Central Conference, during its July 11-12 meeting, took action on a detailed plan developed by Superintendent Tom Brodbeck which will help bring the conference into alignment with the decisions of the US National Conference. Because of a pending lawsuit, Central Conference cannot dissolve the corporate yet. However, they took the following actions to downscale what the conference does and prepare for full implementation of the cluster system:
- 1. The 2005 meeting will be the final annual meeting of the conference.
- The current conference leaders–superintendent, district superintendents, conference council–will continue in office through the end of 2005.
- The conference council will take care of any necessary business until the corporation can be dissolved.
- The superintendent will focus primarily on helping the Healthy Church director organize cluster groups for Central Conference churches, working with Laurel Mission and the camps to develop organizational structures, processing any issues related to the lawsuit, and handling other administrative matters involved in preparing for the transition to the cluster system.
- The conference council will focus mostly on giving final approval to the constitutions, deeds, and other documents needed for the camps, churches, and other Central Conference entities as they transition into the new structure, and will name a new superintendent and council of administration to serve beginning January 1, 2006.
- Beginning January 1, 2006, the conference leadership will consist of a superintendent ($100 a month honorarium, plus expenses), and a council of administration consisting of the superintendent plus three clergy and three lay at-large members. They will have full authority to act on all matters related to the conference.
- This resolution for dissolution was approved: “Resolved, that the Central Conference Council of Administration, acting on behalf of the churches and ministers of the Central Conference, be hereby authorized and directed to formally and officially dissolve the corporation known as Central Conference, Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, Inc., and incorporated in the states of Ohio and Indiana, upon the final resolution of all legal and financial obligations before the corporation.” Central Conference includes churches in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, but no incorporation was ever done for the Kentucky churches.
- In 2006, churches will be assessed 1% of tithes and offerings to cover expenses, honorarium, and health insurance obligations. Funding for all conference ministries–the camps, Laurel Mission, and church planting–will end, as will the retiree health insurance benefit.