Summary Report from the
2020 Kentucky Annual Conference
The 2020 Annual Conference, broadcast virtually because of COVID-19, began on Sunday, December 6th with a public laity session followed by a closed clergy session. John Denham, the Kentucky Annual Conference’s Lay Leader, was shown live from his home in Maysville while most of the presentations, reports and sacred music were prerecorded. That included a fourminute introduction from Bishop Leonard Fairley who focused on the challenges of furthering the Kingdom during a worldwide pandemic. About a dozen people presented short reports or testimony, including the lay leaders from the Conference’s nine districts. Lay and clergy members of Annual Conference watched on a special webinar platform on Sunday, and again during Tuesday’s business meeting. The process allowed remote voting and interaction using an integrated web-based application. Reportedly, about 225 people were watching Sunday’s laity session on the webinar platform, and about 80 more on a Facebook Live feed for interested members of the UMC community.
On Tuesday, December 8th, the main Annual Conference began at 9 AM, with sessions continuing shortly after 4 PM. There were about 630 people logged on to the virtual sessions in the morning, and just under that by late afternoon. The service of Commissioning and Ordination, which would normally have been done during the Annual Conference, was deferred until the 2021 Conference. The hope is to hold this in Owensboro, June 7-9, if the pandemic subsides allowing a regular gathering. The Annual Conference sessions handle a number of administrative functions and votes necessary for the good operation of the Conference, its many committees and missions. One of the important roles of the Annual Conference is to review and approve the Conference’s budget for the coming year. Recognizing that with the pandemic impacting many member churches which have been largely doing virtual services and events, with potential giving expected to be less than normal, the Conference’s Committee on Finance and Administration (CFA) prepared a budget that anticipated $740,755 in overall lower revenues. Expenditures were adjusted to be in balance, and the net approved Conference budget for 2021 was $6,100,000; down from $6,840.755 in 2020. This included a 1% reduction in the Mission Covenant from 11% to 10%. Conference Staff and Salary Expenses were decreased by $438,873 to $2,051,832. Ministries were increased $140,290, or about 8%, to $1,954,985. The final budget was approved on a vote of 547 to 7.
Recognizing that 2020 has been a rather turbulent year, punctuated here in Kentucky with the protests and unrest surrounding the Breonna Taylor shooting and protests, there was a resolution presented and endorsed to take a stand against racism while supporting community healing. There was also a proposal pulled from the Consent Calendar for separate discussion that was focused on Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (referred to as SBC21). It discussed development of a Strategic Plan, hiring of a Director, and other potential resources toward developing leaders and empowerment of the Black Church in the Kentucky Annual Conference. There was a proposal to develop some training for church leadership on racism prevention, but because of the potential unknown costs and a tight budget, this matter was referred on a 439 to 80 vote to the Ministerial Services Office and the conferences Council on Finance & Administration for further development with a finalized proposal anticipated for report out at the 2021 Conference.
Three churches in the South Central District around Columbia, Kentucky, filed for disaffiliation with the United Methodist Church. These churches met the requirements outlined in the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, and this was ratified by the Annual Conference in a 584 to 31 vote. There were also four churches closing in the Conference, and the merger of two churches in the Greenville area, given Annual Conference approval.
There was a lengthy discussion about the fate of the Kavanaugh Conference and Retreat Center property in Crestwood. There are about 38 acres which sit behind the Conference Office, with a collection of camp or retreat buildings and a small lake. While this was once a vibrant location for youth camps and church retreats, the pandemic essentially accelerated what has been a steady decline in use and financial support. This past year they moved the Scout troop which had been meeting in one of the camp buildings to the main Conference Center; and then the pandemic would not allow regular camp programs to operate, so the camp was officially closed May 1, 2020. Nathan Calvert, who previously served as a youth minister at St. John’s UMC in Goshen before serving as the Center’s Director, was recognized for his leadership. At this point, revenues and donations are not supporting the associated expenses and potential maintenance costs, which lead the Annual Conference leadership team to ask for authority to research and pursue the potential sale of the property. There were 629 delegates who voted on this resolution, with 548 voting yes and 66 voting no. This does not have impact on Aldersgate Camp, Loucon Training and Retreat Center, or the Ruggles Camp and Retreat Center. Sale of the Kavanaugh Conference and Retreat Center also has no effect on the Kentucky Conference Administrative Building, located at 7400 Floydsburg Road, which backs up to the Retreat Center.
