LIBERIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE, THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
COMMITTEE ON GENERAL RESOLUTIONS
GENERAL RESOLUTIONS TO THE 190TH SESSION OF
THE LIBERIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE, THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
WE, THE CLERGY AND LAY MEMBERS ACCREDITED TO THE 190TH SESSION OF THE LIBERIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, CONVENING WITH THE ST. JOHN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH AS VENUE, GBARNGA CITY, BONG COUNTY, UNDER THE THEME AND TEXT “AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD” PSALMS 46:1-11, HAVING READ AND ASSESSED VARIOUS REPORTS SUBMITTED BY ALL REPORTING OFFICERS, DO HEREBY ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 014/LAC/UMC/GBARNGA CITY, BONG COUNTY; FEBRUARY 12, 2023, AS FOLLOW TO WIT:
- That in order to carry out ministry work of the Liberia Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church, the Liberia Annual Conference approves a budget of one million, three hundred forty-one thousand, one hundred five United States Dollars and ninety-seven cents ($1,341,105.97USD) as revenue and one million, three hundred sixty-six thousand, six hundred twenty-three United States Dollars and twenty-eight cents ($1,366,623.28USD) as expenses, to be used and applied pursuant to the detailed budget submitted to the 190th Annual Session on February 11, 2023 and approved by the conference. And that the CCF&A should make all appropriate adjustments in line with decisions of the 190th Annual Session during deliberations on the floor of the 190th Annual Session of the Conference for the proposed 2023 budget.
- That pursuant to Par. 613 (5) which specifically places as one of the cardinal responsibilities of the CCF&A the development of policies governing the investment of conference funds, and juxtaposing that with Par. 612-1 which specifically lays upon the shoulders of the CCF&A the onus as the appropriate church body to deal with all fiscal issues related to the church, it is hereby resolved that all recommendations involving finance and administration from all Boards, Councils, Departments, institutions to include recommendations for the adjustment in, or re-visitation to the 10% required payment from churches, as petitioned by members of the St. Paul River District Conference, etc. now and in the future should be channeled to and through the CCF&A, and from now henceforth shall be treated and regarded as administrative proposal; and that the CCF&A will carry out the necessary feasibility study so as to adequately inform the conference in its report to the 191st annual session of the conference as to how this issue can be adequately addressed in the best interest of the conference.
- That considering the disturbing and alarming rate at which the properties of the church are being encroached upon, and squaring it with the universal growing consensus that the root cause of most of the encroachment is the lack of funds to carry out investigative surveys, and for retainer legal services for the prosecution of cases for the retrieval or reclaiming of the church’s properties that have been encroached upon at various locations including Ganta, Gbarnga, Dwazon, etc., it is hereby resolved that the CCF&A working in close consultation and collaboration with the Board of Trustees and the Chancellors of the church should begin the process of studying the possibility of allocating at least 20% of all rental fees for the church at the disposal of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellors of the church for the express purpose of carrying out investigative surveys and other legal retainer services for the period of years that will be necessary and propitious in the judgment of the CCF&A for such purpose.
- Being aware that our country remains relatively peaceful, and at the same time being regrettably and unfortunately aware that there are glaring indications to an increase in the wave of violence in the country as exemplified by how in December 2022, some disgruntled and disenchanted youths attacked the civilian population in broad daylight in Monrovia; and further lamentably learning with shock and dismay the discovery of some cache of arms and ammunitions at the Free Port of Monrovia by the Government of the Republic of Liberia, it is the resolution of this conference that the Government of Liberia conducts a comprehensive investigation and make public the findings of the investigation and use all of the legal means at its disposal to ensure that those held liable and culpable can be held accountable, and that Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr. should issue an Episcopal Letter to be published in this regard.
- That considering the special premium that the Liberia Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church places on the electioneering process in Liberia; and being cognizant, supportive, and appreciative of the fact that Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr. in his Episcopal Address expressed his unflinching commitment to a peaceful election; and in the same breadth, called upon all Liberians and United Methodists in particular to participate peacefully in the processes leading to, during, and beyond the elections; and being further aware of the fact that the National Elections Commission (NEC) wrote our Bishop a letter in which they requested the assistance of the church through parish notices to inform and encourage eligible voters in our congregations to turn out and register during the Voters Registration Process; it is hereby resolved that immediately following the 190th Annual Conference, all pastors and ministers appointed beyond the local church, as well as leaders of our local churches, and heads of all United Methodist institutions will place in their weekly parish bulletins, and on their bulletin boards, and make daily announcements where possible, the schedules for voters registration as provided by NEC as follows:
Registration Period for the Following Counties – March 20, 2023 to April 9, 2023
- Montserrado County
- Margibi County
- Grand Bassa County
- Bomi County
- Grand Cape Mount County
- Gbarpolu County
Registration Period for the Following Counties – April 21, 2023 to May 11, 2023
- Rivercess County
- Sinoe County
- Grand Kru County
- Maryland County
- River Gee County
- Grand Gedeh County
- Nimba County
- Bong County
- Lofa County
- That in an attempt to assuage the difficulties experienced by members of the Liberia Annual Conference when it comes to the lack of suitable facilities to host the conferences and other gatherings of the Annual Conference, which has been a perennial problem of the conference for the past 190 years, and considering the Board of Laity’s determination to address this perpetual problem of the church by and through the launch of its investment project on December 19, 2021 at the E. Jonathan Goodridge United Methodist Church to erect a conference hall and lodging facility; and considering that the Board of Laity had several consultative meetings with all lay people through their respective District Lay Leaders; and being conscientious of the fact that the lay people unanimously decided to support their proposed project at their 28th annual session held at the 190th session of the LAC/UMC, it is the resolution of the conference that each lay person residing in the urban areas will be required to pay at least $500.00LD and those dwelling in the rural areas will be required to pay at least $300.00LD from now until the end of November, 2023 as contribution to jumpstart the project. Furthermore, for greater transparency, it is also resolved that local lay leaders will be responsible for the collection of this contribution, and for each payment received, they will be required to issue receipts to those making the payment. It is also further resolved that the Board of Laity will keep all lay people informed about every step of progress on the project by passing information through regional lay leaders, onwards to district lay leaders, and onwards to local lay leaders for dissemination to all lay people at the level of the local church.
