Charge Conference Update

College Avenue Church Family,

On March 22, the Merger Team, composed of members and the pastors of both College Avenue UMC and Riverside UMC met to begin exploring the possibility of merging and the process in doing so. The Merger Team agreed unanimously that moving to a 2-point charge beginning July 1, 2021 would be favorable for both congregations. On March 23, the Governing Board received this recommendation. A Charge Conference was held on April 12 to discuss and vote upon the 2-point charge recommendation.

Our Conference Superintendent, Rev. Russ Abel, presided at the Charge Conference. He shared a summary of how the idea to merge evolved and the required steps our Merger Team must complete before a formal merger can occur. He explained that a 2-point charge would be a commitment to the process of a merger, not an end. It would also allow the cabinet to make fair and honorable decisions regarding the immediate future of the pastors of both churches.

Many College Avenue members shared their insight in writing beforehand and many others voiced their concerns during the meeting. The concerns centered around not merging quickly enough and no opposition to an eventual merger arose.

In an effort to honor the wishes of our congregation, respect the future of our pastors and grant needed time to the Merger Committee to effectively complete the merger process, the following motion passed unanimously:

To move to a 2-point charge effective July 1, 2021 as an interim step in preparation for a merger to take effect by October 1, 2021.

The Governing Board would like to thank all who attended Charge Conference either in-person or via Zoom, as well as all who shared insight and ideas about moving forward. We are blessed to have such a caring congregation.

Moving ahead there is much to be done. Here is how you can help.

  • Riverside UMC will hold their Charge Conference on Monday, April 19, 2021 – Please pray for their members and discernment process.
  • Rev. Abel has tasked us with forming a team to explore and lead the two churches in combining programs and events ahead of a formal merger. We believe this will help establish and strengthen relationships between the two churches – If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please contact Jennifer Murray.
  • Please pray for our pastors Rev. Karen Bray and Rev. Keith Turner as they await news of a possible new pastoral appointment effective July 1.
  • Continue to pray for and support College Avenue UMC, the Merger Team and each other through this transition period.

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College Avenue Governing Board Members: Jennifer Murray (Chair), Jean Amman, Larry Clock, Bob Ferguson, River Lin, Paul Parkison, Jim Pyle, Eric Scherrer

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