Finally, there was indication that in 2021 about $50,000 is going to be made available for microgrants in three areas: Stewardship; Leadership Development; and Innovation. It is my understanding from information received at the District Meeting that these will be up to $2,000 each, and the window to apply will be January to March, 2021. More information is expected in the near future.
Dick Bartlett Mt. Tabor UMC’s Lay Delegate to the Kentucky Annual Conference
December 10, 2020
Hello Mt Tabor! The Good News Home in La Grange, a wonderful ministry involved in transitional housing for families, is hoping that we can spread some Christmas cheer and love to local families that they serve.
Want to be the light of Christ in our community? Click on the link below to SignUp Genius and simply click on a child's name, purchase age-appropriate gifts to fill one shoebox (appx $25), wrap the shoebox and label with the child's name, then drop it off at Mt Tabor Church no later than Friday, December 11.
My family will be at the church on December 11 between 4-5 PM to receive the boxes to take to the Good News Home. If you need to drop the boxes off earlier, please call/text Heidi 502-919-1644 or Pastor Rodney 859-327-5190 and one of us will meet you at church at your convenience to receive the shoebox.
Advent 2020 Information and Schedule
Sisters and Brothers,
As we move into the Advent Season, we know things are quite different from last year. Even so we will celebrate that the Messiah has come to earth! The theme for this Advent season is “Meeting the King.” What happens when you meet a king? What happens to your life when you have a face to face encounter with the ruler of the universe? Will you remain the same? These are the questions we bring with us into this season of anticipation as look towards the coming of the Messiah.
Here are the passages that we will focus on for the coming weeks:
November 29: First Sunday of Advent – Psalms 80:1-7
December 6: (Communion) – Second Sunday of Advent – Isaiah 40:1-11
December 13: Third Sunday of Advent - John 1:6–8, 19–28
December 20: Fourth Sunday of Advent - Luke 1:26–38
December 27: Luke 2:22–40
January 3: (Communion) - Epiphany - Matthew 2:1–12
As in years past, we will celebrate the birth of Christ with our annual Christmas Eve Service. The service will be Thursday, December 24 at 7:00 PM. Unless there are some drastic changes with our Covid-19 rate in Oldham, this service will be online at our Facebook Live page. Stay tune for more information.
This past year our church has experienced the death of some our beloved friends in our fellowship. For many, this season of celebration will be exceedingly difficult as they continue to walk through grief. To remember and honor those who are no longer with us, we will have our annual Blue Christmas on Sunday, December 13 at 4:00 PM. This will be a time of scripture, music, and meditation as we remember those we have lost in our lives and as a time to find comfort and strength in God’s love as we celebrate the holidays. This service will be online through our Facebook Live page.
Finally, it is a tradition in our church for members to use the mailboxes at the church to distribute Christmas cards to different members. Because the building has been closed to in person worship, it will be more difficult for this distribution to occur. On the other hand, this tradition has been a helpful way in keeping our community connected during the Advent season. I do not want to cancel tradition this year, but I am not certain how to do it safely and effectively. Does anyone have any suggestions? I welcome your feedback.
May this season of Advent bring renewal to all of us. May we be reminded of God’s faithfulness and activity in our lives as we celebrate the coming of the Messiah. What will happen when we meet the king
Sisters and Brothers,
Because Oldham County has turn red in its Covid-19 incident rate, our worship services will be only online beginning Oct 15. There will be no in person worship services until we move out of the red rate of incidents. I recognize how frustrating this is. I really enjoy worshipping in person with you all. We, however, are following the recommendations of our Kentucky Conference. The worship team will continue to hold a live Facebook service at 10 AM on Sunday. I will continue to send out an email YouTube link once the service has concluded.
We appreciate how faithful you all have been in giving of your tithes and offerings. You can continue to give to the church in three (3) ways: by mailing your donations to the church; by setting up a time with me (Rodney) to meet you at the church to receive your donation, or by donating here at our website (a slight fee is deducted for this service). Stay in prayer as we move through these difficult days. Thank for your endurance, faithfulness, and just being downright wonderful people that I am blessed to serve as your pastor. We will get through this. Remember, God says in Revelation that he is making all things new. This is true even when we don't see it at the present moment. We walk by faith not by sight. ---Pastor Rodney
Mt Tabor Family,
Each year the Annual Conference does a special offering that focuses on targeted missions. Some are based inside the state, and some are national or international. We would typically gather your offerings and take them with us to the Annual Conference, but this year that is all virtual so the process is different. Here is a synopsis of the missions and the process for this year.
