The Jan. 22 Church Conference was well-attended, presided by our District Superintendent Terry Harter, and featured presentations by Julie Miller (Church Council Chairperson), Terry Burke (Aspen Advisory Team/Building Committee) and Dean Abbott (Generis Leadership Team).  Also present were our consultants Jed Davis (Aspen) and Craig Loscalzo (Generis)
After good discussion and question/answer period, an amendment was made to the motion, to add the following phrase to the beginning of the proposal:

1.    1.  That, following a capital campaign, the Aspen Advisory Team, serving as the Building Committee throughout this project (as per ¶2544.3.a of the United Methodist Book of Discipline) shall be authorized by this Church Conference to engage an architect to draw up plans for the renovation of our facility at 104 W. Chestnut, Chatham Illinois, based on the conceptual renderings and floorplans we have been studying together as a church, estimated at $1.97 million.

2. That the Generis Leadership Team shall launch a capital campaign with the purpose of raising funds for this project.

The purpose of the amendment was to make clear that the engaging of an architect to draw up building plans will take place after Commitment Sunday of the capital campaign, thus giving the leadership clear indication of the amount of capital that will be available for the project.

96 members were present and eligible to vote.
77 “yes” votes
18 “no” votes
1 abstention
The leadership is satisfied that this 80% majority indicates the positive will of the church to move forward with our plans, and we are excited about this new chapter in our life together.  We are mindful of the cautions and concerns remaining within the Body, and we are committed to listening, praying and remaining flexible during this time of hope and discernment, so that all persons are respected, all perspectives are honored, and the Church moves forward together.
*REMINDER:  The decision about whether to move forward with construction will be made by a second church conference, when building plans and guaranteed cost figures have been prepared.  We estimate this church conference meeting to be scheduled 6 months after the architect begins design: probably this coming fall.
THANK YOU to all who participated in the church conference Jan. 22.  THANK YOU to all who have shared your ideas, opinions, hopes, dreams and cautions with the committee.  THANK YOU  to all who have prayed for our church and its future.  Please keep praying, and asking God’s Holy Spirit to guide and direct every step we take!