11 Jan Jan 11: Day Two of General Conference
The General Conference delegates left their hotel at 7:45 abd were bussed to the Bethel Institute, the Honduras Conference-operated school, where a breakfast awwaited them. Then, at 9:00, they moved to a classroom set up with tables in a U-shape.
Juanita Chavez, superintendent of Honduras Conference since January 2009, opened with a devotional from Ephesians 4. Then the delegates launched into the first actual business meeting of the conference.
Brian Magnus, bishop of Canada, was elected chairman of the International Executive Committee in 2001 and has served in that position ever since. That role also makes him chairman of the General Conference.
He pointed out that the General Conference has very little actual business to take care. Instead, this meeting was primarily a time to share what is happening in our countries, encourage each other, pray for each other, and find ways to cooperate in advancing the Gospela.
He explained that the delegates would go around the table three times, country by country, each with a different purpose.
- Tell what we are doing in our countries–our ministries, challenges, prayer needs. We would have prayer after hearing from each country.
- Tell about mission efforts to expand the gospel beyond our borders.
- Explain the changes that have occurred in the last four years, especially in their governing documents.
“Together,” he said, “we serve as the membership committee of the United Brethren in Christ, deciding which countries get to be United Brethren national conferences.” Monitoring each other’s governing documents is a way to make sure we continue adhering to the Confession of Faith and Core Values of the United Brethren in Christ Church International (which were first passed in 2001).
Donna Hollopeter served as secretary in place of Ajiax Wo of Hong Kong, who was still in New York City hoping to secure a visa from the Honduran consultate that morning (a meeting which proved successful, though he wouldn’t reach La Ceiba until Tuesday afternoon).
Donna called the roll. Each of the nine national conferences were entitled to two delegates. Three conferences didn’t meet that standard:
- Hong Kong. At least until Ajiax Wo arrived the next day. In the meantime, Karis Vong would represent Hong Kong alone.
- Mexico. Bishop Denis Casco said his lay delegate couldn’t obtain a visa–same problems Ajiax was encountering.
- The Philippines. No delegates. The lay delegate was denied a transit visa from the United States, and neither delegate ended up coming.
- The Philippines.
Karis Vong prayed in Cantonese for Ajiax, who at that moment was probably with the Honduran consulate. They they started around the room, in alphabetical order, reporting on the work in their individual countries. Which put Canada, and Chairman Magnus, on the spot.
The delegates met until 3 p.m. Five countries reported:
- Hong Kong
The conference then adjourned for the day. They took an excursion to the Honduras Conference campground outside of La Ceiba. In the evening, they attended a church service at a local church, and Rev. Francisco Najera of Guatemala preached.