Annual Conference Report
The role of the BOA is to serve alongside our Superintendent Team in caring for our churches, pastors, and ministries. We are responsible for addressing needs brought to us by local pastors and societies, either financial or otherwise, and we make decisions to prayerfully serve the Kingdom of God in Southern California. This board, with our traditional lay-clergy balance, is a place of support and reporting for our superintendents, and acts on behalf of all of you in between Annual Conferences.
I will be giving a brief overview of the BOA actions this year. For more details, the minutes are always available and any member of the board is happy to talk to you.
Of primary importance to this Conference is our transition this past year from a three-superintendent model to a single one. Early in the conference year, the BOA approved Glen Prior’s request to leave his term early for personal reasons, and in consultation with Bishop Whitehead, we appointed Jon Sato as Interim Superintendent. We prayerfully came alongside Fraser Venter as he was asked to work for the denomination as Strategic Catalyst for Love-Driven Justice in the middle of the year. And, we supported and approved a long-needed sabbatical for Superintendent Latchison.
As the Search Committee selected Jon Sato for the role of our next Superintendent, the BOA Executive Team worked with the Bishop to construct an appropriate compensation package, which was agreed to by all parties. As a board, we are excited to collaborate with Supt. Sato to streamline processes and create new systems as we all work together for the mission of reaching Southern California for Christ.
As these transitions occurred, the BOA has noted that as a conference, we need a more consistent sabbatical policy, both for conference leadership, as well as for local pastors. Our goal in the upcoming year is to explore this to provide consistency and stability for our pastors, as so many of us can feel burnt out after extensive years of service.
In this past year, we have approved over $650,000 in grants and loan forgiveness to four different churches who shared opportunities for growth and change in their communities. We are also reviewing our principles and procedures for churches to request grants, both to care for Conference resources, as well as to incentivize churches to find new ways to minister to their neighbors.
Furthermore, under the guidance of Evan Collins, the Conference took all of the loans we were carrying for churches, and transferred them to the Free Methodist Foundation, so that they could be the lending arm of our conference, and we could focus on giving grants where needed.
Finally, we voted to sell the Redlands property, and are working closely with Los Angeles Community Church to restore their building, which would enable them to worship and minister to their neighborhood more effectively.
Again, please feel free to ask me or any BOA member, if you have questions about our actions, or simply what we do. It is an honor to serve alongside all of you for the glory of God.
Respectfully submitted by Colleen Hurley-Bates
Download the 2022 Approved Budget (PDF)