Rev. Dr. Candace Barron named new Annual Conference secretary

Earlier this week, Bishop Gary Mueller shared, “I am happy to announce that Reverend Dr. Candace Barron, Senior Pastor of Beebe First United Methodist, has accepted the role of the Annual Conference Secretary Designate. We are delighted to have her working alongside the current Annual Conference Secretary, Reverend Clark Atkins, until his term ends.”

Rev. Dr. Barron has served as the Associate Pastor of Trinity UMC, Geyer Springs UMC, and St. Luke UMC, all in Little Rock.  She also served as the Assistant Director of the Arkansas Conference Center for Clergy Excellence.  After serving as Senior Pastor at Gardner Memorial UMC and Amboy UMC of North Little Rock, she is currently serving as senior Pastor of Beebe First United Methodist Church.

“I am honored to be asked to serve in this capacity in the Annual Conference. I am excited to work with the conference staff again and I look forward to learning more about the responsibilities of this position from Rev. Clark Atkins,” shared Barron.

Please join us in welcoming her to this exciting opportunity!

Friends of Korea Day Planned

Rev. Dr. Naomi Rogers (center) taught Pastor Troy Conrad and his wife Shelli how to make Korean style egg rolls during their planning session for Arkansas Korean Day. The event will be held Saturday, August 13 at MacArthur Park in Little Rock. The eggroll recipe has been passed down through Naomi’s family for generations.

There will be a Celebration of Arkansas Korean Day with Friends of Korea on Saturday, August 13, 2022, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at MacArthur Park in Little Rock. This special event will include a ceremony in honor of Arkansas Korean Day, followed by opportunities to experience Korean culture through food, music, dance, fashion, and taekwondo.

August 15th marks the newly established Arkansas Korean Day, which coincides with the Korean National Independence Day. The Korean National Independence Day is a significant day in the country’s history, marking its liberation from Japanese colonization and the start of the building of a successful nation with some of the world’s leading industrial corporations. It is recognized that this aspect of the celebration is thanks in part to the bravery and sacrifice of the Korean War Veterans, some of whom were from Arkansas. Therefore, it is through this event that we would like to honor Arkansas Korean War Veterans for their contributions.

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been increasing amounts of racial discrimination against Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. In the greater Little Rock area, Asians are a part of the community and play active roles in business, medicine, education, and so much more.

This event is an opportunity not only to remind people of the historical significance of Arkansas’ relationship with Korea but to reveal the shared values that both groups embody and break down any barriers of prejudices.

The Rev. Dr. Naomi Rogers is the chairperson of the event. Dr. Rogers is an Arkansas United Methodist Clergy person.  For more information, please contact her at naomi.rogers@arumc.org.

Let’s Talk About ARORA’s Registration Kiosks!

We’re entering the dog days of summer! The stifling heat, humidity, and long days are enough to demand most of us stay indoors or find some breezy shade. Luckily, our ARORA registration kiosks are all located on the INSIDE of buildings across Arkansas, keeping you cool while you register to save lives.

Chances are, there’s an ARORA kiosk near you. Here’s how you can register as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. First, find a registration kiosk in your area at https://www.arora.org/kiosks/. 
  2. Next, follow the instructions on the kiosk tablet including scanning the barcode on the back of your driver’s license.
  3. Finally, either confirm your previous registration as a donor or fill out the form to register as an organ and tissue donor.

ARORA has registration kiosks from Pine Bluff to Springdale! As a Workplace Partner, you have a unique opportunity to educate and inform your community and staff about the importance of organ donation. If there’s not a kiosk in your area yet, check back later, as we will continue to add more locations statewide. If you’re interested in having a registration kiosk installed at your business or public building, please contact kiosk@arora.org.

Obituary – Rev. Dr. Kurt Boggan

Obituary – Rev. Dr. Kurt Boggan

Rev. Dr. William “Kurt” Boggan
November 27, 1954 – July 20, 2022

Fellow United Methodists remember the Rev. Dr. William Kurt Boggan as a gifted church leader who was committed to serving God and God’s people. Even in retirement, he continued in pastoral work with some of the most vulnerable communities in Arkansas.

