Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Youth delegation examines issues


Some proposals generated extensive discussion at the 2014 Annual Conference, including the 2015 budget and its NPNP line item. Here is a speech given May 29 by a youth delegate. The Conference’s Strategic Plan seeks to engage more young people in church life, and thus Contact shares that voice here.

 On behalf of the majority of the Annual Conference Youth Delegation, we would like to express our support for the proposed budget including New People, New Places.

After the roundtable discussion, most of us were still conflicted about several of the ideas addressed. Because of that, we worked late into the night to take a deeper look and get a better understanding of NPNP.

Looking at these funds and what exactly this would entail, we came to the conclusion that these cuts are not drastic enough to severely erode any ministry that the AC helps support. They still have financial support from sources other than Apportionments. If we are passionate about our current ministries and want to see them continue, our local [churches] can take on the task of finding creative ways to help sustain these programs.

Second, NPNP could provide us the opportunity to reach new people that our current ministries do not.

This change is essential to any growth, and as Ecclesiastes 11:6 states: "Sow your seed in the morning, and in the evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will be equally well."

NPNP would challenge us to trust that if we sow the seeds, God will water, and we will reap the harvest!

Third is that our current trend in the Church is decline: in worship attendance, in funds, and in membership. This program could create the investment opportunity for churches big and small to reach out in ways that they see fit for their communities to reverse this trend.

And last, we have staff constantly working for the betterment of our Conference. We are saying yes as a vote of confidence in them. But, Conference staff, be aware that we will hold you accountable!

We cannot predict the outcome of this new ministry; however, we can predict that when we give God our very best, He is faithful in the outcome.

— Provided by Katie Shewey, an equalization delegate for Enid District and a lay speaker and youth member of Enid-First UMC (edited for length)

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