2023 Church Conference Update

Last Sunday afternoon, we held our annual church business meeting – called the Church Conference. Similar meetings take place at all United Methodist Churches around the globe, and are an important component of our denomination’s governance structure as they allow each person to vote on key decisions, direction, and nominations for leadership in their church.

In 2020 and 2021, due to COVID, these meetings were moved to Zoom and limited in attendance and agenda. Last year was still online-only and not very widely attended. This year, we moved the event back in-person (to the Parlor with Zoom still available), and we were very pleased at the turnout. About 70 members attended to hear about the way Royal Oak First has grown and changed in the last year, see plans for the future, and vote on leadership. The event was presided over by our Greater Detroit District Superintendent, the Reverend Darryl Totty.

Below are a few highlights from the meeting:

  • Membership and Attendance
    • We added 62 members last year and performed 24 baptisms.
    • Our membership total is 819 persons, with about 710 attending worship weekly (either in person or online).
    • Children’s Sunday School averages 35 kids and Youth Fellowship averages 25.
    • We lost 22 members, of which 16 were due to deaths. Each person was named and remembered.
  • Servant Leadership and Church Governance
    • The body approved an update the Compass Team Charter to add two additional members from the congregation (total of 9 voting church members). Our Pastors will continue to attend, report, and influence but do not vote.
    • We affirmed the nominations of over 65 volunteers to participate in various teams, including Finance, Personnel, Building & Grounds, Parsonage, Endowment, delegates to the statewide Annual Conference, and more.
  • Connecting Past to Future
    • Pastor Jeff shared stories of how servants before us helped to build and provide the church we enjoy today – over the past 100+ years through pandemics, wars, and economic crises, up through the last year when we have fed and housed those in need.
    • He further shared vision for the future, and specifically how our newly nominated volunteer servants will connect on their teams, know their roles and responsibilities, and get important work done in 2024.

While the Church is ordained by God, and Royal Oak First is organized under United Methodism with appointed pastors and hired staff – it’s important to recognize that this church belongs to YOU. Each of you, whether attending in worship, participating in activities, or having joined as a member can and should help hold the vision, serve with your gifts, and influence the direction this church takes this year and beyond. If you want to participate more in any of the governance bodies or attend meetings, please let one of the pastors or a Compass Team member know. You don’t need to wait until next year’s nominations process!

Also in case you missed it, the conference was recorded via Zoom. We encourage you to watch the video by clicking HERE or scan the QR code.

In Christ,
Tim Ryckman
Vice Chair, Compass Team

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