small membership churches. They will be launched in many new places come this
September. We are joining also with the West in the Hand in Hand Project where we are
going into the public schools and bearing witness to the Gospel in creative and acceptable
ways. One of the things I've been trying to do, as your episcopal leader these past four
years, is to make the office of the episcopacy public and open and accessible to the lay
people and the clergy of the North Carolina Conference. Linda and 1 have been in more
than 200 plus local churches, into every district, as we have crossed and re-crossed and
criss-crossed this Annual Conference's 12 districts, and we have sought for people to see
the Bishop as something other than an office at the Methodist Building in Raleigh. Pastoral
care with pastors has been a theme of mine as we have worked together.
At the same time, over these past four years, we have sought through the episcopal
office to be a teaching office, a prophetic office, and an ecumenical leader in this state and
area. And I'm delighted to report to you that as 1 view this Annual Conference, I think that
Jesus would say, the works that I did, you are beginning to do, even greater than 1 did it
in the limited time and geography in which I operated in Palestine. "
And the word is going out about the vitality of this Annual Conference. Sixty-five clergy
f)ersons, sought to become members and get an appointment in this Annual Conference
rom beyond its boundaries. We are not short of pastors. We are seeking to put the best
pastors in the best places.
Now in these and many other ways, we are seeing glimpses of how God's kingdom is
breaking into our midst. Jesus, in his life among us, 1 think, would walk among us saying,
"1 am beginning to see the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, the hungry fed, the
stranger welcomed, and on the Wednesday, in the last days of Easter, we find ourselves in
the pre-Pentecost mode. But the journey is not over; the task is not through. There is a
temptation to do what those early Christians were doing in Jerusalem when they gathered
in that upper room. Someone jokingly suggested that since this is right before Pentecost,
shouldn t we just huddle in the room, like the disciples did in Jerusalem - afraid, in a closed
room ,- afraid of the challenges, of the opportunities, just remain like we've been, just halt
our advance, just stay there.
I tell you: the job is not done. It would be easy to retreat into the four walls of our
churches as you go home for Pentecost. Treat it as a historical day in the Christian calendar
and no more. The job is not done. The poor are still near and unconnected to many of our
churches. The systems of poverty still lock people in and our churches say no prophetic
word. Moral charges against clergy continue to surface and consume astronomical time of
the bishop's staffand Cabinet. P^cism is still evident in our structures and our outreach.
Persons feel unwelcomed for many reasons while we have taken our stand, and hold what
1 believe to be the correct position on homosexuality. We have little evangelism of outreach
to gays and lesbians.
Our church facilities are not being used in creative and imaginative ways. Church
members seem all willing to focus in and not out into the community where we live. The
truth of the matter is we are a lot like John Wesley in the 18'^ century, when he was
challenged to preach in the open air. Our comfort zones do not match the needs of our
changing world around us. Perhaps we are huddled, afraid in closed churches and rooms
even on this day in June. Finally, when John Wesley got the word from his mother, he said,
"I submitted myself to be more vile," which simply meant "I decided to get out of my
comfort zone and preach in the open air," and reach and even send those lay preachers
that he didn't want to send.
The most important things will not just happen at Annual Conference or at
Jurisdictional Conference this July. The most important things will happen as the Spirit
works through us and leaders and pastors and lay persons in local cnurches where we
"submit to be more vile," get out of our comfort zones and maintenance ministries and
management styles of ministry into transformational leadership that will reach and claim the
communities. When the Holy Spirit came upon that crowd long ago in the closed upper
room, a great transformation occurred. Tremblings of fear became tremors of energy as the
timid became courageous, as followers became leaders, as disciples became apostles
bearing good news.
My prayer for each of us as we go home on Saturday afternoon is very simple - that the
Holy Spirit will descend upon us once more in these next days and in this Pentecost season,
that it will transform us to lead the church to a place where the church has not yet been,
to claim new territories and mission fields for Jesus Christ. I often think about leadership.