Boggan, who went by Kurt, passed away from COVID-19 on July 20, 2022 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Rebecca, a United Methodist deacon. He was 67.

An Arkansas native, Boggan was born on November 27, 1954. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a B.A. in psychology. He went on to earn both Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas.

He was licensed as a pastor in 1976, commissioned as a probationary member in 1978, and ordained a full United Methodist elder in 1983. In what is now the Arkansas Conference, he was appointed pastor to United Methodist churches in Holly Springs, Magnolia, and Mount Ida. He was pastor of Highland Valley United Methodist Church in Little Rock from 1988 to 2007, where he served in co-ministry alongside his loving wife, Rebecca.

Bishop Charles Crutchfield, now retired, appointed Boggan as district superintendent of the Arkansas Conference’s Northeast District, where he oversaw pastors and congregations in the northeastern part of the state and served on the bishop’s cabinet.

“As a cabinet member he was always focused on how we could better serve the entire conference and the Kingdom of God,” Crutchfield remembered. “He had a pastoral heart, the size of which was enlarged by his excellent capability in administrative skill.”

The Rev. Rodney Steele, who served as a district superintendent alongside Boggan, said his colleague brought honesty and humor to the task of making Christian disciples. “He had a great sense of humor that never demeaned or belittled anyone else and was willing to tell stories of his own humorous mistakes,” Steele recalled. “I was always glad to see him and spend time with him.”

In 2012, Boggan took on the challenge of helping United Methodist congregations across the state as the director and lead equipper for the Arkansas Conference’s newly created Center for Vitality. In that role, he worked to train clergy and laity to create vital congregations that make more disciples of Jesus Christ. He then brought those skills to First United Methodist Church in Bentonville.

Even after he officially retired in 2020 after 42 years of service, he still stepped up when needed. Since 2020, he had served as pastor of Quapaw Quarter and Canvas Community United Methodist churches — two Little Rock congregations dedicated to ministry with the homeless and the marginalized.

Current Arkansas Conference Bishop Gary Mueller had known Boggan since their seminary days. “He was an outstanding pastor, creative in reaching new people for Christ and growing churches and deeply committed to those living on the edges —all the while making it about the mission and not himself,” Mueller declared. “His footprint is huge.”

A formal service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 29 at Highland Valley United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Due to the nature of Boggan’s untimely passing, masks are strongly encouraged. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be streamed online and available on Highland Valley’s Facebook page. An informal reception will follow and will provide an opportunity for those whose lives were changed by Kurt’s ministry to celebrate his life by sharing stories. In “Kurt fashion,” light-hearted and humorous anecdotes are encouraged and welcomed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Rev. Dr. Kurt and Rev. Rebecca Boggan Endowment fund at the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church. These funds will go to support future research into the history of United Methodism and programming for the local church

In addition to his wife, Boggan is survived by his daughters Emily and her husband, Dr. André Wineland of Little Rock, and Dr. Ashley Boggan D. of Madison, New Jersey, where she serves as general secretary of The United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Archives and History. He is also survived by his mother, Nedgie Lee Boggan, his brother, Scott Boggan, and his sister, Melaine Apel. Kurt’s beloved grandchildren are West, Graham, Harvey, and Hannah.

 

An Update on the Disaffiliation Process from the Appointive Cabinet of the Arkansas Conference

July 18, 2022

An Update on the Disaffiliation Process from the Appointive Cabinet of the Arkansas Conference

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

¶ 2553 of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church was adopted by the 2019 Called General Conference as a means for congregations to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church until December 31, 2023, for reasons of conscience concerning human sexuality. The General Council on Finance and Administration, Judicial Council, and 2021 Session of the Arkansas Annual Conference each shaped the way it might be utilized by our congregations. Those of us who are part of the Appointive Cabinet, in consultation with the Director of Administrative Services and the Conference Chancellor, designed the specific steps of the process that can be used by a congregation to discover God’s will for its future.

