Minutes of Free Methodist World Conference 2011

MINUTES, APPENDICES, FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS

FREE METHODIST WORLD CONFERENCE

August 10-12, 2011, Bujumbura, Burundi

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

I.                   WORLD CONFERENCE MINUTES

II.                APPENDICES

Appendix A:  Agenda and Standing Rules

      A-1      Agenda

      A-2      Standing Rules

 

Appendix B:  World Conference Report

B-1      Referendum on Articles A/115, “New Life in Christ” and A/119, “Sanctification”

B-2      International Scholarship Summary January 2008-June 2011

      B-3      Financial Summary January 2008-June 2011

B-4      Referendum on Article 122, “The Language of Worship”

B-5      2012-2015 World Conference Budget

B-6      2012-2015 World Conference Dues

                                                         

Appendix C:  Written Reports from General/Provisional Conferences

      C-1      Kenya PGC

      C-2      Agape Conference, India PGC

      C-3      Democratic Republic of Congo GC

      C-4      Rwanda GC

      C-5      Mozambique GC

      C-6      Dominican Republic GC

      C-7      South Africa GC

      C-8      United Kingdom Conference, FMCUSA GC

      C-9      Zimbabwe GC

      C-10    Brazil GC

      C-11    Egypt GC

      C-12    Burundi GC

III.             SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TO BE FOLLOWED UP

 

MINUTES

August 10-12, 2011


First Sitting              The first sitting of the Third Free Methodist World Conference was called to order by President Jim Tuan, Bishop of the Free Methodist Church of Philippines, at11:55 am August 10, 2011.  The conference was held at Hope Africa University,Bujumbura, Burundi.  The theme for the conference was “United to bring theworld to Christ” (John 17:20-26). 

Opening              [The preceding service of welcome and worship was held at 8:30 am including

Ceremony                the Burundian drummers and dancers, choirs from several local Free Methodist churches, and greetings from Bishop ElieBuconyori, host bishop, highlighting the theme of the conference.  The World Conference was honored by the attendance of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza.  His Excellency the President expressed gratitude to God whose blessings are upon us, and thanked the World Conference for choosing Burundi for their gathering.  He prayed that we would be led by the Holy Spirit and become a blessing to the world.  World Conference President Bishop Jim Tuan thanked the President of Burundi for attending the Opening Ceremony and offered prayer.]

Organization            By way of introduction, Bishop Tuan reminded the delegates that World Conference is a time of singing, praying, encouraging each other, worshipping together, fellowshipping, sharing new ideas, as well as a business conference.  Bishop Tuan led in prayer to open the conference.  Delegates’ credentials had been received by the secretary prior to the conferenceand the roll was taken by inspection of delegates present.

Delegates to the World Conference included:

General/Prov GC

Clergy

Lay

Brazil

Bishop Jose IldoSwartele de Mello

Mrs. Sandra AparecidaMistro

Burundi

Bishop ElieBuconyori

Mr. JaphetNsanzerugeze

 

Rev. OnesiphoreNzigo

Mr. Alfred Kurubone

 

Rev. EvaristeBimenyamana

Mrs. GaudenceBaranyitondeye

Canada

Bishop Keith Elford

Mr. Gregory Ford

Democratic Republic of Congo

Bishop W’ElongoLu’heya

Dr. SamyLubungaEoba

 

Rev. MbavuNgambi

Mr. KiliTchenga

 

Rev. EcaBahekelwa

Mr. Raphael M. Mlumba

Dominican Republic

Bishop CecilioOsoria

Mrs. Arleni Hernandez Rodriguez

Egypt

Bishop TalaatBeshai

 

Haiti

Bishop Clovis Momplaisir

Mr. Junior Charite Noel

India

Bishop JoabLohara

Mr. JeevarathnamByrapaka

 

Rev. Moses Arwade

 

Japan

Bishop HiromichiOshima

 

Kenya

Bishop Nixon Dingili

Mr. DoughlasMusasia

Mozambique

Bishop Joao UanelaNyaphale

Mr. Timoteo Xavier

Philippines

Bishop Jim Tuan

Mr Marvin B. Mique

Rwanda

Bishop Samuel Kayinamura

Mrs. Rachel Mukamudenge

 

Rev. Daniel Munyandame

Mr. Emmanuel Nsabimana

 

Rev. Simeon Mushimiyimana

Mr. JeremieSerugo

South Africa

Bishop ZwelishaShembe

Mr. JitoKhoza

United States of America

Bishop Matthew Thomas

Mr. Larry Roberts

 

Bishop David Kendall

Mrs. Susan Agel

 

Bishop David Roller

Mr. Bryan Blankenship

Zimbabwe

Bishop AbnerChauke

Mr. HasaniDumela

 

 

 

HONORARY DELEGATES

 

 

Area Fellowship Representatives

 

 

East/Central Africa

Rev. NdakekwaEraste

Rev. MakoMbuya

 

Europe

Rev. Jerry Coleman

 

West Africa

Rev. Michael Reynen

 

 

 

 

International Childcare Ministries Director

Rev. Dr. Linda Adams

 

 

 

 

Members of World Conference Executive Committee

Rev. Allan Ellershaw

Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer

 

 

 

OFFICIAL OBSERVERS

Rev. Shoji Nakae

Mr. Nathan Adams

 

Rev. Nabil Eshak

Mrs. Marlene Thomas

 

Rev. Wayne Sawyer

Mrs. Lavone Kendall

 

Rev. Charite Noel

Mrs. Yvonne Roller

 

Rev. Lukendobonga

Mrs. Donna Elford

The chairman askedRev. Allan Ellershaw and Rev. Jerry Coleman to serve as tellers, and Rev. Coleman to serve as timekeeper.  Copies of the Agenda and Standing Rules were distributed.  Bishop Tuan proposed several changes to the Agenda as printed.  By common consent the Agenda was adopted as a guide.

On motion a change to the Standing Rules #1 the last line, pg 1 by inserting the word “be” was passed. 

On motion an amendment to Rule #13, a, was made to replace the words “by the Area Fellowship President,” with the words “by a facilitator to be appointed by the WC Executive Committee.” 

The Area Fellowship caucuses were asked to meet before the lunch break to choose representatives to serve on the Nominating Committee.  The following assignments were made by recommendation of the World Conference Executive Committee:  Asia, Southern Africa, West Africa, and Europe Fellowships are to choose clergy representatives; East/Central Africa, Latin America, and North America Fellowships are to choose lay representatives.  Rev. Allan Ellershaw has been appointed by the Executive Committee to serve as Facilitator of the Nominating Committee. 

Recess                     The conference adjourned at 1 pm to reconvene at 2 pm.  Bishop AbnerChauke

closed the session in prayer.

World Conference    At 2:30 pm the conference reconvened with Bishop David Roller leading and of-

Business                  fering prayer.  The Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer, gave the report of

Referenda Report     the Referendum which was initiated in 2003 at the First World Conference in Harare, Zimbabwe.  It was subsequently referred to the Council of Bishops, and entered into Referendum March 31, 2006.  The Referendum pertained to Article A/115 of the Free Methodist Book of Discipline, “New Life in Christ,” and Article A/119, “Sanctification” (see report, Appendix B-1).  The Referendum closed March 31, 2010, and the composite votes are as follows: Article A/115 had 605 ballots cast, 586 yes, 18 no and 1 spoiled ballot, or a rate of 96% passage (2/3 vote required).  Article A/119 had 605 ballots cast, 584 yes, 20 no and 1 spoiled ballot, or a rate of 96% passage.  Therefore Articles A/115 and A/119 are declared to have passed as amended, and should be included in all future printings of Books of Disciplines in all General Conferences.  The Secretary reminded delegates that copies of all Books of Disciplines should be sent to the Marston Historical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, whenever there are revisions.