What is it? What's the difference in being a manager of a church and the leader of a
congregation? What is the difference? Are leaders just born and not made? 1 think some are
born with natural ability and instinct in leadership, but I think some of us are not born like
David with natural gifts. Most of the biblical leaders, if you will look at them, had to have
leadership thrust upon them. Moses stuttering, then called to preach; Gideon hiding in a
barrel and then the call to be a mighty warrior; Esther hiding her identity, then called to
reveal it at a providential time. The disciples - a pretty weak and unpromising group - but
then the Spirit came and ordinary people began to do extraordinary things. 1 think it was
Admiral Halsey, the great naval leader at the end of World War II, who when asked about
those marvelous victories at sea when the Japanese had the far superior naval forces, made
the statement: "There are no great men or women. There are only great challenges that
circumstance causes men andwomen to rise and meet." I'm not sure he had it all together
right. Shakespeare probably said it better. "Some are born great. Some achieve greatness.
Some have greatness thrust upon them. " 1 don't know where greatness comes from, where
leadership comes from, but 1 do believe it's anchored in the coming of the Holy Spirit.
1 want to say to laity and clergy here - you are needed to work where you are - to be
resourceful, creative, visionary, transformational leaders, not just managers of what you've
?ot. You are needed to assess well the mission field and the potentials of your congregation,
ou are needed to cast the vision to fling Gospel seed right and left, behind and before. You
are needed to teach and guide and shepherd all God's people, and the Bishop has to lead
the way and the Cabinet nas to set the example.
The work to which we are called is a messy work. It's not clean. It's not orderly. It's not
easy. It's as chaotic as the first Pentecost when people from every land and nation raised
varied voices and spoke in languages they didn't understand and that they did understand.
I think Peter Wagner, the guru of the Church Growth Movement, (and it may have some
lackinqs theologically, that Church Growth Movement), but 1 think Peter Wagner was right
when he said, "Dynamic, growing churches are like delivery rooms where a baby is being
born. It's a bloody mess, out of which new life comes."
I used this illustration three years ago about the Pentecost parade of children on
Sunday. They're all lined up to process into the worship service, and they've got all these
signs and symbols - and things that make noise and they begin to process and they begin
to punch each other with those things and by the time they get halfway down the aisle,
you've got a three-fold mess of children as they process on Pentecost Sunday. You know,
that's tne way the Holy Spirit works. Not always smooth. Sometimes a little fussy.
Sometimes some disturbance. Sometimes some difference of opinion. Sometimes some
success and more often some failures. And sometimes, it's a bloody mess. But the Holy
Spirit is giving birth to something new. Out of the chaos of Pentecost, ordinary people
began to do extraordinary things.
I want to propose to you just where God might lead us in the next quadrennium. In the
next century. I don't know whether I'll be your Bishop or not, but it doesn't make any
difference who your bishop is. I'd like to be that bishop if the Holy Spirit leads me back
here. But if I'm not, whoever it is, I want to suggest to you, you're going to vote in a while
on a new conference structure and a key piece of that conference structure is called the
connectional table. You've been looking at this in your districts. It is around this
connectional table where we look at visions and missions of where we might go that I
challenge this Conference to struggle with some visions of where God might lead us.
I hope that we will struggle with creating a center in this Conference for the developing
and the training of transformational lay and clergy leadership. A leadership like this is not
accidental. It needs some work, some teaching, and some visioning - and pastors who are
willing to move from management styles to leadership styles, would be given an opportunity
to look at what that means in small-membership churches and large-membership churches.
Size is irrelevant. Geography is irrelevant. But vital energized localchurches that are centers
of evangelistic outreach are a part of that goal and vision. I hope that we will work at such
a development and such a center.
I hope that we will work at creating a center of spiritual formation and development in
this Annual Conference at local, district, and conference levels; that we'll take seriously
Wesley's means of grace, really engage in them at local church and all levels; that we might
lead our people into a deeper sense of vitality.
