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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Organizational Motion, agenda, Consent Calendar approved

    June 2, 2016 / By Kathleen Rubino

    Following Opening Worship, the 2016 Annual Conference session commenced as any other – with an explanation of the rules and votes for the approval of the Organizational Motion, agenda, and Consent Calendar.

    However, before any approval could be made, Pastor Nate Lange, serving at the First United Methodist Church in Little Valley, made a motion to suspend all business until 10 a.m. plenary session on June 3 to allow for time for worship, prayer, and fellowship. Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb kindly ruled him out of order for the time being, but asked him to return to the microphone at a later time.

    Bishop Webb moved for the adoption of the Organizational Motion as presented in the Journal Vol. I. The Rev. John McNeill, pastor at the Saint Paul’s UMC in Ithaca, moved to delete rule 16, which states, “Votes on all motions, resolutions, and petitions that refer to human sexuality will be taken by ballot,” as it is “embarrassing” and “reflects a lack of trust, a lack of courage.” After some debate, Ian Urriola, a lay equalization member, called the question on all that was before the Conference. The amendment to delete rule 16 was supported, and the Organizational Motion was approved.

    The Rev. Bill-Gottschalk-Fielding – Conference Director of Connectional Ministries and Executive Assistant to the Bishop – moved to approve the agenda. It was approved.

    He then moved to approve the Consent Calendar, adding a 33rd item to the calendar: Africa University. The Rev. Larry Williford, pastor at the North Ontario UMC, proposed an amendment to remove Sacred Sites from the Consent Calendar. The amendment was supported and the calendar was approved.

    Following the Commission on Pension and Health Benefits and Commission on Equitable Compensation reports, Pastor Lange stepped up to the mic again to propose a suspension of business until 10 a.m. on June 3. The motion was not supported.


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."