International            The Secretary-Treasurer reported for the International Scholarship Committee that

Scholarship Report  27 students from 10 countries received funds totaling $73,758 in the last 3 ½ years.  The Financial Report of the Scholarship Fund was given (see report, Appendix B-2.)  Information regarding the criteria for awarding scholarships will be forwarded to each Area Fellowship.

Treasurer’s Report   Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer presented the Financial Summary from January 2008 through the end 2011 (by projection) (see report, Appendix B-3).  If all dues funds are received as budgeted, there will still be a deficit of over $12,000.

On motion a correction of a typographical error was made in the 2008 Net Amount.  [Theamount of $-3,716 was corrected to $-13,203.]

Bishop Keith Elfordon behalf of the Executive Committee spoke about the budgetary needs for the next quadrennium, and suggested that changes may need to be made to our present approach to the composition of World Conference, given the world economic situationand the high cost of travel.  The 2012-2015 Budget will be presented tomorrow with increases in dues amounts to help cover the projected needs.

 

The Secretary-Treasurer reported that the financial records have been audited by Mrs. Marlene McRoberts, Pittsburgh Conference FreeMethodist Church Auditor, for 2008, 2009, and 2010.  Books for 2011 will be audited at the end of the Treasurer’s term of office, after September 30, 2011.  On motion the Treasurer’s and Auditor’s reports were received.

History of the   Bishop Keith Elford, Vice President of the World Conference Executive Commit-

World Conference   tee, brought the motion from the Executive Committee that Bishop Narendra John be asked to write a history of the World Fellowship as it transitioned to the World Conference, and provide an electronic version as well as hard copy to be archived at the Marston Historical Center in Indianapolis.  Motion carried.

Nominating              Rev. Allan Ellershaw reported that Nominating Committee members will be Mrs.

Committee MembersSusan Agel (North America Area Fellowship), Bishop ZwelishaShembe (Southern Africa Fellowship), Mr. Emmanuel Nsabimana (East/Central Africa Fellowship), Bishop HiromichiOshima (Asia Fellowship), and Mrs. Sandra Mistro (Latin America Fellowship).

Kenya Report         REPORT OF KENYA PROVISIONAL GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop Nixon Dingili.

The chairman asked Rev. Allan Ellershaw and Rev. Jerry Coleman to serve as tellers, and Rev. Coleman to serve as timekeeper.  Copies of the Agenda and Standing Rules were distributed.  Bishop Tuan proposed several changes to the Agenda as printed.  By common consent the Agenda was adopted as a guide.

On motion a change to the Standing Rules #1 the last line, pg 1 by inserting the word “be” was passed. 

On motion an amendment to Rule #13, a, was made to replace the words “by the Area Fellowship President,” with the words “by a facilitator to be appointed by the WC Executive Committee.” 

The Area Fellowship caucuses were asked to meet before the lunch break to choose representatives to serve on the Nominating Committee.  The following assignments were made by recommendation of the World Conference Executive Committee:  Asia, Southern Africa, West Africa, and Europe Fellowships are to choose clergy representatives; East/Central Africa, Latin America, and North America Fellowships are to choose lay representatives.  Rev. Allan Ellershaw has been appointed by the Executive Committee to serve as Facilitator of the Nominating Committee. 

Recess                     The conference adjourned at 1 pm to reconvene at 2 pm.  Bishop AbnerChauke

closed the session in prayer.

World Conference    At 2:30 pm the conference reconvened with Bishop David Roller leading and of-

Business                  fering prayer.  The Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer, gave the report of

Referenda Report     the Referendum which was initiated in 2003 at the First World Conference in Harare, Zimbabwe.  It was subsequently referred to the Council of Bishops, and entered into Referendum March 31, 2006.  The Referendum pertained to Article A/115 of the Free Methodist Book of Discipline, “New Life in Christ,” and Article A/119, “Sanctification” (see report, Appendix B-1).  The Referendum closed March 31, 2010, and the composite votes are as follows: Article A/115 had 605 ballots cast, 586 yes, 18 no and 1 spoiled ballot, or a rate of 96% passage (2/3 vote required).  Article A/119 had 605 ballots cast, 584 yes, 20 no and 1 spoiled ballot, or a rate of 96% passage.  Therefore Articles A/115 and A/119 are declared to have passed as amended, and should be included in all future printings of Books of Disciplines in all General Conferences.  The Secretary reminded delegates that copies of all Books of Disciplines should be sent to the Marston Historical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, whenever there are revisions.

International            The Secretary-Treasurer reported for the International Scholarship Committee that

Scholarship Report  27 students from 10 countries received funds totaling $73,758 in the last 3 ½ years.  The Financial Report of the Scholarship Fund was given (see report, Appendix B-2.)  Information regarding the criteria for awarding scholarships will be forwarded to each Area Fellowship.

Treasurer’s Report   Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer presented the Financial Summary from January 2008 through the end 2011 (by projection) (see report, Appendix B-3).  If all dues funds are received as budgeted, there will still be a deficit of over $12,000.

On motion a correction of a typographical error was made in the 2008 Net Amount.  [Theamount of $-3,716 was corrected to $-13,203.]

Bishop Keith Elfordon behalf of the Executive Committee spoke about the budgetary needs for the next quadrennium, and suggested that changes may need to be made to our present approach to the composition of World Conference, given the world economic situationand the high cost of travel.  The 2012-2015 Budget will be presented tomorrow with increases in dues amounts to help cover the projected needs.

The Secretary-Treasurer reported that the financial records have been audited by Mrs. Marlene McRoberts, Pittsburgh Conference FreeMethodist Church Auditor, for 2008, 2009, and 2010.  Books for 2011 will be audited at the end of the Treasurer’s term of office, after September 30, 2011.  On motion the Treasurer’s and Auditor’s reports were received.

History of the        Bishop Keith Elford, Vice President of the World Conference Executive Commit-

World Conference   tee, brought the motion from the Executive Committee that Bishop Narendra John be asked to write a history of the World Fellowship as it transitioned to the World Conference, and provide an electronic version as well as hard copy to be archived at the Marston Historical Center in Indianapolis.  Motion carried.

Nominating              Rev. Allan Ellershaw reported that Nominating Committee members will be Mrs.

Committee MembersSusan Agel (North America Area Fellowship), Bishop ZwelishaShembe (Southern Africa Fellowship), Mr. Emmanuel Nsabimana (East/Central Africa Fellowship), Bishop HiromichiOshima (Asia Fellowship), and Mrs. Sandra Mistro (Latin America Fellowship).

Kenya Report         REPORT OF KENYA PROVISIONAL GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop Nixon Dingili.