- That acknowledging the cardinal and indispensable role that the United Methodist University has played, continues to play, and is anticipated to play in the future, through teaching, research, and community development initiatives in the lives of the people called United Methodist in particular, and Liberians in general through the provision of quality tertiary education; and further recognizing that it is needful, appropriate, and proper for all members of the Liberia Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church, to support the United Methodist University as evidenced through an affirmation vote of 186 in favor of, and 16 against taken on the floor of the Conference on February 10, 2023 for support to the University; and to help support the financial viability of the university to carry out its mission, it is resolved by this conference that a particular Sunday to be decided by the Bishop and Cabinet be set aside to be known as Higher Education Sunday or United Methodist University Sunday to be celebrated by all local churches of the Conference, and funds generated on that Sunday shall be turned over to the University for financial support. It is further resolved that all United Methodist churches and institutions immediately allocate in their respective budgets reasonable amounts for the support of the United Methodist University in the proportion of 70% for the direct support to the operations of the University, and 30% for support to offset the tuition cost of the fees for those benefitting from the Bishop’s Scholarship initiative and attending the United Methodist University.
- That considering the need for the projection of a more inclusive picture of the church, and being sensitive to the desires of all members of the conference that the hosting of the conference is rotational to include all regions of the church; and being reminded that in its report to the 189th Annual Session of the LAC/UMC the Committee on the Next Place of Conference reported on the need to include more options for the hosting of conferences so as to alleviate the burdens from the Gbarnga and Ganta Mission Stations; and being considerate of the mandate of Bishop Samuel J. Quire at the seat of the 189th Annual Session of the LAC/UMC that the cabinet considers the possibility of the conference going back to the rotational system of hosting conferences; and acknowledging the fact that the Cabinet Meeting at the 190th session of the LAC/UMC was congenial to the Bishop’s mandate, and concurred with it, it is hereby resolved by this conference that beginning with the 191st Annual Session of the LAC/UMC the conference adopts the regional rotational basis of hosting annual conferences upon the recommendation of the next place of conference.
- That in an attempt to mitigate some of the financial challenges and constraints the conference is faced with; and also desirous of making the operation of the Conference more efficient and effective, it is hereby resolved by this conference that a restructuring committee involving the Bishop’s Cabinet and all other relevant Boards, Agencies, and Departments be constituted by the Bishop that will be charged to carry out a feasibility study for a restructuring plan for the LAC/UMC that will include the merger of program areas with similar work leading to a reduction in the number of Departments. It is also the resolution of this conference that this committee will also study the possibility for the reduction of Districts and Circuits in line with the processes and procedures spelt out in the 2016 Book of Discipline; and that this committee will report at the 191st Annual Session of the LAC/UMC for endorsement by the conference.
- That in a quest to verify and substantiate the extent to which the Strategic Plan of the church as implemented by the Strategic Plan Commission has achieved its objective, or not, and to be able to fully appreciate and celebrate the success stories of the Commission, and to be knowledgeable about it challenges and failure so as to be able to avoid as much as possible the lapses leading to some of the impediments for the achievements of its intended targets, it is hereby resolved that the Bishop constitutes a committee to review, evaluate, and assess the activities of the Strategic plan Commission in line with the extent to which it has achieved its stated objectives or not. It is further resolved that this committee reports to the 191st Annual Session of the LAC/UMC.
The General Resolution Committee
- Bro. James T. Worquea, Sr. Chairperson
- Bro. Adama B. Tombekai Co-Chairperson
- Sis. Juliet O. Jonah Member
- Bro. Richard G. Wiah Member
- Bro. Harrison K. Tarpeh Member
- Rev. Dr. James Z. Labala Member
- Rev. Dr. Julius Y.Z.K. Williams, I Member
- Bro. Samuel K. Sagbeh Member
- Youth Representative Member
- Mt. Dr. Elizabeth K. Harris Consultant
- Bro. Cllr. Powo C. Hilton Consultant