18 June 2008

AC Day Two

Wow, another relatively unremarkable day at AC. Here’s your recap:

The morning session included a great presentation from Emory Healthcare (no, really!). Emory’s representative highlighted their advances in various medical research fields, and briefly discussed the plans to expand the clinical campus. Some of the research they’re doing there is quite remarkable, and it’s nice to know that we as NGUMC Methodists have a hand in supporting it.

The morning also featured the retiring clergy addresses, which as always were quite entertaining. There’s nothing like giving a preacher one more shot at addressing his or her colleagues to liven things up.

The afternoon business sessions were mostly routine. In case you were wondering, the Conference’s unfunded liability for potential retirees with pre-1982 service is roughly $40 million, which is actually down from $60 million some years ago. The actuarial projection has us making up that deficit by the year 2021 (probably because there will be so few covered pre-1982 retirees around by then…). The full budget will be discussed Friday, but the fiscal house seems pretty sound at the moment.

The Young Adult Task Force had a nice presentation, including two resolutions – one to encourage the selection of more young adult delegates to AC, and another to recommend shifting the dates of AC to Wednesday-Saturday instead of the current Tuesday-Friday. The rationale behind this is that younger adults have less flexible schedules (and less vacation time), and thus it’s harder for them to take off more days during the week to attend AC. After some debate and discussion, both resolutions passed.

It definitely is true that the demographics of AC are on the older side. I think I’m safe in placing myself below the median age of the attendees. One thing that has struck me this year in particular is just how institutional the whole Conference and its proceedings are. The problem there, as with any institution, is that eventually practices grow to protect and enhance the institution itself, rather than the original underlying mission that the institution was founded to promulgate.

That’s really all I have to report today. Oh, last night’s and this afternoon’s worship service’s preacher was the Chancellor Emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary, Maxie Dunnam. I missed both of those services, and it would seem that I’m glad that I did, as the reports I’ve heard noted that he characterized “diversity” and “inclusion” as false doctrines appealing to those who only want to hear what is popular. I suppose Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors is heresy also?

Tomorrow we’ll have the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) breakfast, and the MFSA will present their annual award to our own Beth Corrie during the plenary session in the afternoon. Beth will presumably have a minute or two to address the Conference…check back here tomorrow to learn what controversial things she said!

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