                               Bishop Dingili reported that the church in Kenya is blessed to have become a provisional general conference and havetheir own bishop installed.  The Burundi General Conference has nurtured the church in Kenya, and also the East/Central Africa Area Fellowship has assisted and encouraged them.  In Kenya, there are two Annual Conferences, 81 ordained pastors, 38 conference ministerial candidates, 132 churches, 4, 320 members.  In Uganda, there are 3 pastors, 4 churches, 155 members, and grand total of 446 members including ordainedministers, junior members, preparatory members, and full members.  They are planning to plant churches in Sudan and urban locations, since a large number of Kenyans are relocating to the cities due to drought.  Some churches have desperate members due to drought.  The Free Methodist Church in Kenya is also blessed to have the support of International Childcare Ministries in their country.  They have seen God’s continued blessing as they emphasize leadership development.  Challenges they face include correction of wrong teachings from a group who are taking members from the Free Methodist Church, and the need to plant churches in urban areas.

India Report             REPORTOF INDIA PROVISIONAL GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Rev. Moses Arwade, Mr. Jeevarathnam Byrapaka, and Bishop JoabLohara.

Rev. Moses Arwade represented the Alpha Conference on behalf of Bishop Narendra John who was not able to attend the World Conference..  There are 12,000 members, 4 annual conferences, 225 churches, 90 pastors.  Their goal is 550 churches by 2015.  Their area is around Mumbai, the financial capital of India.  The church conducts a prayer walk once every three months, 60 kilometers around the length and breadth of the city, claiming Genesis 37:8 as they fast and pray for this city.  There are social ministries through hostels to 350 children, and medical ministries in slum areas of Mumbai.  They also have a ministry among Chinese people, who receive distributions of food and medicine once a month at the church.  Many Muslims are responding.  They also minister among blind people, and lepers.  They were able to send an offering of 2,000 rupees for earthquake relief in Haiti.  They also assisted the church in Japan following the earthquake there.  The Alpha Conference is a movement that the Lord is blessing

Mr. JeevarathnamByrapaka brought greetings on behalf of Bishop Gollipalli John of the Agape Conference who was ill and had to cancel his coming to World Conference unexpectedly. 

Bishop Lohara reported for the Immanuel Conference that the blessings of the Lord include an excitement in the air in their conference, especially seen in a recent youth event.  There will be a celebration of 25 years of missions to this tribe in India in November.  On October 27 they are preparing to baptize 3,000 persons on a single day.  This has been Bishop Lohara’s dream for years.  The area covered by Immanuel Conference is 70% of the area of the India sub-continent.  Every tribe is their heartbeat.  There are 950 churches, 9 superintendents, 87,000 persons in worship attendance, 550 licensed pastors and conference ministerial candidates.  They are seeing the work of God in every village. 

The church faced major persecution in 2008 which was a discouragement, but now they are seeing enormous growth, signs and wonders, and the Lord confirming His Word.  Persecution has pushed them forward, and they are preparing for a great turning of souls to Christ.  They are identifying 1,000 future leaders of the church.  Three hundred tribes are still unreached with no Christian presence.

Recess                     The conference adjourned for a short break at 4:15 pm to resume at 4:45 pm.  The Nominating Committee met during the break.

The conference reconvened at 4:50 pm.

Democratic Repub-  REPORT OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO GENERAL

lic of Congo             CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop W’ElongoLu’heya.

Report

Bishop W’ElongoLu’heyatold about the blessings they have had over the past four years.  He stated that they have had four years of evangelization in accordance with the following specific themes: Love God and love one another; Demonstrate the fruit of love; Unite heart and intent in the work; Asking and granting forgiveness.  Another blessing is the construction of hospitalsatMinembweand Mikenge by NGOs. Ministry to the malnourished, women who have been raped and a few seropositive persons hastaken place at MinembweHospital. They have given 114 bikes, including 60 superintendents and 54 to nurses of their Health Centres.The completion of construction work at the medical technical institute building atNundu is another blessing.They have received authorization for two vehicles, thanks to Rev. Linda Adams and Rev. Mike Reynen.

Rwanda Report        REPORT OF THE RWANDA GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop Samuel Kayinamura.

The church in Rwanda was planted in 1942, and became a General Conference in 1985.  Signs of God at work are in the areas of 1) Pastoral leadership:  There are 236 pastors, 127 parishes, 20 districts, 6 annual conferences, 103,705 members.  2) God is working in reviving churches, especially in the practice of morning prayers.  3)Buildings are being built and refurbished.  4) Pastoral training centers are being established, including semi-annual pastoral retreats for rest, reflection and sharing.  They are also planning a center for theological training on a modular basis.  A discipleship program is also in place.  They have been working in partnership with One Mission Society (OMS) since 2007 in their Village Church Planting.  Forty-nine church planters are reaching out to 1,000 who heard preaching, turned from witchcraft, burned idols, and became believers.

Their partnership with ICCM was re-opened with the assistance of Rev. Mike and Vickie Reynen.  The church in Rwanda has a holistic ministry including health service and evangelization, and chaplaincy ministry.  They also have an educational ministry and have held two formation retreats for high school chaplains.  They have distributed Bibles and hymnals.  In community development, they have participated in a cow projectas well as distribution of water filters.  There is a School of Excellence andAmizero Center for handicapped children.

Challenges include ministry to survivors of genocide, orphans, widows, and some still in jail;alack of well-trained ministers; a lack of financial resources to train them. 

They have a vision for peace and unity in their country, for starting a university at Kibogora.; for reaching all sectors of their society; and for revising their Book of Discipline.           

Mr. Greg Ford led in prayer for the churches in Congo and Rwanda.

Philippines               REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINES GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Report                          Bishop Jim Tuan.

Their vision statement is God-Empowered Churches Leading Communities to Jesus Christ.  Signs of God’s blessing include:  well-trained pastors, sound doctrine, clear structure, enduring workers, strong leadership, plenty of properties, professional members.  Three means of pastoral training include Light and Life Bible College, Light and Life Graduate School of Theology, and Theological Education by Extension.  99% of the pastors graduate from Light and Life Bible College.  They are sending a missionary couple to Pakistan [Bishop requested prayer that this family will receive their visa for Pakistan], and have started a house church in Australia, as well as ministry to Muslims.  They also have a social ministry, Ahon, for children who live in the Butuan City dump area

Challenges include slow church growth and church planting, low attendance in some churches, inadequate empowerment, poor mentoring programs, understaffed offices, slowness in adopting change, no retirement plan for pastors, and no systematic discipleship program.  Threats are to peace and order, plus an increasing number of cults, economic crisis, natural calamities, and Satan.

Dreams are for all churches to have an ongoing discipleship ministry by 2015, all conferences and districts to have functional income-generating projects by 2015, and pastors to havea passion for the lost.  They still need missionaries in a changing role, that of partnerships.

West Africa Area     REPORT OF THE WEST AFRICA AREA FELLOWSHIP:  Presented by Rev.

Fellowship Report    MichaelReynen.

Rev. Michael Reynen reported for the West Africa Area Fellowship on behalf of

Pastor Joel, the elected representative who was unable to come to World Conference since there was no funding.  Countries represented in the West Africa Fellowship are Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, and Niger.

