The New Mexico Conference met at the Las Cruces Convention Center, Las Cruces Plaza and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church under the theme “Come to the Table,” with Bishop Robert Schnase providing.
One highlight was hearing from the Rev. Gavin Rogers of Corazón San Antonio, who shared about that ministry’s outreach to people who live on the margins. The Rev. Dr. Scott Sharp then facilitated a roundtable discussion with Gavin and pastors from our Conference who are deeply involved in ministry with marginalized populations: The Revs. Nema LeCuyer, Tiffany Hollums and George Miller. When asked about the “risk” involved in engaging with people who live on the margins of our communities, Hollums said that she felt that there was a greater risk in NOT engaging with people different from ourselves.
For our Ordination Message, Bishop Schnase asked four people, two clergy and two laity, to address a question about what they, or the Conference, or the world needed from their pastors/clergy or to give those to be ordained/commissioned some piece of advice. One clergy gave them (and any pastor in our Conference) her phone number and promoted the idea that we need to stay connected and lean on each other. The other clergy person advised that they strive to love themselves as well as others. One lay person advised that they seek scripture as they navigate challenging circumstances. The last was a soon-to-be college student who provided fresh words of inspiration and relevance.
Main actions enacted by the conference: Recognizing our new Conference Lay Leader, Kathy Jewell and celebrating the ministry of two of our district superintendents who retired: the Revs. Craig Cockrell and Ernie Vineyard
The following churches have disaffiliated: First United Methodist churches of Odessa, Jal and Eunice.
Four churches have closed because they are no longer sustainable: El Alfarero, Anthony, Sanderson and Van Horn
Any special annual conference set: No
Our approved budget for 2024 is $2,108,981, which reflects an 11% decrease. Our spending plan (using more realistic tithing estimates) is $2,057,284 (a 21% decrease).
Other resolutions adopted by the conference: Petition regarding a conflict of interest policy; petition to suspend conference rules regarding provost compensation
The following are General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference delegates: The Rev. Dr. Randall Partin (clergy), Dr. Susan Brumbaugh (lay), the Rev. Dr. Pam Rowley (clergy), Dan Salzwedel (lay), the Rev. Dr. Eddie Rivera (clergy)
Number of people ordained, commissioned or received into associate membership: 4. The average age was 51.
Number of clergy retired: 7
Membership stands at 22,355, up 1,013 from the previous year.
Worship attendance stands at 6,035, down 282.
Church school attendance stands at 2,430, up 80.
Professions or reaffirmations of faith were 339, up 120.
Adults and young adults in small groups were 3,982, up 299.
Worshippers engaged in mission were 3,687, up 184.
Submitted by Alli J. Newsom, administrative assistant to New Mexico Conference Bishop Robert Schnase.
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