During a series of late winter and early spring meetings with clergy and laity, Bishop Mueller highlighted four things about this process. First, the majority of congregations and individual United Methodists in Arkansas, regardless of whether they are traditional, moderate, centrist, or progressive, will choose to remain in the denomination. Second, it is essential for the entire annual conference to embrace a heart of peace and not a heart of war, and to respect the decisions that congregations and individuals make. Third, it is important to help congregations land where God is leading them as quickly and easily as possible while protecting the legitimate interests of the United Methodist Church. Fourth, a minimum three-month discernment process will be used by congregations exploring the possibility of disaffiliation prior to any vote. While pastors have every right to express their opinion, this time of intentional prayer, study, reflection, listening to God, and conversation that allows all individuals the opportunity to voice their questions and opinions is the work of church members and will be led by laity.

Those of us tasked with superintending have encountered a steep learning curve as we have worked with churches in the past couple of months. We want to share some of what we have learned and how it will impact the process moving forward.

First, our assumption that the majority of Arkansas United Methodist Churches will remain in the denomination at this time has proved to be true for progressives, centrists, moderates, and traditionalists. Fewer than 10% of our churches have formally entered the process to possibly consider disaffiliation.

Second, we have experienced time and again how painful this process can be for congregations and individuals. We are grateful for the many laity and clergy who are embracing hearts of peace. At the same time, we are concerned that some are choosing to display hearts of war. If you have any doubt about why we are concerned, a quick survey of social media will make it abundantly clear.

Third, we honestly expected that laity would lead the congregation in a time of deep and prayerful discernment. While this certainly is happening in the vast majority of our churches, there are a few instances where the actions of pastors and congregations are contrary to our expectations.

Quite frankly, this caught us off guard. We have entered into conversations with these congregations and individuals, and are hopeful about the outcome. We also have revised the documents guiding the discernment process. This includes explicitly detailing expectations about the pastor’s role, providing additional details about the discernment process that must be agreed to before the Appointive Cabinet will approve a congregation’s discernment process, and making it clear that the District Superintendent will not certify the completion of a congregation’s discernment process if he or she does not believe it has been fair and open, which is a requirement before a Church Conference can be called to vote on disaffiliation. You can find all of the revised materials here.

These clarifications will apply to all congregations beginning the process, but will also be implemented as soon as possible in those congregations that already are involved in the process. Your District Superintendent will work with you to ensure as smooth a transition as possible on a church-by-church basis. These detailed clarifications are not intended to make disaffiliation more difficult. Rather, they simply are to ensure that the process reflects our original intention of enabling churches to discern God’s will for their future.

Fourth, we want to remind you that a church is not disaffiliated until it completes the standard Disaffiliation Agreement adopted by the Arkansas Conference Board of Trustees and the Annual Conference votes to ratify the congregation’s vote. Lay and clergy members of the Annual Conference ultimately make the final determination. While this may be a perfunctory act in most cases since congregations are following the principles previously adopted by the Annual Conference, those voting always have the right to vote their conscience in every situation.

We believe It is in the most challenging of times that we have the greatest opportunity to witness to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Another way of saying this is, “Never waste a crisis!” This is something all of us can do together. Let’s embrace a heart of peace and, even more importantly, demonstrate it through your words, posts on social media and actions. Let’s assume the best about others and respect their decisions. And let’s always keep the main thing the main thing – making disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped and sent to transform lives, communities and the world.

 

Come, Holy Spirit, come!


Gary E. Mueller, Bishop


Jim Polk, Assistant to the Bishop


Blake Bradford, Northwest District Superintendent


Ann Ferris, Southwest District Superintendent


John A. Fleming, Northeast District Superintendent


Edna Morgan, Southeast District Superintendent


U.C. Washington, Central District Superintendent