In the southwestern corner of West Africa, Nigeria has two conferences, and are starting a new district toward the north of the country.  A dream to expand their ministry is coming about.  In Cameroon, a vocational school has been started that reaches especially young adult orphans.  There are 16 churches there.  Ghana has a vision to begin a women’s training college and have secured land in the caitol city of Accra.  The work in Ghana is under the Free Methodist Church in Canada and there are 450 members.  Liberia has 12 churches, using One Mission Society principles.  There are three planting trainers, and they are just about to turn the corner to plant a church near the border with Ivory Coast, whose refugees have come to Liberia.  Soon there will be churches in Ivory Coast. Togo has 5 churches and Pastor Dosseh has a church planter in Sokode, an almost completely Muslim area.  There is a small school for children and a small beginning of a church.  In Niger, they are rejoicing that Free Methodist work has begun. 

Rev. Reynen brought a plea from the West Africa Area Fellowship that in areas where no general conference exists yet, such as West Africa, financial support be given for a representative to attend World Conference.  Rev. Reynen also requested prayer for Pastor Isaac who lost his wife two weeks ago.

Copies of a Resolution which will be introduced to the Conference tomorrow by the Free Methodist Church USA were distributed.

The conference adjourned at 6:05 pm. and Mrs. Sandra Mistro led in prayer.

Evening Service       The conference reconvened at 8:10 pm led by Bishop AbnerChauke.   A choir composed of worship leaders from several local Burundian Free Methodist Churches led the group in worship songs.Prayer was offered by Rev. Wayne Sawyer.  Bishop Chauke introduced the preacher of the evening, Bishop Matthew Thomas.

Bishop Thomas preached about the contrast between the big goals people often have and the small things God uses.  Dozens of sermons have been preached about doing big things for God, but Scripture looks at it with different eyes.  Jesus never draws attention to anyone who does something big for God.  Jesus’s feeding of 5,000 with five loaves and two fish was the story of a little boy with a small lunch which Jesus used for a large result.  Scripture reminds us that great things are done by God through people.  If we submit the small things, God can do the big things.  Why is God interested in small things?  First, the small is the “qualifier” for something big.  In Luke 19, the faithful servant who was entrusted with little and invested well was rewarded with much more.  Second, being faithful in small things gives us opportunity to develop a pattern of faithfulness.  Patterns are established by what we do with the small.  In the book of Judges, Gideon was chosen as the least person in the least family in the least tribe of Israel to defeat the Midianite army.  He was the perfect choice.  Gideon wanted a large army of 32,000 but God trimmed it down to 300.  God said, “That’s perfect.  I’ll use that!”  God wanted to ensure that Israel would not boast that her strength had saved them, but that God had delivered them. 

When we protest to God that we are, like Moses, too slow of speech, or like Zaccheus, not from a good background, or like David or Timothy, too young, God says “Perfect!  I’ll use it!”  It is not the most talented or richest general conferences that are going to be the biggest contributors; instead it will be small people in small places.  Bishop Thomas closed his message with prayer. 

A time of prayer for all tribes, languages, and nations in small groups followed to conclude the day. 

Second Sitting          The Second Sitting of the Third World Conference convened at 8:30 am on August 11, 2011, with Bishop Samuel Kayinamura leading.  A choir composed of worship team leaders from area churches led in praise and worship music.  Prayer was offered by Bishop W’ElongoLu’heya. 

 Devotions                Devotional leader of the day was Bishop Jose IldoSwartele de Mello, who preached on the Vital Importance of Holiness in Pastoral Ministry.   He quoted John Wesley who stated, “In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, freedom.In everything, charity or love.”    He stated there are two types of unity, without holiness and with holiness.  In 1 Samuel 2, Eli’s wicked sons, Hophni and Phineas are the type without holiness.  They are unscrupulous, despising the things of God, exploiting the people, participating in sexual orgies, and being disobedient to their father.  Eli was a weak priest.  God asked, “How could you love your sons more than me?”  He did not act like Jesus who expelled merchants in the temple, and consequently, the wicked priests’ sins led people astray and God removed His blessing.  Thirty thousand died, the ark was captured, Eli went into shock, and died.  Phineas’s son was given the name Ichabod, meaning the presence has departed.  The Philistines feared the ark and returned it. 

                                Samuel, on the other hand, is chosen as Eli’s successor.  The lamp of God had not gone out (1 Samuel 3:3).  God does not permit that.  God calls Samuel, who did not let the influence of Eli’s sons corrupt him.  The holiness of Samuel was seen even as a boy before the death of Eli.  Because of his readiness to listen, God made him a true prophet.  He urged people to repent; people confessed their sins and left their idols.  When war came, Samuel’s leadership and prayer resulted in God giving victory over the enemy.  A hollow noise lacking humility and repentance is harmful.  All sacred symbols are nothing without spiritual character (Isaiah 59:1-2).  God promises renewal if we are humbled (2 Chronicles 7:14). What about us and our ministry?  What will be our final word—Ichabod or Ebenezer?

                                 Prayer was led by Bishop Shembe for the world.

Canada Report     REPORT OF THE FREE METHODIST CHURCH IN CANADA GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop Keith Elford and Mr. Gregory Ford

Blessings since 2007 include recovering missional focus, slow progress but forward moving.  A study was just completed of the last fifteen years which found 23% of churches were less than 15 years old.  Congregations are worshipping in 12 languages and there are multicultural churches.  A Stewardship Director is helping them resist strong materialism in their culture and manage God’s gifts.  Giving overall is increasing.  They are sending missionaries to Cambodia, Malawi, Niger, Taiwan in addition to short-term missions teams.  They support two mission districts, Sri Lanka and Ghana.  A Ghanaian pastor in Canada has planted churches among Muslims before joining the Free Methodist Church and there are discussions about joining the Free Methodist Church in Ghana. 

Challenges are a needed emphasis on church planting, and church health due to conflict in some local churches.  A major church health study was done and found 21% in good health, 37% in reasonable health, and 19% of questional viability.  Three challenges of leadership are people not being discipled well leading to immaturity, secularism, and conflict; a perception of low receptivity to the gospel due to secularism, materialism, immigration of people of other world religions such as Muslims and Hindus; global economic recession.  The pension plan for pastors almost bankrupted the conference, not due to mismanagement but to an ongoing financial crisis.

Dreams are to reach back to John Wesley and works of mercy and works of piety.  Bishop Elford said, “If we engage people in these works of mercy and piety, we will have a maturing church; otherwise we will have a shallow church with conflict and stagnation.”

Mozambique Report   REPORT OF THE MOZAMBIQUE GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop Joao    UanelaNyaphale

                               The church in Mozambique has been a general conference since 2001, and their aim is still to live a righteous life in this world and bring people to Christ.  Recently 80 new families have been converted to Christ (some were Muslims).They have sent a missionary to Swaziland and have more than 200 members there.  They operate Bible schools in Inhamachafoand Beira, and a hospital in Inhaloi.  Following a 16-year war in Mozambique, many buildings were damaged, and the hospital is still in need of assistance.  This hospital is of vital importance to the community.  In spite of these difficulties, these institutions, guided by the Holy Spirit, have been working hard and managing to have positive results.  There was an evil force working against the church for almost 10 years, shaking the whole church.  But with the intervention of the Holy Spirit, the violent waves have been calmed.  Some people are returning to the church now.  There are 5 annual conferences, 28 ministerial candidates, 154 ordained ministers, 10,122 full members, 13,274 total members, and 105 organized churches.

                                 Mr. Marvin Mique led in prayer for the church in Canada and Mozambique.

Haiti Report             REPORT OF THE HAITI PROVISIONAL GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop Clovis Momplaisir.

