Annual Meeting 2008
The new Conference Bylaws, passed by delegates at Annual Meeting, are now available. Click here to download your own copy.
NEWS FLASH JULY 2, 2008
Does your congregation wish to participate in the Unbinding the Gospel Project mentioned at Annual Meeting by our keynote speaker, Martha Grace Reese? Complete information is now available.
Click here to download! (caution: 3 MB file)
Report on the 2008 Annual Meeting
Delegates, clergy, and guests gathering at Castleton State College at the end of May to explore "Becoming Church for a New Day" found themselves becoming church! Worship framed and shaped all sessions of the 213th Annual Meeting from beginning to end. The Order of Worship booklets became indispensable as we navigated through business and presentations and miraculously kept close to schedule.
Wow...those 2 days were really full! After dinner Thursday we strolled through a perfect Vermont evening to Castleton Federated Church to open the Annual Meeting and to celebrate their 175 year old meeting house anniversary (next year they will be celebrating 225 years as an active faith community!)
We were fortunate to have our special guest Reverend Martha Grace Reese with us for the entire meeting. Martha gave the opening message on Thursday night and shared some of her research on evangelism in mainline churches (and the lack thereof) as well as reasons why evangelism matters. Many had already read her recent book: "Unbinding the Gospel:
Real Life Evangelism" and came with a variety of questions and concerns, skepticism as well as enthusiasm, and lots of ideas and experiences to share. Martha led two dynamic forum discussions on Friday, met with clergy over breakfast on Sat, and helped close the meeting with an address that shared some of her personal journey to a life of faith, and charged us to find new ways to reach out, particularly to those living outside any faith tradition, to share our uniquely open and welcoming faith.
A highlight of the meeting was calling our new settled Conference Minister, Rev Dr Lynn Bujnak. In her address Lynn helped us begin to get to know her, and shared some of her philosophy and hopes for conference ministry. The Search Committee was thanked for their incredible dedication and work. Lynn will come on board with a reorganized leadership model in place thanks to passage of new bylaws.
Many, many years of very hard work and thorough preparation by this committee helped delegates easily understand the proposal and led to their embrace of needed change. We also thanked our Interim Conference Minister, Carole Carlson for her service. And we passed a Resolution urging the Conference to become a Multiracial and Multicultural Conference.
Special thanks to the many people who helped in the planning of this event...You are an awesome and gifted group, and it showed! Thanks to Castleton... (we like those nice new dorms!) And many thanks to all the red-vesters and other volunteers for helping wherever needed. Have a great summer everyone... and see you at Lyndon State College in May 2009.
Chair, Annual Meeting Planning Committee
Annual Meeting 2008 in Pictures
Prior to arrival of the delegates, the Planning Committee and other volunteers stuff the delegate packets.
Prior to the Meeting, the Board of Directors met.
During our Thursday evening plenary, Martha Grace Reese gives her keynote speech.
Rev's Carole Carlson and Pam Lucas lead the family celebration portion of worship.
Gary O'Gorman is recognized during the family celebrations.
Robin Lunn leads Friday morning worship.
Throughout the weekend, drinks and snacks were provided.
The communion table, with Ned Davis' triptych behind it.
David Durfee, Chair, introduces the Conference Minister Search Committee.
Between his excellent work on both the new bylaws and as Chair of the Search Committee, David Durfee spent much time at the podium.
Prior to voting by the delegates, Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak addresses the assembly.
Rev Dick White, reacting to an excellent joke told by your webmaster.
Martha Grace Reese, with representative speakers from the workshops.
Rev's Pam Lucas and Carole Carlson lead the Friday evening communion service.
Rufus Cushman, Chair of the Stewardship Department, at his display table featuring OCWM, congregational vitality, and planned giving materials.
Lynn Thomas worked the registration desk all weekend with Jeremy Schrauf, registrar.
The triptych, designed and assembled by Vermont Conference Commissioned Minister Ned Davis, served as an inspirational backdrop.
Delegates preparing to vote on the new bylaws.
Rev Carole Carlson is honored for her work as our Interim Conference Minister by Board of Directors Chair Rev Rona Kinsley.
Carole expressed her thanks and shared a few thoughts.
At our closing worship, Martha shared with us once more.