Thank-you so very much for sending me to the UFMCC General Conference 2019. I greatly appreciate it!! It was an honor to represent my New Creation family at the conference. I wish every member of New Creation could someday attend a General Conferences as they are a definite uplift & spiritual battery recharge!!!!
So much happened that week!!! The business forum on Monday was very informative & critically important, but ran very, very long. Then the actual business meeting on Tuesday ran a total of 10 hours. Much discussion was presented. We HAD to end in time for them to prepare for evening worship, but we had only a little time to grab something to eat before worship. Unfortunately, I was too exhausted to attend the worship after the marathon business meeting. Consequently I missed hearing Rev. Yvette Flunder preach! )o: THEN on Friday morning we met to finish up our uncompleted business. I will hit the high points for you all.
The first vote for Moderator ended in no one candidate getting 50%. While he was OUR favorite choice for Moderator, Rev. Elder Tony Freeman got the least percentage of votes & graciously withdrew his name from nomination. As I posted on Facebook , the second round we achieved election: Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston from the U.K. is our new Moderator! It was a historic election in that she is the first non-U.S. based Moderator to lead our denomination! After the failure to elect a Moderator at the past Conference, it was a truly joyous occasion & led to a standing ovation with much applause, cheering & enthusiasm! God Bless you Moderator Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston!!!
The vote to change the bylaws concerning the staggered 6 year & 3 year terms of the Governing Board, to change them all to a 3 year term, after much heated & passionate debate FAILED (as several from New Creation were concerned about). So the 6 year & 3 year terms remain. This means that there will always be a “transition” for only part of the Governing Board at a time, rather than the entire Board changing at the same time. The vote for the new Governing Board actually took place before the Moderator vote, but I listed the Moderator vote first. The following candidates were elected to the Governing Board:
Clergy Candidates elected: Lay Candidates elected: Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey – 6 year term James Chavis – 6 year term Rev. Alberto Najera – 6 year term Mark Godette – 6 year term Rev. Elder Diane Fisher – 3 year term Clare Coughlin – 3 year term Rev. Paul Whiting – 3 year term Chad Hobbs – 3 year term
Although the choices for Governing board did not match all our choices from those of us at New Creation, I am confident & encouraged by the presentations at Conference made by the candidates that were elected to office!
The transition for the incoming Moderator and Governing Board includes orientation and team-building training on July 05-06, 2019 in Orlando, Florida, USA, facilitated by Rev. Elder Don Eastman. The last meeting of the outgoing Governing Board on July 25, 2019 will include the incoming Governing Board who will elect their officers and assume responsibilities at the end of the meeting.
The newly elected Moderator will take office on 01 September 2019. During this transition/integration period, incoming Governing Board members and Moderator will have initial communication and consultation with MCC Staff and Council of Elders.
In other voting on Bylaw issues, I was very encouraged to see & vote in favor of changing binary male/female language in the bylaws. The parts we voted on are now inclusive of the spectrum of gender identity & expression and no longer merely address he and she, him and her…. It was a joy & a pleasure to enjoy the worship services both morning & evening at Conference!!!! The first evening service was super blessed to have Rev. Elder Troy Perry give the message. How fantastic & inspirational a service it was!!! So glad I was able to attend!
I missed Rev. Yvette Flunder leading the Tuesday evening worship, but was told it was a wonderful gathering!
The worship service Wednesday night was very moving with Rev. Alexya Lucas Evangelista Salvador, a transgender clergy from Brazil bringing the challenging message, that at Crossroads: Are we willing to face the Consequences of Embodying the Gospel of Liberation??? It was a boisterous presentation with a very brave & delightful interpreter bringing the English translation to the Portuguese message Rev. Alexya so passionately brought to the evening!
Thursday night’s message about crossing Boundaries & Borders was brought by Rev. Alex Pittaway, a dear friend of some of us at New Creation in that he was a Clergy Intern at Life Journey MCC in Indianapolis & led a CUSEN service at Eternal Joy MCC in Dayton. His challenge was: Will My people be your people? And will your people be My people? It was such a blessing to see Alex again, here in the U.S. from his native Australia!!!
The closing worship & installation of Moderator Rev. Elder Cecelia Eggleston was a wonderful & joyously uplifting service Friday morning!
They had several buses going to Pulse Nightclub as a Pilgrimage after the service, but I was anxious to get home & see Steve who had just arrived in Oakland Park on the previous Saturday. So I left right after the closing ceremony to travel back home.
Thank-you again all of New Creation MCC.
Peace and Much Love in Jesus, Byron, your Lay Delegate