                               Bishop Momplaisir reported for the first time for the Haiti Provisional General Conference which was formed on March 27, 2011.  Forty-seven years ago the work in Haiti began and it has not been in vain.  Their country has experienced enormous difficulties since the earthquake on January 12, 2010.  300,000 have died but the Lord has shown mercy and the church is still there.  They thank the whole Free Methodist Church who has helped them and prayed for them.  There are 76 pastors, 107 schools, 15 conference ministerial candidates, 91 ordained pastors, 12,261 full members, total members 18,094, 31 church plants, and a hospital at Dessalines. 

Presentation to         Mr. Bryan Blankenship was granted opportunity to make a presentation of several

Bishop Buconyori    gifts on behalf of Asbury Theological Seminaryand PresidentTimothy Tennent

&Karamba Church   to Bishop ElieBuconyori, Rector of Hope Africa University, in hopes of establishing expanding partnerships between the two theological schools of Wesleyan tradition.  He alsoreported that he will present a gift to the Karamba Church in Bujumbura from the Wilmore, Kentucky Free Methodist Church for buying benches.

                               Mr. Bryan Blankenship led in prayer for the Haiti church.  The conference recessed for a break at 10:30 am.

Reconvene               At 11:10 am the conference reconvened with Bishop Jim Tuan leading in a chorus of “Alleluia.”

Dominican Repub-   REPORT OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC GENERAL CONFERENCE:

lic Report                 Presented by Bishop CecilioOsoria and Mrs. Arleni Hernandez Rodriguez.

                              Bishop Osoria stated that it was a great honor to be in Africa.  The church in Dominican Republic was founded in 1889.  Signs that God is working include a new generation of pastors with a vision of growth; leaders going on to seminary; each three months classes are given such as church growth, spiritual life, family life.  There is a nationwide revival going on.  The Holy Spirit is guiding through renewed local leaders, planting new churches, blessing of theological education as a priority, especially pastoral family ministry.  They are supervising the work in Cuba and the Bishop travels there twice yearly.

                              Challenges include independent movements that attract people and pastors; some are growing and whole churches are being urged to leave the Free Methodist Church.  Also the InstitutoEvangelico has been struggling in enrollment since 1989.  Some of their properties are held without legal title deeds. 

                             Dreams are to change from a huge board of administration to an executive board, build a general conference office in Santo Domingo, and consolidate and reinforce their missions emphasis.  There are 3 annual conferences, 120 ministers, 160 organized churches, 24,584 members.  Bishop Osoria requested prayer for his general conference.

South Africa            REPORT OF THE SOUTH AFRICA GENERAL CONFERENCE:Presented by

Report                      Bishop ZwelishaShembe.

                             Signs of God at work include continuing strategies for training, discipling, and church planting.  They are focusing on city and urban ministries since many missionaries in earlier years focused on the rural areas.  They are partnering with One Mission Society and Church Planting Alliance to start urban churches.  In 2008 they entered a new area in the far south of Eastern Cape Province and God is working there.  Yet no pastor is appointed there due to shortage of pastors.  Four pastors rotate each 3 months.  Giving is better.  A misinterpretation about tithing has been hard to overcome but is coming along.  Each year the church begins with a 3-4 week fasting and prayer time.  Cell groups are becoming common.  Fellowship is encouraged and results in growth.  Cell leaders are also trained to be lay preachers.  There are pastoral prayer groups and pastors’ wives fellowships.  Older women are teaching the younger to respect their husbands, an important concept in South African culture.  Blessings also include two new church buildings, and overall growth in the last four years. 

 Challenges are clear property titles, especially in the rural areas where some churches keep their land only by the tribal chief’s permission.  Also a shortage of pastors continues.  Possibly some retired pastors will be recalled.  Some younger pastors leave due to greed.  They are also in need of more pastoral training. 

Dreams include community transformation.  In their general conference, women are the most active group and they are going out to evangelize communities and meet needs whenever they meet.  They also want to raise literacy levels and are working with the government to help educate people.  The HIV-AIDS crisis is being dealt with by an ecumenical partnership in their country.  They are very thankful to Men’s Ministries International for helping church planters via 2 Timothy 2:2 projects.  They are also supporting the church in Zambia.

Mr. Larry Roberts led in prayer for the churches in Dominican Republic and South Africa.

 

Europe Area Fellow-                REPORT OF THE EUROPE AREA FELLOWSHIP:  Presented by Rev. Allan

ship Report              Ellershaw and Rev. Jerry Coleman.

Rev. Allan Ellershaw reported for the United Kingdom, the longer established work in Europe, yet it is only 40 years old.  Signs of God at work are new church plants, new leaders, new ways to reach out.  New pastors have been raised up from Canary Islands, Romania, New Zealand, and USA.  A new leadership team of three has replaced the conference superintendent model under Revs. John Townley, David Carr, and Allan Ellershaw.  The area of Helston in Cornwall, in the southwest area, is seeing good growth and there are five churches now with 375 members and 710 in their congregations.   

Challenges include a 40-year-old church needing to be pushed out into a new day.  The second generation needs to be as aggressive as the original pioneers.  Also the new leadership style with three leaders is still under review.  Each of the three leaders is pastoring a church as well as leading the conference.

Dreams are to go into new areas.  They have a Bulgaria linkage through David Carr and Al Mellinger.

Rev. Jerry Coleman said that the continent of Europe has a rich heritage and a bright future that is being approached through “one person by one person” outreach.  They have mission work in Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey.  The oldest Euro church is a Haitian church near Paris, France.  In Romania there is a children’s home for neglected children.  Ukraine has house churches led by Ukrainians.  Turkey has a great deal of human trafficking.  Europe is a very secular continent, a very dark continent.  Their dream is to see the glory of God in all of Europe and 730 million souls to know Jesus, one soul at a time.

Recess                     Mrs. Susan Agel led in prayer for Europe.  The conference recessed at 12:25 pm.

                                 At 2:10 pm the conference reconvened and Bishop Nixon Dingili led in prayer.

Free Methodist         REPORT OF THE FREE METHODIST CHURCH-USA:  Presented by Bishop Church-USA                Matthew Thomas and Bishop David Kendall.

Report

Bishop Matt Thomas reported that the Free Methodist Church-USA has a new name, a new enthusiasm, more creativity in ministry, yet its growth is much shorter than they wish.  The 2011 general conference theme was the Whole Gospel for the Whole Person for the Whole World, and they are reclaiming the Wesleyan heritage of holiness and wholeness.  Evidences of growth in the last four years include formation of a new leadership development process; some slight numerical growth (1 ½--4% annually over the four years); expansion from 72 to 84 nations where they currently have a presence; significant growth of International Childcare Ministries under Rev. Dr. Linda Adams; Association of Free Methodist Educational Institutions committing to new partnerships with international graduate institutions; a Board of Bishops committed to direct Free Methodist World Missions to more directly connect all ministry efforts.  They ask for prayer especially for the Arabic and North Africa areas.  They have also moved their general conference from an administrative base to strategic-ministry based, and new ministries will be developed as a result.  The Board of Administration has been empowered to process all resolutions that are not seminal or constitutional.  A global oversight team has been formed.  The funding of international missions has changed in 2007.  They have endorsed several missions organizations including Eden Reforestation, Clear Blue, Heavenly Treasures, that have been started by Free Methodists, and missionary status has been created for some of these leaders.  Conferences now work beyond their boundaries and they have developed innovative and creative use of technology, integrating 27 languages which are now spoken in USA churches, into a multi-directional communications system.

