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New Jersey Conference Delegates Reelect Officers at Constituency Session
Story by Taashi Rowe
Jim Greene, executive secretary and his wife, Joyce; José H. Cortes, president, and his wife, Celia; and Modesto Vazquez, treasurer, and his wife, Milca
Some 242 New Jersey Conference delegates met yesterday for their 39th regular constituency session during which they reelected their top three officers. Delegates, who met at the Robbinsville (N.J.) church—the conference’s largest—returned José H. Cortés as president, Jim Greene as executive secretary and Modesto Vazquez as treasurer.
Delegates also heard reports from the president, treasurer, secretary and other conference departments. During the president’s video report, Cortés shared that over the last quinquennium, the conference held 529 evangelism meetings and gained 4,208 new members bringing the total membership to 14,123. During that same period, the church also gained eight churches bringing the total churches in the conference to 86. The conference also added four companies and 14 Mission Caleb groups, the latter being the conference’s church planting effort.
Vazquez shared that tithe has increased by 16 percent bringing the total tithe to $53.1 million for the quinquennium. The conference’s required working capital also increased from 51.69 percent in 2006 to 134.04 percent as of December 31, 2011. Vazquez noted that even during the nation’s financial downturn, members continued to support the church’s work in New Jersey. “We praise the Lord because He gave us the blessing of dedicated brothers and sisters who sustain the work of the Lord through their resources,” he said.
After marveling at how much the Lord has blessed the conference, Cortés said, “Let nobody be confused. Everything that happened in this conference came from the Lord. Nothing came about because of man’s effort alone. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus.”
He then proceeded to ask members of the executive committee, conference staff, pastors and their families, teachers, elders and deaconesses and members to stand. After he called each group’s name, he thanked them for allowing the Lord to use them to contribute to the church’s growth.
Delegates also heard and voted on several recommended changes to the conference’s constitution and bylaws. One particular area, which generated much discussion, was a proposal to reduce the number of delegates sent to each constituency session from one representative for every 50 members to one representative for every 125. The proposal was made in an effort to head off increasing costs and limited space to host what will most likely be a larger delegation at the next constituency session.
Michael Martin, a member of the Luzo-Brazillian church Newark worried more what he called a “dilution of the vote,” and said, “There is no doubt there will be funds for all delegates to come here and vote.” He was also confident that there would be a sufficient place to hold the meeting.
A majority of the delegates agreed with Martin and at 4:26 p.m. they roundly defeated the measure. “This was the most important thing we voted on today,” said Roy McDonald, a member of the First Bilingual church of Somerset.
At the end of the day, Cortés set a goal to add 20 new churches to the conference in the next quinquennium and increase the membership to at least 18,000. He also unveiled the conference’s new website newjerseyconference.org.
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