The 10th regular constituency session of the Iowa-Missouri Conference and Conference Association convened on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Sunnydale Academy for the purpose of receiving reports and conducting church business. There were 390 delegates present, representing the conference’s nearly 12,000 members.
Gil Webb, Mid-America Union vice president for administration, shared a devotional from Mark 1 and 2 highlighting what it means to follow Jesus and what it takes to become effective fishers of men. He shared examples from the Bible illustrating why Jesus’ ministry was so successful. “He taught, touched, and tabernacled with them,” he said. “Follow Jesus. Teach others about Jesus. Tabernacle with others like Jesus. And then teach them to do the same.”
Before giving his report, president Dean Coridan recognized Robert Peck for his many years of service to the Adventist Church and to the Iowa-Missouri Conference, for which Peck received a standing ovation from the delegates. Peck, who retired in August, had served as the conference’s executive secretary (vice president for administration) since 2006.
In his report, Coridan shared what he believes are the most important areas of focus for the current quinquennium: big city evangelism, refugee ministry, and education. “There are more than 3 million people in St. Louis, another 1.5 million in Kansas City, and over 500,000 in the Des Moines area,” he said. “We have to make reaching these cities a top priority.” Shifting focus to refugee ministries he added, “The Midwest is now the number one entry point for refugees coming to this country. God has brought the world mission field right to us.”
Referencing the world church’s Total Member Involvement initiative, he emphasized how the future of Adventist education in the conference depends upon the participation of every member. “We don’t just need a large gift from a generous donor or two,” he said. “We need 12,000 people giving 1 percent of their income on a consistent basis to the Combined Youth Ministry fund.” Coridan made a motion that the delegates reaffirm with a vote the commitment the conference made in recent years to not turn away any child from one of our schools based solely on a lack of finances. The motion was quickly seconded and voted, passing by a considerable margin.
Following reports from Coridan, conference treasurer Rhonda Karr, and executive secretary Robert Wagley–who had previously been named executive secretary following Peck’s retirement–all three were elected to serve another term. All departmental directors were also elected to serve again in their respective roles.
Other items of business included acceptance of proposed changes to the constitution and bylaws and the election of members to the executive and constitution and bylaws committees and association board of directors. Names of committee and board members voted by the delegates will be made available once the newly voted members have had a chance to confirm their appointments.