Challenges include working in an increasingly secular culture; reaching cities; encouraging every church to be glocal (globally and locally minded); increasing their partnerships with like-minded groups to meet the world’s greatest needs. 

Their dreams are to become a Spirit-filled movement of God demonstrated through transformational ministry—physically, spiritually, mentally, relationally—reaching and healing the world; to be a blessing/example for the whole body of Christ regardless of affiliation.

Bishop David Kendall reported signs of God at work include the ability to reorient the general conference and to hear from God which was accomplished.  There is great enthusiasm in FMC-USA, especially among young people and ones newer to the church.  There is a rediscovery of our heritage theologically and practically:  a gospel to/for the poor.  A growing concern is being expressed for the city where the poor are found.

Threats include internal conflict and distrust, resistance to change.  Externals will not undo us, but internals, lack of faith and fear could undo us.  They are discovering again how to tell the story of God. 

Resolution on          Bishop Matthew Thomas introduced a Resolution to amend Article 122 of the

Article 122               Book of Discipline, “The Language of Worship.”  He gave rationale for the proposed amendment to conform to the historic, Wesleyan tradition on the language of worship, and the pattern of other articles in our Articles of Religion.  This resolution removes extraneous materials, according to the Study Commission on Doctrine of the FMC-USA.  Also the scripture reference was incomplete and it has now been expanded to the full reference.   

Referendum             On motion the Resolution on Article 122, “The Language of Worship,” submitted

On Article 122         by the Free Methodist Church-USA will be introduced into Referendum as of this date, August 11, 2011, for a period of four years, until August 11, 2015.  (See Appendix B-4.)This Referendum must circulate among all the General Conferences, be voted on by the delegates, and approved with a 2/3 majority in order to amend the current language of Article 122. 

Zimbabwe Report    REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop AbnerChauke and Mr. HasaniDumela.

                          Mr. Dumela reported that things have changed very much in Zimbabwe since 2007 both in their government and in their church.  They asked for the prayers of the conference for them.  Purification of the church has been good.  Signs of God working include that they have accepted the World Conference suggestions and thank them for their wisdom; they appreciate the help from the Executive Committee.  Finances are better.  By God’s grace they have reconciled their differences.  Twenty-five new pastors have been called to do work.  Churches and pastors have shown great commitment, and the church has improved its image.  Some who rebelled are slowly coming back.  The door is open.  A donation from the state of more than $700,000 and a new ambulance has been invested in ChikombedziHospital.  They are hearing a Macedonian call to an eastern province.  The church is working hard in Manicaland, the eastern province of Zimbabwe.  Ten preaching points have been started.  There is potential for a fourth annual conference.  A pastor who is working in Botswana believes the church can be registered in that country soon.  Their institutions include Lundi Christian High School, Chikombedzi Hospital, Lundi Clinic and Wesley Bible School. 

                             Their dreams are to improve their worship music and have sustained ministry in Botswana.  They want to establish a new conference in Manicaland.  Bishop Chauke reported that The Freedom of the Free Methodist Church of Zimbabwe award will honor the General Conferences of North America and Canada for sending missionaries to Zimbabwe.  Also the General Conferences of Mozambique and South Africa will receive this honor for their endless help.  And further they extend this award to the World Conference for its leadership, and therefore they honor all General Conferences.  This award certificate will be sent to all who are responsible for helping missions to come to Zimbabwe, thanking all who have assisted them.  [Bishop Chauke’s file with this certificate could not be opened by computer, so he will send at a later date.]

Challenges are to have capacity to fulfill their dreams, to maintain the present obedience, holiness and commitment.  There are 5 pastors lost who rebelled, but 25 more have joined for training.  There are 41 organized churches with only 8 structures.  They have 19 ordained pastors, 25 conference ministerial candidates, 44 total pastors, 2,984 members, and congregations totaling 3,028. 

 

Recess                     The conference recessed at 3:30 pm.  Prayer was led by Mrs. Arleni HernandezRodriguez.

                                  The conference reconvened at 4:00 pm.

Budget Presentation Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer presented the 2012-2015 World Conference Budget which was prepared by the Executive Committee, and distributed copies of the Dues Allocations which will support the budget (see Appendices B-5 and B-6).

                              On motion the budget will be referred back to the Executive Committee to bring a more balanced budget back to the body.  The motion failed by receiving a tie vote.  A discussion of the matter of equitable dues allocations and the formula by which the budget is constructed followed.

                               Bishop Matt Thomas thanked the Executive Committee for their consideration of the FMC-USA in determining its dues allocation in light of their current economic situation.

                                On motion the budget as presented by the Executive Committee was passed.

Nominating              Rev. Allan Ellershaw reported for the Nominating Committee that Bishop Jim

Committee Report    Tuan and Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer had asked to be released from further service on the Executive Committee.  The slate of nominees presented by the Nominating Committee for the term 2012-2015 is as follows:

                       President               Bishop ElieBuconyori, Burundi

                       Vice President      Bishop JoabLohara, India

                       Secretary-Treasurer     Mr. Bryan Blankenship, FMC-USA

 

Members At Large      Bishop Keith Elford, Canada –Past President

                                                            Mrs. Sandra Mistro, Brazil

                                                            Mrs. Beryl Kumalo, South Africa

 

                             The Nominating Committee consisted of Facilitator, Rev. Allan Ellershaw, Bishop HiromichiOshima, Bishop ZwelishaShembe, Mrs. Susan Agel, Mrs. Sandra Mistro [until nominated herself], and Mr. Emmanuel Nsabimana.

                        On motion the report of the Nominating Committee was received and the new members of the World Conference Executive Committee were duly elected.  The newly elected officers were asked to come to the front and delegates gathered around them for prayer led by Bishop David Roller.  [Mrs. Beryl Kumalo was not present.]

Brazil Report            REPORT OF THE BRAZIL GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop Jose IldoSwartele de Mello and Sandra Mistro.

                                Bishop Ildo de Mello reported that signs of God working in their country include enthusiasm and unity among those from Wesleyan tradition, and many holiness churches are meeting together occasionally, up to 8,000 recently.  The Brazil church has been having pastoral training on holiness.  One of their schools was awarded best in Bahia State.  The theological seminary now offers excellent master’s and doctoral degree programs.  Churches are continuing to grow healthy.  Three years ago they planted two churches in southern Brazil.  They have sent missionaries to Africa, Europe, China, and East Timor. 

                              Challenges have come to them due to the G12 and the dangers of neo-pentecostalism.  Also they support over 4,000 members in Angola who are needing supervision.  Supervision of Cuba was transferred to Dominican Republic because Bishop Ildo was denied entry to Cuba.  Changes to their Book of Discipline are being recommended to their General Conference in November 2011 to allow pastors to have more favorable conditions for the exercise of their leadership. It is being recommended that local churches organize into spiritual and administrative areas, and allow the pastor to choose and appoint his own pastoral team.  Conferences will submit three names for superintendent, and the Bishop will select from these.  Clearer definitions of the role of pastors and their Boards of Administration are needed.  Also they need unity between Bishop and district superintendent modeled after a president and cabinet ministers, not as governors of states.  They also want to improve and strengthen the commission of ministerial training and guidance.  Dreams include wanting to reach all Brazilian states and major cities, multiplying more leaders, small groups, training more pastors and missionaries.  They also want to plant churches in other countries.  They dream of revival, and of developing a mission agency.  Statistics include 25 conference ministerial candidates, 133 elders, 9,144 members, 12,984 grand total members, 85 organized churches.

