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For Immediate Release

June 15, 2011

UNITED METHODISTS CONVENE FOR ANNUAL MEETING

On June 8-11, 2011 approximately 1,500 United Methodists from Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania met at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania for the second annual conference session of the newly formed Susquehanna Conference, a Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. Dr. Dilip Abayasekara of Camp Hill United Methodist Church, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania was among the members who reviewed ministry, adopted policy and resolutions, all in the interest of strengthening the spiritual life of the 950 churches of United Methodist Churches in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

The Susquehanna Conference is a regional, organizational unit of The United Methodist Church. Presiding over this yearly meeting was Bishop Jane Allen Middleton. The business session is composed of equal numbers of clergy and laity. At least one layperson from each pastoral charge is a member.

This was the second annual session of the new Susquehanna Conference which was formed in 2010 from the churches of the former Central Pennsylvania Conference and the Pennsylvania churches of the Wyoming Conference.

The United Methodist Church is a global church of over 12 million members in the U.S., Africa, Europe and the Philippines. Since 1998 the church has grown 26%.

In addition to business sessions there were celebrations in honor of retiring clergy and in memory of those deceased.

Resolutions dealt with visioning an AIDS-free world, mental health ministries, eating habits, use of Styrofoam, concerns with Marcellus Shale and hydraulic fracturing, a moral approach to governing, and an interfaith moratorium on capital punishment. 

The Cabinet of the Susquehanna Conference includes superintendents of eleven districts. The proposal by the Cabinet to reduce the number of districts from eleven to seven was overwhelmingly approved. The proposal includes an additional Cabinet-level position dedicated to church vitalization, and new church starts.

The mission of the Susquehanna Conference is to effectively equip local churches to fulfill their mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ in order to transform the world by: (1) Training and deploying spiritual transformational leaders; (2) Equipping local churches with effective tools and resources to assist them in their disciple-making mission; and (3) to lift up God's gift of connectionalism at all levels of the church to empower transformational work. The vision of the connection of churches in the Susquehanna Conference is "people alive in mission and ministry as God leads on a Christ-centered journey of faith."

The conference concluded with a celebration of commissioning and ordination on Saturday afternoon.

Additional information about the conference session, including legislative decisions and photos, is available through the online versions of Susquehanna Daily LINK located at tinyurl.com/ac2011daily

 Visit susumc.org for additional information about the Susquehanna Annual Conference. 

Contact: Dr. Dilip Abayasekara, Dr. Dilip, LLC, 717.728.2203. drdilip@centralpenn.edu.


 

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