All churches in the Kentucky Annual Conference are invited to participate in a mission offering at Annual Conference. The Mission Offering for 2020 Annual Conference will support seven mission agencies that have traditionally been supported by the Kentucky Annual Conference.
The seven mission agencies are Hillcrest Bruce, Ida Spence, The Foundry, Nathaniel Mission, Portland Promise, Wesley House, and Lighthouse. Ten percent of the offering will go to support the work of the United Methodist Church in Serbia.
Our churches in Serbia, the largest of the countries of the former Yugoslavia, have a dynamic witness among different ethnic groups and languages in that country.
Bishop Fairley and members of the extended cabinet have agreed to contribute personally to the Mission Offering. As a group, they have committed to give at least $20,000. Go to the Mission Offering webpage for more information on these groups.
Checks should be made out to Kentucky Annual Conference Treasurer, Mission Offering on the memo line. Please mail to:
Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
7400 Floydsburg Road
Crestwood KY 40014
Mt Tabor’s Lay Delegate
Kentucky Annual Conference
Dear Family and Friends of Mt. Tabor Cemetery,
We regret to inform you, the Annual Homecoming Service and Potluck, normally held in September, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 Virus. The CDC guidelines, social distancing, and large gatherings are not allowed at this time. The Cemetery Board decided it was in the best interest for all concerned to cancel this event.
Obviously, you are welcome to visit the Cemetery Grounds when possible. We trust you will see first-hand how well the property is maintained. Please remember the cemetery maintenance is year-round, as well as the care of individual graves following your loved one’s funeral.
We appreciate your donations and consideration of the cemetery in your estate planning for it its perpetual maintenance and upkeep. Your check should be made payable to: Mt. Tabor Cemetery, Inc., and mailed to Mr. Brandon Cook, Secretary – Treasurer, 2520 West Highway 22, Crestwood, KY 40014
Charles F. Brown, Chairman
Mt Tabor Cemetery, Inc.
During the pandemic season we are only meeting once a week as a community for our 10:00 AM worship service in our sanctuary. This service is also live streamed through our Facebook page. All Sunday School and Wednesday night activities are canceled until further notice. We are gathering on Wednesday nights at 6:30 PM for an online Bible Study through our Facebook page. We also gather on Friday nights at 6:30 PM through our Facebook page for a community prayer.
I realized the other day that I have kept the committee up to date but the entire congregation did not know what was going on with Blessings in a Backpack with the school being closed. I wanted to update all of you.
We have continued to provide the regular weekend food to the kids. The school has had days where parents came to pick up assignments and they could pick up their food as well. If they did not make it to pick up, a bus was sent out the following day with the work and the food and it was delivered directly to them.
In addition to their regular weekly food, we felt it necessary to help a little more at this time so we spent about $400 on some additional food to send home. Then I was offered the chance to apply for a grant to help supplement the weekend food. We were awarded the grant and we received almost $1200 worth of food. We have begun sending that food home and will send the remainder of that in two weeks.
At this time, the school believes that they will continue to run a bus to deliver some food during the summer. If so, and if our funds allow, we are looking at the possibility of sending food home a couple times during the summer. Our number has increased just a bit during this but the school has informed me that they expect it to increase even more before the next two weeks food is delivered.
Financially, God has been good and we have had plenty of funds to cover everything. As we look at the summer and fall, we will continue to monitor our funds to make certain we can cover the next school year along with anything we would do in the summer. If at any time you wish to make a donation to the Blessings account, you are welcome to send a check to the church. Or if you hear of someone asking how they can help, you can let them know of our program. Later in the summer we might ask for particular food items to collect but for now it would just be financial donations.
Thank you for always supporting this program which has proven to be so helpful to so many kids and families. No child should ever go hungry!
Family and Friends of Mount Tabor,
We so appreciate your faithfulness in giving of your tithes and offerings as we find ourselves in some unusual times. In addition to mailing your donations to the church we also had the option of you giving online through Tithe.ly. The drawback to giving by Tithe.ly is that they charge a processing fee for the simplicity and security of using their system.
Well, some good news has come our way. The Kentucky Annual Conference has a created a secure system by which our churches can give online without the processing fee which would mean 100% of your donation will come to the church and no processing fee will be charged. This new way of online giving will begin April 5 and go through the end of June.
So to summarize. You have two ways of giving:
Thank you for faithfulness,