Sunday, June 2, 2013 • 7 p.m. • Bill Battle Coliseum Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, preaching
The Opening Worship will be a warm, joyful worship experience filled with music, color and movement. The Scriptural foundation of the service is I Corinthians 3:7-9—this year’s Annual Conference theme. The ministry of all Christians with God in the growth of his Kingdom will be highlighted. We will celebrate Bishop Wallace-Padgett’s first Annual Conference among us as she proclaims God’s word and leads us in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 • 11 a.m. • Bill Battle Coliseum Dr. Bill Morgan, preaching
This service is set aside as a time for the Annual Conference to remember and give thanks for the lives and ministries of those clergy and clergy spouses who have died in the last year. When one is ordained, he or she is no longer a member of an individual congregation but becomes a member of the Annual Conference. Therefore, it is appropriate for the entire Conference to remember and celebrate the lives and ministry of those faithful members of the Annual Conference.
Monday, June 3, 2013 • 7 p.m. • Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, preaching
This service features a processional of all elders and deacons who have been commissioned or ordained. Wearing a black robe and red stole, be at Vestavia Hills UMC at 6:15 p.m. and in place for the processional by 6:40 p.m.
The rite of ordination is the climax of a process in which the faith community discerns and validates the call, gifts and effectiveness for ministry by the agency of the Holy Spirit. The process begins with the church’s discernment of God’s call to individuals as ordained leaders, continues with support and scrutiny as they prepare for this work, culminates in electing them to the office and work of deacon or elder, and is celebrated and enacted liturgically in the service of ordination. Upon ordination, these persons become accountable to the entire church, to the community of the ordained and to the Order. In the rite of ordination, ordinands express loyalty to the United Methodist Church, accepting its order, liturgy, doctrine and discipline; accept the responsibility of accountability to the bishop and to the annual conference; and are charged with authority for appointment to their places of service.
Commissioning may be compared to the appeal Paul makes to the church at Ephesus: “Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called…You were called to the one hope of your calling…” (Ephesians 4). The provisional period, called Residency in Ministry, and the coaching relationship that characterizes it, can be seen in light of the relationship Paul had with the churches he began and the guidance he continued to provide. Those being commissioned will enter into residency, serving full time while participating in a program that maximizes professional preparation for effectiveness. Residency in Ministry is followed by ordination as a Deacon or Elder, or a decision not to proceed toward ordination.
During this service, the Conference will also recognize those receiving a Local Pastor License.
All pastors are urged to identify candidates for ministry in their congregations and invite them to the service. At the conclusion of this service, those who are feeling called to full-time service in the church are invited to the altar in response to God’s call on their lives.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 • 4 p.m. • Bill Battle Coliseum Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, preaching
This year's Closing Celebration will juxtapose ancient and modern forms of worship. During this time, Conference members and visitors will be challenged and commissioned to serve for the coming year.