In a called Church Conference on Sunday, February 15, Members of the congregation gathered to consider a resolution from the Trustees (and approved by the Church Council) to sell the church’s downtown property. The meeting was held following the 11 am worship service . The meeting was called to order by The Reverend Herzen Andone, District Superintendent of the Northwest District of the North Georgia Conference. The resolution from the Trustees was presented by Mrs. Angela DeLorme, Chairperson of the Trustees. Rev. Andone opened the Conference up for questions from the congregation with Mrs. DeLorme responding to the questions raised.
One question raised was regarding folks who could not attend the Conference being given an opportunity to vote. That question was answered by Rev. Andone who pointed out that the United Methodist Book of Discipline does not allow for any person to vote if they are not present at the Conference. After a period of discussion on this and other questions, the Conference was ready to vote. Rev. Andone instructed the congregation on how the vote would be taken. Ballots were prepared, and each ballot had the resolution printed on it and a choice between two responses: “I approve” or “I do not approve.” He then led the congregation in prayer and the ballots were distributed.
After persons voted and returned the ballots, Rev. Andone was assisted by our Lay Leader, Mr. Gordon Riddoch in counting the votes at the front of the sanctuary. Before announcing the results of the vote, Rev. Andone spoke to the congregation, noting how men and women of faith and good may and often will disagree on issues such as the vote before the body. He emphasized that we shouldn’t consider the outcome of this as having winners and losers; but as persons in Christian fellowship expressing our conscience in good faith, while keeping the unity of the congregation.
The result of the vote was: 68 persons voting “I approve,”16 persons voting “I do not approve” and one “abstention.”