Egypt Report            REPORT OF THE EGYPT GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop TalaatBeshai.

                                Bishop Talaat praised God for 104 churches, 66 pastors, 27,500 members, 15 unordained pastors.  Sixty-five children are under International Childcare Ministries.  Blessings include a new administration in Egypt, with financial assistance from Free Methodist World Missions.  After a nine-year gap, annual conferences were held in 2009, 2010, and 2011.  There were laymen in attendance and participating in voting.  Four pastors were ordained.  International Childcare Ministries were reintroduced in 2010.  A church was recently planted which has 12 in attendance at its home meeting; another has 9 people meeting together.  Wesley Theological College has accepted four new students this year and three new ones last year.  For the first time there have been contributions toward pastors’ insurance.  Vacation Bible School had 9,000 participants this year.  At a conference for teens 170 attended.  Recently four church buildings were repaired.

                               Challenges include a shortage of pastors due to retirement and poor health.  Fifteen churches are without pastors.  Wesley Theological College needs professors so that theological education can be further developed, but they lack resources.  Needs of pastors and their families are great.  They also need expanded ministry to children, youth, and women.  Their Discipline has not been revised since 1974, and a new constitution is to be developed over the next two years. 

                                Their dream is to build a large hotel next to Wesley Theological College, and to renovate the existing building of the theological college and furnish it.

                            Bishop David Kendall reported that he had visited Egypt three times, and that the Egyptian Church is committed to lay representation being in place by 2015 as requested by the World Conference.  Significant progress has been made in that process, but they are not yet at goal.

                                On motion the Secretary will write a letter of affirmation on behalf of the World Conference to the church in Egypt toward this process, and encourage them to continue so that they can achieve equal clergy and lay representation.  Motion carried.

Japan Report            REPORT OF THE JAPAN GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop HiromichiOshima.

                                Bishop Oshima reported that although Japan suffered a major earthquake on March 11, 2011, only four Free Methodist churches were damaged, and they are grateful for the assistance and prayers of so many around the world.  Many lives were lost and thousands of buildings and houses were destroyed.  Many volunteers have helped with the restoration process and a special committee is working to help those recovering.  The Bishop himself volunteered in the worst hit area.  At 29 churches, they are the smallest general conference, and they have 3,000 members.  God is blessing a new church plant in Machida, a suburb of Tokyo.  Osaka Christian College continues to send out many teachers and pastors.  They support 330 International Childcare Ministries children, and are celebrating 20 years of involvement with Childcare.  They are a monetarily and materially prosperous, peace-loving country, but they are very poor in spiritual matters.  Less than 1% of their population is Christian.  Ministry is difficult; they are always hopeful of bringing people to Christ, and are praying for revival in Japan.  They pray that God will call young people to ministry and that church members would grow in the Spirit and become more active in ministry.

Recess                     Mr. JitoKhoza led in prayer for Brazil, Egypt, and Japan.  The conference recessed at 6:30 pm.  The Bishops met to organize the Council of Bishops.

Evening Service       The conference reconvened at 8:00 pm with Bishop HiromichiOshima leading, and the choir leading us in worship.  Bishop Oshima led in prayer and introduced Rev. Dr. Linda Adams.

International            REPORT OF INTERNATIONAL CHILDCARE MINISTRIES:  Presented by

Childcare Ministries Rev. Dr. Linda Adams.

Report                     Dr. Linda Adams has directed the International Childcare Ministries Program of the Free Methodist Church-USA for three years, and is visiting Burundi for the first time, although she has visited 22 other countries where Childcare has ministry.  Childcare is a ministry that activates change locally to impact children globally, while advocating for spiritual, physical, educational, and social education of children.  Sponsoring countries include USA, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan.  Sponsored children number 30,000 in 30 countries.  Forty-two percent of sponsored children live in Haiti where we have many FM schools.  Fifteen of those schools were damaged or destroyed on January 12, 2010 when Haiti experienced an earthquake.  Since then, ICCM has begun a water filter initiative to help bring safe water to Haitian children.

                               Thirty-six percent of sponsored children live in Africa, in these seven countries:  Burundi, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Malawi.  In Asia ICCM is present in India where 1,500 children receive help in hostels.  VBS for 12,000 was conducted in India.  In Philippines ICCM sponsors Ahon Ministries in Butuan.  ICCM is also in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, and China.

                                 In Latin America, where 8% of sponsored children live, there is ministry in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina, and El Salvador.

                              One percent of sponsored children live in the middle eastern countries of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan.

                     Two biblical themes regarding children are seen: 1) reaching and teaching our own children—the privileged insiders, who have benefit of Christian parents and raised in the embrace of the church; and 2) seeking and saving the lost, God’s cherished missing—orphans, abused, those with poor parenting, those who don’t know Jesus.  Jesus’s priority was children as described in Matthew 18.  We are to become like children, welcome them in His name, protect them from stumbling, because He is not willing that one would be lost 

Evening Message     Bishop JoabLohara preached on “God Is Doing Many Things.”  He is creating new things every day and God is doing a new thing in His church today—revival, moving of the Spirit, divine intervention.  What is new today, however, is older tomorrow.  Some works of God last longer than others.  Former things have come to pass.  He has undone all old things.  Shiloh represented that which belonged to God.  But when the people of Israel turned against Him at Shiloh and despised God, they became a corrupt people.  Shiloh did not represent God any more.  God departed.  God moved His glory from Shiloh to Jerusalem.  David, in all his failures, pleased God so much that God said, “I will stay with this man.”  In Ezekiel 10, we have a picture of the glory of the Lord lingering around the cherubim and the wheels.  Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple, stopping at the entrance to the east gate.  For four hundred years Israel did not behold the glory of the Lord or the witness of the Holy Spirit.  Glory returned in the person of Jesus Christ, but people did not want to accept this glory that came.  In Ezekiel 48 it says God will do a new thing.  When He does this new thing in the last days, there will be no factions/denominations, only the Body of Christ.  The Lord is there.  The name of the city from that time on will be “The Lord is there,” Jehovah Shammah.  Bishop Lohara challenged us about dryness in our pulpits.  Is that worship?  We don’t need a “missional” church.  Church is missional.  Our desire is that the Free Methodist Church will be a Jehovah Shammah church—the Lord is here, people will declare.  Bishop Lohara closed his message with prayer.

                        Bishop Oshima prayed before dismissing the group into small prayer groups. 

Third Sitting             The Third Sitting of the Free Methodist World Conference convened Friday, August 12, 2011, at 8:30 am with Bishop Jim Tuan as leader beginning with worship songs led by the choir.  Devotional speaker of the day was Bishop David Kendall.  He preached from John 17:21, “Jesus is praying for us.”

