Carson Center Main Auditorium.
Two offerings will be received during the 2011 Memphis Annual Conference:
• One offering will support the Memphis Conference pacto (covenant) with the Eastern Mexico Conference of The Methodist Church of Mexico. The pacto, to be signed at the Tuesday evening worship service, says the two conferences will collaborate on the support and development of Hispanic ministries on both sides of the border, support short-term missionaries, develop joint mission projects, link mission teams, exchange delegates to meetings, develop understanding and sensitivity of the cultures of the two conferences and develop a children’s camp at Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly in Eva, using leadership from both countries with the goal of reaching Hispanic children in the Memphis Conference.
• Another offering will support children’s ministries of the Memphis Conference: Western Kentucky United Methodist Family Services in Paducah, Hannah’s Hope (adoption services) in Memphis, Reelfoot Rural Ministries in Obion County and United Methodist Neighborhood Centers in Memphis. The offering recognizes Bishop Wills, who announced in January that he will retire in September, and his wife, Eileen.
PUMP (Paducah Urban Mission Plunge) is the name of a multi-faceted youth event that starts Saturday, the day before Annual Conference begins. Youth activities will include community service work around Paducah, worship opportunities and a concert by Christian band Building 429 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Paducah on Saturday night.
Youth groups from outside the Paducah area are spending Saturday night as guests of area United Methodist churches and young people will help with and participate in the Annual Conference opening worship service on Sunday evening.
Delegates to the 2011 Memphis Annual Conference will elect two lay members and two clergy members (and alternates) to be the Memphis Conference representatives to General and Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church in 2012.
The Memphis Conference is part of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. General Conference is the United Methodist Church’s top legislative gathering.
Susan M. Engle of Gilbertsville, Ky., will be the speaker at the Laity Luncheon Tuesday from noon-1:30 p.m. at Broadway United Methodist Church in Paducah. Ms. Engle is chair of the Memphis Conference Intentional Discipleship Action Team and serves as the Paducah District Lay Resource Leader.
On Tuesday evening at 8:30 in the Carson Center lobby, there will be reception to honor the ministry of Bishop Dick and Eileen Wills in the Memphis Conference.
The reception is hosted by Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital and the Memphis Conference Episcopacy Committee.
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church announced earlier this month it had approved the naming of Bishop Benjamin Chamness as the 2011-12 Interim Bishop in Residence of the Nashville Area, which includes the Memphis Conference and the Tennessee Conference. Chamness will serve from Sept. 1, 2011, through Aug. 31, 2012.