I hope we will take a serious look at how we're using our conference property - three
wonderful camp facilities, a valuable piece of property on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh and
that we will have a serious task force that will look at how we might better use andinvest
the total dollars that are involved in those investments. Thiat we might create facilities that
will enable spiritual leadership and development of spiritual life in significant ways.
I hope that we will work at another goal and vision at that connectional table where we
might sit and create in the North Carolina Conference, vital centers of evangelism where
local churches, small and large, will claim their call to be evangelistic centers where faith
and a vital religion will be offered, that we will reach out to grow, develop and win and make
new disciples. Hopefully, we will have at least 20 new congregations in the next four years
in traditional new church starts, and at least 20 new faith communities among the poor and
in poverty-ridden areas, targeting ethnic communities of all types and directions. I hope that
we will work at that in a significant way.
I hope that we will spend some time embracing ministry in a multicultural world with
presenting the Gosp>el. Let's start out at the next session of Annual Conference confessing
our sin of racism over these last years, modeled after what happened at General Conference
and looking at what it means to be involved not only at Annual Conference, but in cross-
cultural ministries in local churches where churches claim their mission field regardless of
the ethnic and cultural people out there. I hope we will see our ethnic pastors work diligently
at qrowing larger ethnic churches with the nelp and assistance of the Annual Conference
as they reach out in evangelism in these areas, i hope that throuqh our Annual Conference,
we will resource our ethnic churches, whatever their ethnicity mignt be, to develop and grow
and to be makers of disciples in new and fresh ways.
I hope at that connectional table where we are sitting, we can put forth some bold
goals for financial stewardship in the next four years. I would like to see this Annual
Conference a 100% payer of all its apportionments. If we can do it in two districts; we can
do it in all districts. 1 hope that our Annual Conference budget will underwrite new church
development and faith community development; I hope that we will have vital money for
unseen emerging ministries and that we'll continue to meet the unfunded pension liability.
1 hope at the same time as we gather around that connectional table, that we will
sound a clear, prophetic witness to the social Gospel, remembering John Wesley who called
us to be personally and socially holy. Out of our life together, we will produce a kind of
ministry that will deal with poverty and racism and crime and violence and ignorance and
child abuse and unwarranted abortion and hate crimes and low wages and systems of sin
built into our society. Oh, there are lots of things we can do as we sit around that
connectional table and see the products of the faith produced.
That's what Jesus would say to us if He were writing that scripture in John's Gospel
today. He would say to you and to me, "I'm going back to the Father. I'm going to send the
Holy Spirit and the works that you have been seeing me do, you will do even greater in
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN.
Marion M. Edwards, Bishop, Raleigh Area
UNITED METHODIST FOUNDATION. INC.
On behalf for the Board of Directors and staff of United Methoaist Foundation, we wish
to express our sincere appreciation to all Investment Partners, member churches, missions
and agencies of the North Carolina Conference for their ongoing support of the stewardship
ministry of United Methodist Foundation, Inc. Of special importance is the support from
Conference, District and Church clergy and lay members whose leadership and initiative
provide significantly to the Foundation's overall stewardship service and ministry to the
North Carolina Conference.
Since its very beginning in 1955 the mission of United Methodist Foundation, Inc. has
Provide professional investment services for long-term and permanent funds of the
North Carolina Conference, local churches, institutions, and ministries of the Church; and
Educate, encourage and receive planned gifts from individuals in support of their local
church, institutions, and special ministries of tne North Carolina Conference.
The United Methodist Foundation, Inc. is an independent, non-profit corporation,
related to the North Carolina Conference through the Board of Institutions. The Foundation
continues its important connectional relationship to all churches, missions, agencies and
institutions of the North Carolina Conference, strengthened by faith and a rich tradition of
excellence in mission and leadership with a singular dedication to serving the mission and
ministry of Christ's Church.
