ALCOA, Tenn. -- About 200 secretaries from 34 states attended the 29th Annual Professional United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) Conference April 7-10 at the Hilton near McGhee-Tyson Airport.
Ten secretaries from Holston attended the gathering which was hosted by Holston Conference.
The theme was "Blossoming in God's Love." Cheryl Thompson, administrative assistant for the Maryville District, served as site chair.
"PAUMCS is a wonderful organization for all Methodist secretaries," said Thompson. "With our certification class offered through General Council on Finance and Administration, we can have advanced professional training and enrichment for United Methodist church secretaries. Participants are introduced to business concepts required for understanding the financial operations of the church as well as relationships with the pastor, church employees, and members of the congregations.
"Our annual conference is held once a year at different locations, and we have the opportunity of continuing education for our ministry and also meeting secretaries from different areas and networking with them so we can better serve our congregations, district office, conference office, foundations and agencies and Episcopal office," Thompson added. "The evaluation forms we received back this year were so wonderful with their ratings on our workshop leaders and our worship services."
Participants attended workshops and joined for buffet meals and outings to Dollywood and Tanger Outlet in Pigeon Forge and the Museum of Appalachia in Norris. Workshops included:
- Donna Hankins, Holston Conference multimedia coordinator, "Cyber Safety"
- Rev. Mary Parsons, Holston Conference sexual ethics trainer, "Sexual Ethics"
- Deborah Yeomans, staff attorney at Legal Aid of East Tennessee, "Breaking the Silence: Domestic Violence Awareness"
- Tony Crisp, City of Maryville public safety director, "Identity Theft," "Office Safety"
- Cherrie Graham, United Methodist Reporter, "Church Communications"
New officers for the 2011-2012 year were elected and installed. Barbara Kingsley of New York was elected president. Lisa Morris of Indiana was elected vice president. Cheryl Thompson of Holston (Tennessee) was elected to the Nominating Committee. (See officers roster.)
As part of the PAUMCS 2011 mission project, participants collected school supplies for Beacon School at Holston Home for Children.
Following a celebration banquet at the Hilton, Bishop James Swanson preached at concluding worship on Saturday evening at First Alcoa United Methodist Church.
He expressed how proud Holston was to host the conference and talked about grace and how God loves even when it is not deserved.
"How many you would have believed that you could come to a beautiful place like this and that the church would pay for you to come?" he said.
He concluded with, "I know you already do exceedingly great things and that at times in your offices there are miracles."
The Holston Conference Secretaries Association meets annually each September in Pigeon Forge. For more information, contact Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Holston Conference Secretaries Association web site
- More photos from the April 7-10 on Facebook.Holston.org
- "Church secretaries: 'I feel like I am the ambassador of the church'" (The Call, Sept. 24, 2008)
- "Reading List: Church secretaries" (The Call, Sept. 24, 2008)