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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – On the floor of the Bancorpsouth Arena, prayers are being voiced, there’s lively praise music denominational business is being conducted.

“We’re just busy this week, it’s a wonderful experience,” said Rev. Clementine Mays, host pastor of the conference.

Once again, Tupelo is hosting the annual meeting of the Fourth Episcopal District of the CME Church.

The focus of the meeting is adapting the church for the 21st century and for the first time the district’s leadership training school is part of the conference. In previous years the leadership school was held at Rust College.

“We train our youth and young adults and pastors in transformation classes, the polity and doctrine of the church, however, this year leadership school is in with our annual conference. It makes it a lot better because you have more pastors able to attend and don’t have to take off work, those who are bi vocational. It helps our children to learn the ins and outs of an annual conference as well,” Dr. Mays said.

CME leaders are intentional about involving young people in church business.

“During the conference our children are learning now about budgets, what it means to have appointments made, the voting process, how delegates will be elected to go to general conference in 2014,” Rev. Mays said.

Church members are also encouraged to be actively involved in ministry in their communities. Odies Powers is in charge of recruitment.

“We go from church to church in our district setting up lay ministries in churches, this will be a good thing for our lay department, just to let them know we’;re not just about church, but about ministry as well, sometimes we get caught up in church work and forget about ministry,” Powers said.

Delegates say the conference is inspiring and uplifting . When the conference wraps up Friday, these delegates will go back to their home churches, refreshed , renewed and better equipped to help their congregations make an eternal impact in their communities.

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