Over the years, the Foundation's Investment Partnership has grown from just a few
accounts in ly55 belonging primarily to the several Methodist colleges and to the North
Carolina Conference, with a total balance of invested funds of just a few hundred thousand
dollars, to today's total of nearly $64 million in invested funds made up of 556 active
accounts belonging^ to 184 churches, two institutions, and 52 individuals. Of the 556 active
accounts, 288 are Revocable Accounts worth a total investment of nearly $51 million and
216 are Permanent Endowment Fund Accounts worth just over $8 million. Fifty-two (52)
individuals have current life-income charitable gift plans in place worth just over $4 million.
Additionally, the Foundation administers nineteen (19) Life Plans (life insurance policies)
designating a number of Conference missions and ministries as future beneficiaries.
An analysis of the typical account fund balance of the 556 active accounts that make
up the Foundation's General Investment Fund points to an interestinq but telling
conclusion; only sixty-six (66) accounts have total fund balances of over $100,1)00, and only
four (4) accounts have fund balances of over $1 million. Nearly 70% of all accounts have
a fund balance under $50,000 and 61% of all accounts, approximately 340 in all, have fund
balances under $25,000 each. While the Foundation serves churches of all sizes, and a
variety of special ministries, agencies and institutions throughout the Conference, the
smaller account, with a fund balance of $25,000 or less, is clearly a primary consumer of
the Foundation's investment management services.
In 1999, an additional $6 million was added to the Foundation's General Fund. Fifty-
eight (58) new fund accounts were opened with a total new-dollar investment of $1.7
million. An additional $3.4 million in new dollars were added to 297 existing accounts. Five
fund accounts were closed with a total "closed account" divestment of $7.3 million. Overall
divestments (accounts closed and divestments withdrawals) for 1999 totaled $12.7 million.
The Foundation's ending average fund balance for 1999 was $64 million.
The 1999 Rate of Return, after all fees were paid, was 9.21%, up slightly from 1998.
Total fees charged to all Investment Partners remained at 1.1%. Overall, the Foundation's
disciplined risk for return strategy for the last three (3) years has resulted in an average (net
of fees) gain of 1 1.4% and, over the past fifteen (15) years, an average annual (net of fees)
return of 10.8%.
All funds entrusted with the Foundation are invested according to the Social Principles
of the United Methodist Church as guided by the Statement of Investment Guidelines
(Revised Edition 1 1/99) of the Investment Committee of the General Council on Finance
and Administration of the United Methodist Church. The Consulting Group of Salomon
Smith Barney provides the Foundation with investment consultation and management
services. Seven professional investment fund managers, hired by the Foundation's Board
of Directors but reporting to the Investment Consultant, successfully accomplish the day-to-
day management of the Foundation's total assets and positive investment return for all
The Foundation's Mission Statement, and overall investment strategy will remain the
same going forward, however specific Asset Allocation percentages will change slightly in
2000 as the Foundation's investment discipline continually seeks, on behalf of its
Investment Partners, the best possible return at the lowest level of risk. One major asset
allocation change in 1999 resulted from the sale of the Foundation's $4.5 million mortgage
portfolio to Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T). The proceeds from the sale of
these mortgages were reinvested into a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) and in Fixed
Income investments resulting in a slight re-adjustment in the overall investment allocation
between equities and fixed assets.
While the Foundation's Investment Management Service provides extremely valued and
important support for ministry throughout the Conference, truly the heart of the
Foundation's mission is its Planned Giving and Endowment Building Services for member
churches. Conference agencies, special ministries and individual members of the North
Carolina Conference. This involves: 1) stewardship education and consultation, helping
local churches, Conference Institutions and others establish permanent endowment plans
and programs; and 2) providing planned giving consultation and assistance for individual
donors wishing to establish permanent or long-term gift arrangements to benefit various
ministries of the Church. Therefore, the Foundation's "fund-raising" efforts are different
from that of other Conference institutions and from annual stewardship efforts of the local
church. The Foundation does not seek to serve any one particular church, agency or
special ministry within the North Carolina Conference but rather endeavors to serve all with
equal interest and energy.
