Parishioners descend upon Clovis

United Methodist Church parishioners from across the state, as well as two Texas cities, have descended on Clovis this week for the church's 138th New Mexico Annual Conference.

According to Keath Baskett, pastor at First United Methodist Church, this is the first time in nearly 70 years that the annual conference has been held in Clovis.

"Our members have been doing everything we can, including getting hotel rooms, locating restaurants, and getting maps," said Baskett. "Everything to make sure delegates can make their way around town and feel welcomed."

Representatives from nearly 150 churches in the region have spent the past few days hearing reports from area United Methodist Church ministries, setting policies and a budget for the coming year.

"We will also be commissioning and ordaining pastors and other servants for the church," Baskett said.

During the ceremony, Joe Whitley will be appointed as the new pastor at Hamlin Memorial Methodist Church in Farwell, according to Karla Abernethy-Thetford, communications director for the conference.

Young adults from the church also took part in a mission project while in Clovis, according to Thetford.

College-age members of the church spent four hours at the Lighthouse Mission yesterday where they cleaned, sorted and hung clothes to directly benefit the less fortunate, and also helped do odd jobs around the facility.

In addition, Baskett said parishioners will be gathering materials for health kits that will be transported to the victims of the Moore, Okla., tornado.

"It's a very important meeting and an important time," said Baskett. "I think everyone's glad to be here in Clovis."

"We'll certainly be praying for rain, too," he added.

— By Emily Crowe CNJ STAFF WRITER, ecrowe@cnjonline.com

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