The resolutions considered by BWC members Thursday, May 30, reflected a broad range of conference ministries as members debated hospitality at the Communion Table, a new episcopal residence, the stewardship of annual gatherings, how to best disagree, and how to best use the generous legacy of a closed church.
The afternoon began with a resolution on the Common Table and members voted to require gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free bread at all conference, regional and district gatherings.
They also gave the greenlight to the Conference Trustees to purchase a new episcopal residence for the bishop. The current parsonage has been remediated after being infected with mold.
Conference leaders were also asked to research a more geographically central location for the Annual Conference Session, besides the cities of Baltimore and Washington, and to explore how to provide free accommodations for lay and clergy who can demonstrate need. They will report their findings at next year’s session.
The Conference has a contract with Marriot to meet in Baltimore through 2022.
Members also voted to distribute $25,000 given to Centre Street UMC, which closed this year, to non-urban ministries in Allegany County.
A resolution on “Supporting Deliberations for New Expressions of Methodism” was tabled.
During the consideration of the resolution to purchase a new parsonage, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling passed the gavel to Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, a daughter of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, who was elected to the episcopacy in 2016.
Moore-Koikoi thanked the body. “A few decades ago, when I was baptized into the Washington Conference, only God knew I would be sitting here presiding over the BWC,” she said. She noted that her father, the Rev. Maurice S. Moore, who died last year, “is beaming down from heaven today.”