Coppertop News Archives

Annual Conference: a meeting and more

May 25, 2010

The annual gathering of clergy and lay members from individual United Methodist congregations across the state will be held in St. Cloud June 2-4. It is a wonderful gathering of friends old and new for worship and learning. New clergy are ordained here. It is a gathering to conduct the business of the church.

Dale Stahl is First UMC’s lay member to Annual Conference. Our pastor, David Bard, serves as the bishop’s parliamentarian during plenary sessions of the conference.

Among the significant legislative items under consideration this year are proposals dealing with human sexuality, which, if approved, would be sent to the 2012 General Conference, and a proposal to change the current minimum salary structure for clergy in the state.

Please pray for this gathering, before and during its meeting.


When you hear the term “annual conference,” it could be referring to any one of three things. The annual conference is a regional body, an organizational unit AND a yearly meeting.

Regional body

The annual (sometimes referred to as ‘regional’) conference is described by the church’s Book of Discipline as the “basic unit” of the church.

An annual conference may cover an entire state, only part of the state, or even parts of two or more states. There are also three missionary conferences in the United States, which rely upon the denomination as a whole for funding.

The United States has 63 annual conferences, supervised by 50 bishops. There are 59 annual conferences in Africa, Europe, and the Philippines, which are supervised by 18 bishops.

Organizational body

The annual conference has a central office and professional staff that coordinate and conduct ministry and the business of the conference. It likely has a director of connectional ministries, treasurer, directors of program areas (such as camping), communications director, and other staff as deemed appropriate for the annual conference and as required by the Book of Discipline. Clergy and laypersons may also serve on conference boards, commissions and committees.

Annual Conference sessions

Each year—usually in May or June—all clergy members and an equal number of lay members selected from the local churches attend their conference’s Annual Conference session meet together to worship, fellowship, and conduct the business of the conference, which may last 3-5 days. During these sessions, members of the conference hear reports of past and ongoing work; adopt future goals, programs and budgets; ordain clergy members as deacons and elders; and elect delegates to Jurisdictional and General Conferences (every 4 years). The bishop presides over these meetings. For the Minnesota Annual Conference, the bishop is Sally Dyck.

Anne’s walking 60 miles for the cure

May 21, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
This is my 65th year and I was looking for a challenge that would require my focus and have meaning. Thanks to my friend Patty Miller telling me about the the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, I have found that challenge.

On August 20th, 2010 in the Twin Cities I will join thousands of other women and men on a three-day journey to walk 60 miles. Net proceeds from the Komen 3-Day for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community programs.

I’ve agreed to raise at least $2,300 in donations and I need your help to accomplish this. Would you please consider making a donation. You can give online at Just follow the link below to visit my personal fundraising Web page and make a donation. You can also call 800-996-3DAY to donate over the phone.

I am dedicating this walk to the memory and lives of four very special women: my cousins, Mary and Marian, my Auntie Mim, and my dear friend Janet. They touched my life in many ways and THEY are my inspiration as I train for the 60-mile walk. One person is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes in the United States. That’s why I’m walking so far—to do something bold about breast cancer. I hope that you’ll share this incredible adventure with me by supporting me in my fundraising efforts. Together we can make a difference.

With love,
Anne Miller

Click here to visit my personal page.

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Dig in the Dirt

May 20, 2010

Thanks to some heaven-sent volunteers, the FUMC Gardens are springing to new life.  Mary and Kent Geise, Karen and Dan Morgan, Randy Bowen, and Carla Throckmorton have removed the sod and remaining plants from the large triangle garden in the east parking lot.

We need your help to establish this newly-designed garden.  Bring your gardening clothes and tools and come join us for planting
* Friday, June 4, 9:00am
* Saturday, June 5, 9:00am
* Sunday, June 6, 1:00pm
* Saturday, June 12, 9:00am
* Sunday, June 13, 1:00pm

Water, tea and snacks will be provided. Come join in the  fun and enjoy the breathtaking view of Lake Superior from the gardens. If you’re worried about the weather, call Carla Throckmorton (218-390-1011) for confirmation that we will be working.

Please also call Carla if you would like to care of one of our many small gardens for the summer, or if you are willing to weed and/or  water one or all of the larger gardens for a month or a week. She will build a schedule designed for maximum care of the garden and minimum wear on the volunteers.

Carla is very excited about the gardens. “From observing people and talking to them while I have been working in the gardens over the years, I know how much they are enjoyed and used.  I am very grateful for the help people have given and  the funds they have donated to make this a beautiful place for everyone.”