Whereas: The Nashville Episcopal Area is comprised of the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, and
Whereas: In 2014, the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conference delegates adopted the same mission statement:
The mission of the Memphis and Tennessee Conference is to discover, equip, connect and send lay and clergy leaders who shape congregations that offer Jesus Christ to a hurting world one neighborhood at a time, and
Whereas: We are committed to our mission more than to our geographic boundaries, and
Whereas: Over the past five years, the following areas of ministry have been aligned between the two conferences:
• Appointive Cabinets meeting/working together as one
• Office of Leadership Formation and Development (formerly Office of Ministerial Concerns) provides shared services for both conference (ex: administration, licensing school, Orientation to Ministry, Healthy Boundaries training)
• Clergy Spiritual Life Retreat combined to serve both conferences
• Area wide Hispanic Ministries team
• Area wide New Church Development team
• Annual Conference Sessions have worshiped and learned around the same themes and speakers, and
Whereas: After successful alignment efforts demonstrated increased focus, efficiency and fruitfulness, an advisory team was identified to further pursue what benefits and challenges would be presented by formation of a new conference to include all geographic areas of the current Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, and
Whereas: In 2018, the Memphis Annual Conference and the Tennessee Annual Conference sessions voted to endorse the intent to move forward with a plan to form a new conference, with the expectation that each Conference will vote to approve a plan for a new conference in 2019, send a motion to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2020, and to meet as a fully unified Annual Conference in 2021, and
Whereas: Both Conferences directed the advisory team to continue development of a plan to form a new Conference, with particular attention to challenges related to a unified method of funding the budget and a single health benefits plan, and
Whereas: The advisory team, as directed by both Conferences, has continued its work on two identified items, those being the methodology used to pay for the Conference budget, including health and pension costs, and the utilization of one employee health benefit plan for both Conferences, and has presented a recommendation related to those matters, appended to this resolution as Exhibit A, (funding plan) and Exhibit B (guiding principle plan for benefits), and
Whereas: The advisory team has developed strategic goals and initiatives for the new Conference that are outlined in Exhibit C.
Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Memphis Annual Conference affirms sending a motion to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, for action at its 2020 session, requesting that the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences be joined to form a new Conference, and to meet as a fully unified Annual Conference in 2021;
Be it further resolved, that the Memphis Annual Conference endorses the funding plan outlined in Exhibit A, subject to approval by the newly formed Conference as a unified body at its 2021 Annual Conference session;
Be it further resolved, that the Memphis Annual Conference endorses the guiding principle plan for benefits outlined in Exhibit B, subject to approval by the newly formed Conference as a unified body at its 2021 Annual Conference session;
Be it further resolved, that the Memphis Annual Conference endorses the goals and objectives outlined in Exhibit C, subject to approval by the newly formed Conference as a unified body at its 2021 Annual Conference session.
Be it further resolved, that those appointments to Conference agencies, committees and other bodies that would ordinarily expire at 2020 Annual Conference shall continue through the end of calendar year 2020, so that their expiration will coincide with the effective date of creation of the new Conference.
Submitted by: The Memphis Conference Appointive Cabinet