This past week, June 8th-11th, I had the privilege of participating in the 2014 West Ohio Annual Conference. For those of you not familiar with Methodism in the U.S., here is your crash course on the structures of the church and how annual conference works.
There are about 35,000 United Methodist congregations in the world, located in 125 countries. These churches are grouped regionally into annual conferences and then into jurisdictions. Annual conferences in the U.S. roughly follow state borders, sometimes crossing state lines or being sectioned off within them. There are 57 annual conferences in the United States, and West Ohio is my home conference.
Every year at the beginning of June, clergy and lay leaders within the West Ohio Conference gather in Lakeside, Ohio for our annual conference. This conference serves several purposes. Important matters to the church conference are discussed and voted…
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