The Foundation's Planned Giving Service is "donor focused," seeking to assist
prospective donors wishing to make gifts to ministries within the Church that they have
selected. The Foundation, therefore, provides specialized "technical" help to individuals
in accomplishing their benevolent goals. The Foundation works cooperatively with the
individual s legaC tax and financial professional in accomplishing this important service.
Additionally, the Foundation serves as trustee for a number of Individual Family
Endowments and various life-income Gift Plans and Trusts with charitable remainders that
benefit a variety of ministries within the Church. As Trustee, the Foundation is responsible
to assure that all charitable remainder amounts and Endowment Fund earnings will always
support the mission and ministry chosen by the donor.
The Foundation's Endowment Building Program is Church-Based and mission
focused. One of the most useful resources available through the Foundation is the
PLANNED GIVING HANDBOOK FOR CHGRCHES of the NORTH CAROLINA
CONFERENCE. Copies are made available to each pastor with additional copies for finance
and administrative leadership and others who are member? of the local church Permanent
Endowment Committee. This special resource is a step-by-step "how to" handbook on
endowment building, helping local church leadership make planned giving a vital part of
their total successful stewardship program.
One of the most effective ways the Foundation accomplishes its important work with
local churches is through one-on-one or small group consultation, and specialized
workshops and seminars. These services are offered at no cost and provide local church
leadership and individual donor members with the education assistance necessary to
successfully accomplish the planned gift giving and endowed building so critical to the good
stewardship of the Church.
Through its Planned Giving Service, the Foundation has been extremely effective in
encouraging and helping donors create the current and deferred gifts plan most appropriate
for them in their effort to provide benevolent support for mission and ministries of the
The United Methodist Foundation welcomes opportunities to assist individuals and
families wishing to create special qift plans that benefit their local church, Conference
Institution or other ministry of the Church. In addition, the Foundation encourages local
churches to strengthen their stewardship programs by including planned giving and
endowment building efforts as a component of'^their overall good stewardship program.
The Foundation is pleased to provide assistance and support with these special services for
all causes of the Church upon request.
Once again, on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of United Methodist
Foundation, Inc., we wish to express our deep appreciation to all members of the North
Carolina Conference for the faithful and generous support you have given to this
stewardship ministry through the years, and to the many individuals who have placed their
confidence in the charitable gift planning, trust and endowment services of Gnited Methodist
The Foundation welcomes telephone calls and visitors to its office in the
West Wing of the United Methodist Conference Building in Raleigh. The street
address is 1307 Glenwood Avenue / Suite 153 in Raleigh. The mailing address
is United Methodist Foundation, Inc., PO Box 10955, Raleigh, NC 27605.
Contact the Foundation by telephone at (800) 555-4718 or locally at (919) 836-
0029. The Foundation FAX number is (919) 836-0092.
L. Milton Whaley, President, I. Lynn James, Executive Director
UNITED METHODIST MEN
United Methodist Men is a creative, supportive fellowship of men who seek to know Jesus
Christ, to grow spiritually and seek daily nis will. In 1999, 202 NC Conference fellowships
were chartered under the General Commission of Gnited Methodist Men. There are many
other fellowships who meet on a regular basis but are not nationally chartered. Structured
under the theme of Evangelism, Mission and Spiritual Life, it is the goal of GAAM to be servant
leaders at home, at work, at church, within our communities and throughout the world.
On a national basis, the General Commission of United Methodist Men provides training
sessions, video studies and programs to assist fellowships in completing their mission as
servant leaders. The EMS program (Evangelism, Mission and Spiritual Life), of which there
are 310 members within the conference, is the main financial support for the General
Commission of GMM. Through the General Commission, programs such as "Moving