It is clear that the only hope for the world is Jesus.  If we point them to Jesus, there is hope!  He reiterated what we have heard this week:  God can use us if we are little enough; God will use a holy people whose ways and character are like Jesus; God wants to manifest his glory and do a new thing over and over again all over the world; Jesus is praying it will be so.  Jesus has given us his word to help us; He has given us all we need, and unceasingly He prays.  Bishop Kendall closed his message with prayer. 

Burundi Report       REPORT OF THE BURUNDI GENERAL CONFERENCE:  Presented by Bishop ElieBuconyori.

Bishop ElieBuconyori stated that the Burundi church was honored that the World Conference chose to be in Burundi for this time.  Tomorrow the World Conference is invited to attend the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Free Methodist Church in Burundi, which will take place at Muyebe, the first place that missionary John Wesley Haley began the work in May 1935. From Burundi, the church spread to Rwanda, Congo, and Kenya.  In the past they have had war but today God is keeping Burundi happy.  The Free Methodist Church is one of the premiere churches working in their country.  They have 113,010 members, 395 ordained pastors, 709 churches with at least 50 people, and 200+ churches with less than 50 people.  Signs of God at work are member growth; young people joining the church; increasing number of praying people; more women participating in church planting; number of ordained women growing; new converts being added; freedom from demonic bondage witnessed; Christians building big churches; Mweya Bible School; social programs; successful pastoral training program.  Challenges include lack of resources for roofs; lack of bicycles for pastors; spiritual and political threats; new religious movements confusing Christians; nominalism growing at a high rate.  Dreams are the planting of a Free Methodist Church every 10 kilometers throughout their country; using a holistic approach in reaching their country; establishing a missionary sending board; establishing a social agency to address poverty within the church; focus on societal deviants and misfortunate ones—street youth and women, those blind and deaf.  Special thanks is extended to the Free Methodist Church-USA for spiritual, financial, and material support for the Free Methodist Church in Burundi; to the Free Methodist Church in Canada for their participation in Childcare Ministries for Burundian children, and for sending the first missionary to Burundi, Rev. J. W. Haley, and other personnel; and to all General Conferences who have prayed for Burundi in crisis, as well as offering many unknown other ways of helping.  In closing his report, Bishop Buconyori thanked the Burundian church for their help in hosting the World Conference, and many of them who were present in the congregation were asked to pass in front of the body so that we could properly thank them for their wonderful hospitality.

 

Hope Africa             REPORT OF HOPE AFRICA UNIVERSITY:  Presented by Rector Elie

University Report    Buconyori.

Bishop Buconyori as Rector of Hope Africa University reported about the school and its ministry.  They participate in a number of affiliations, both within Burundi and other African countries, and in the United States with other FM institutions of higher education.  They have five schools in the liberal arts, offering a baccalaureate and a master’s degree as well as continuing education and professional training.  A new program that is being added is Mineralogy, as requested by the Burundian government, to learn techniques of mining the mineral resources and oil that are found along the lake.  By 2013, pastoral and other programs are expected to extend to a doctoral level.  They have 4,193 students, and are opening a satellite campus at Gitega soon for which the government has donated some resources.  They will begin humbly.  The next satellite site will be Mweya.  They teach in French and English.  The master’s program is primarily in English, since English is the language of education in their country.  However, as members of the East Africa Union including Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania, they will be required to use French for now.

World Conference    Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer, Secretary of World Conference, on behalf of the World

Thank You              Conference, thanked BishopBuconyori, the Burundi Free Methodist Church, and Hope Africa University for hosting such a wonderful conference and also thanked all of those many volunteers who transported us to and from the airport, prepared and cleaned our rooms, cooked and served our meals, provided computer assistance and sound system support, gave clerical service, and saw to our every convenience. 

Recess                     Bishop Matt Thomas closed the session in prayer, and the conference recessed at 10:25 am.  The group picture will be taken during the break, to reconvene at 11:30 am.

 losing Service        The conference reconvened at 11:30 am, and Bishop ZwelishaShembe was the leader.  The choir led us in singing, and Bishop Clovis Momplaisir led in prayer.  Bishop Keith Elford brought the Ministry of the Word.

                        Bishop Elford asked us to close our eyes and think about Jesus praying for us right now.  In John 17:20 Jesus says, “My prayer is not for them alone [that is, the disciples].  I pray for those who will believe in Me through their message.”  What is our message?  What we say or what we write?  There is more than spoken words.  Our lives give a message—our behavior, our choices, our view of self and of others.  What is the message of your life?  When you are alone with your thoughts, or with your family, or with strangers?  Communion is an opportunity for us to examine our message, our attitude, our behavior.  Do others think, “Mr. or Mrs., are you Jesus?”  He closed his message with prayer. 

                        Bishop Shembe gave farewell words to his many World Conference friends.  He plans to retire from the role of Bishop next year.

The choir led us in singing again, and Bishop Tuan then conducted the Service of Induction of the new World Conference Executive Committee.  Bishop Tuan also presided over the Service of Holy Communion, and asked the lay delegatesto serve their bishops in the act of communion, and to pray with everyone from that conference with their bishop(s). 

On motion all reports are received for the official records.  Bishop Tuan then presented to incoming President, Bishop Buconyori, the gavel of the World Conference and the timekeeper’s bell, symbols of the office.  Bishop Buconyori asked for prayer for the World Conference Executive Committee. 

Organization of        Bishop Tuan called for the report of the organization of the Council of Bishops. 

Council of Bishops  Bishop David Roller reported the following elected officers:

                       

                        President                     Bishop Jose IldoSwartele de Mello

                        Vice President             Bishop David Kendall

                        Secretary-Treasurer     Bishop Nixon Dingili

                        Mr. Larry Roberts led in prayer for the Council of Bishops officers.

 

Adjournment           Bishop Tuan prayed a benediction and the conference adjourned at 1:04 pm.

Burundi 75th            Members of the World Conference participated in the 75th Anniversary

Celebration              Celebration of the Free Methodist Church in Burundi at Muyebe, where Rev. J. W. Haley began the work in 1935.  Thousands of Burundi Free Methodists, including nearly all of the ministers of the Burundi General Conference, had gathered there to worship and celebrate together.  Special guests included First Lady of Burundi, Mrs. Denise BucumiNkurunziza, who brought greetings; the mayor of the town; the governor of the province; fraternal ministerial delegates from other churches in Burundi;Mr. and Mrs. Wayne and Barbara Vibbert, former missionaries to Burundi; and the World Conference delegates.  Several choirs sang.  Burundian drummers performed.  Recognition was given to various guests, including the first convert of Rev. J. W. Haley.  Greetings were brought from Bishop David Kendall on behalf of the Free Methodist Church-USA, and Bishop Keith Elford preached the message.  A feast was prepared for the guests before the day’s activities ended.

 

 

Rebecca R. Sawyer

Secretary

 

SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TO BE FOLLOWED UP

FROM THE MINUTES OF THE

FREE METHODIST WORLD CONFERENCE 2011

 

 

1.      2011 Minutes to be approved

 

2.      Referendum on Paragraph A/122, “The Language of Worship” to be circulated

 

3.      Books of Discipline file to be kept current

 

4.      Audit to be completed and approved

 

5.      Follow up on 2012-2015 Budget

Confirm amounts with General and Annual Conferences

Proportional distribution 2015 World Conference travel budget

 

6.      International Scholarship information to be sent to all bishops and area fellowships

 

7.      Secretary to write letter to Egypt General Conference (done 10/03/11)