2023 Missouri Annual Conference

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The Missouri Annual Conference was held at the St. Charles Convention Center June 9-11. Bishop Robert Farr officiated.

This year’s annual conference theme was CONNECT: Christ Likeness Inside Out. Jesus values connection and has invited us to connect with one another through the transforming power of love. In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus commanded that we love God with everything that we’ve got and that we love our neighbor as we love ourselves. One way that we express our love and model connection is through what John Wesley called “inward and outward holiness;” he encouraged a “holiness of life arising from holiness of heart.” As we connect with God through the power of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus, we are transformed into Christ’s likeness and are better able to connect with others through hearts overflowing with love, grace and justice. 

There were 11 people ordained, with an average age of 43. There were nine commissioned, with an average age of 39. One Associate Member was received. This year 30 clergy retired.

During the Celebration of Ministry Service, which included commissioning and ordination, $22,443.49 was raised for the Mozambique Initiative. The money will support equipping pastoral parsonages with solar panels.

During the opening worship service $18,329.27 was raised for the Disaster Response offering, which will help purchase additional supplies for relief kits deployed in disasters both in Missouri and around the United States.

R&B and gospel artist BeBe Winans performed a concert for the Annual Conference Session on Friday night, June 9. The community was invited to attend for free.

The Missouri Conference Apportioned budget was reduced by $2.1 million, or 16 percent. It was explained that reserve funds and recent “right-sizing” of districts made it possible to make this cut to the budget without any significant reduction in ministry. The budget was passed as presented without discussion.All General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates remain active United Methodists so there was no need to hold an election for next year’s postponed session of General Conference 2020.

The following 75 churches were approved for disaffiliation.

North Central District

Browning, Clarence, Cole Camp, Epworth (Sedalia), Fortuna, Goodwill Chapel, Haseville, Linneus, Mendon, Midway Locust Grove, Mokane, Siloam Chapel, Sumner, Zion, Brunswick 

Northeast District

Bethel Pond (Wildwood), Big Spring, Morning Star, Sunrise, The River, Eureka, The Way 

Northwest District

Fairfax, Lee’s Summit, Sparta, Tarkio, Westboro 

Southeast District

Advance, Arcadia Valley, Belgrade, Bell City, Broadway, Scott City, Cabool, Caledonia, Casco, Champion City, Crossroads (Perry County), Dexter, Ellsinore, Glen Allen, Grandin, Hobbs Chapel, Dudley, La Croix, Leslie, Perryville, Potosi, Rauch Spence, Van Buren, Wesley, Fruitland, Whitewater, Zion Gordonville 

Southwest District

Aldersgate, Nixa, Ava, Christ’s Community, Conway, Dadeville, First Oronogo, First UMC Joplin, Humansville, Jasper, Kimberling City, Lamar, Mansfield, Morrisville, Mount Vernon (First), Mt. Moriah (Jasper), Nashville, Oakton, Pleasant Hill, Seymour, Renew at Willard, Royal Heights, Sarcoxie, Schweitzer, Seymour, Sheldon, St. Mark’s Theodosia

The following churches were approved for closure:

North Central District

New Horizons (Columbia), Mitchelville, Court Street (Fulton) 

Northeast District

Makin Memorial, Downing, Vandalia 

Northwest District

Atherton, Central (Kansas City) 

Southeast District

Parma, St. Luke (Hayti), Centenary (Cape Girardeau), Birch Tree

Southwest

Jerico Springs, Hazelgreen, Broadway (Springfield), Dry Valley, Mt. Carmel

Membership in the Missouri Conference stands at 130,812, down from 134,056 the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 47,530, up from 46,642. Church school attendance stands at 13,799, down from 13,137.

Professions or reaffirmations of faith for 2022 were 1,826, up from 1,226 in 2021. Adults and young adults in small groups for 2022 were 26,746, down from 27,642. Worshippers engaged in mission for 2022 were 28,429, up from 27,508.

Fred Koenig, Publications Editor



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