All Church Conference Minutes

  All Church Conference Minutes  
SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018
The All Church Conference of Applewood Valley United Methodist Church (AVUMC) was called to order by the Rev. Charles Schuster.  Rev. Schuster stated that he was asked by District Superintendent Rev. Paul Kottke to chair the meeting.  Rev. Schuster asked that the meeting be recorded.

All members of the congregation were asked to move to the front of the sanctuary.  Those who are constituents, visitors and interested individuals who wished to observe the meeting were invited to be seated in the last five rows of the sanctuary.

Don Yale stated that he had asked Linda Knapp to take the minutes of the meeting and she had agreed.  Rev. Schuster asked if there were any other nominations from the floor.  Hearing none he asked for a consensus vote for Linda Knapp to act as secretary for the meeting.  The vote was in the affirmative.

Rev. Schuster presented the proposal to set the majority rule.  The choice was between 2/3 or ¾ of congregational members present.  A question was posed as to why we were voting on the majority rule and Rev. Schuster said that it is up to the congregation to determine what the majority rule is.  Rev. Schuster proposed the majority rule be set at 2/3 of the members present which was voted in the affirmative.  There was also a question about whether an abstention counted as a no vote.  An abstention was declared not to count as a no vote.

Selwyn Edwards, Lay Speaker, presented the motion for Applewood Valley United Methodist Church to become a reconciling church.  The motion is in three parts:
  1. To list AVUMC on the Reconciling Ministries Network website under Colorado churches.  If the user selects AVUMC; it will link to the AVUMC website.  A $500 donation is to be paid for this listing, but will NOT be taken from AVUMC funds.
  2. A new welcoming statement to be printed on newsletters and Sunday bulletins as follows:
                 “We are an open, affirming, and inclusive church.Everyone is welcome here.”
  1. A full welcoming statement to be placed on the AVUMC website as follows:
                 “Like God’s love, our welcome is unconditional.As a reconciling congregation, we welcome all people,   
                 including people of any race, sexual orientation, gender identity, faith history, socio-economic status, physical
                 and mental disabilities.” Join us for worship. Read about reconciling ministries.

The motion was seconded by Don Yale.  Selwyn proceeded to give clarification and answer questions regarding the motion.  Points of clarification and answers to questions are as follows:
  • The donation of $500 has been promised by a few members of the congregation and will only be paid upon approval of the motion.  The donation must not come from the church budget due to the language in the United Methodist Book of Discipline.
  • The Reconciling Ministries logo will accompany the welcome statement on the newsletters and Sunday bulletins but will not replace the United Methodist symbol.
  • The motion is in three parts and cannot be divided; the whole motion must be approved or disapproved.
  • Nothing will change with our worship services.  The website link allows the world and community at large to see that we welcome everyone.
Rev. Schuster allowed five individuals to speak in favor of the motion and five individuals to speak in opposition to the motion.  Each speaker was given three minutes to speak.  Karri Unruh started the speeches with a neutral speech about how wonderful the church is and how no matter what the outcome, the congregation must not be divided.  The five in favor of the motion included Brooke Ritter, Kelsey Carkeek, Dominic Portanova, Sandy Yale, and John Cain.  Their comments included that the congregation is trying to emulate Christ who would welcome everyone; this congregation is accepting and non-judgmental of individuals both long time and new members.  The point was also made that nowadays, people research everything on the internet before making decisions and this motion would help inform those looking for a church.   The five in opposition to the motion included Jack McCartney, Les Mayer, Linda Swanson, Everette Jones, and Jeff Wood.  Their comments included concern that not every individual member was present to vote, questions of if this will change the church’s worship and why even do this, and concern about the logo appearing on the bulletin.  Their individual comments may be heard in full on the recording of the meeting.

Selwyn Edwards closed the discussion with the reminder that the motion before the church conference is not for this congregation but for someone looking online for a church.  The online statement says we are a church that welcomes everyone here regardless of their circumstances.

Rev. Schuster led those present in prayer and called for a written ballot vote of the members present.  The results of the vote were:
                        128 – Total ballots cast
                        98 – Yes
                        28 – No
                        2 – Abstain

Rev. Schuster declared the motion passed with over 2/3 majority.  He adjourned the meeting with a prayer.
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Knapp
Secretary to the Conference