Well, the anticipation of discord over the plan to reduce the number of districts in the Virginia Conference was apparently unfounded. There were a few voices in opposition to the proposal—mostly what I would call the “we like things the way they are” variety—but the plan was overwhelmingly adopted. The Bishop and the cabinet will define the actual boundaries over the next year to take effect at the next conference. Having allowed for as much as two hours for presentation and discussion the issue only took about 45 minutes.
What really surprised me was the Site Selection plan that was presented next. A presentation that was expected to take about 20 minutes actually took nearly an hour-and-a-half to complete. The committee recommended holding conference in Hampton for several consecutive years beginning in 2013. The proposal also included the recommendation of changing to a three-day Friday-Saturday-Sunday format beginning in 2012.
The conference has a tradition of alternating sites between east [most often Hampton] and west [Roanoke] locations every couple of years. The committee determined that facilities in Hampton were better suited to our needs and that returning there consistently would result in savings for the conference. After much discussion and some maneuvering through the Book of Discipline and Robert’s Rules, the Roanoke District Superintendent, Steve Hundley, managed to persuade the conference to continue the tradition of alternating between east and west.
It just goes to show that you never know what will capture the attention and imagination of the members of Annual Conference. Tomorrow is closing worship and the fixing of appointments. Let’s hope there are no surprises.
Grace & Peace, Pastor Rik