Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference,
The Annual Conference Planning Committee and the leaders of the Conference are working hard to plan our first ever virtual conference. Thank you to everyone who responded to the paper ballot that was sent in June and voted to change the standing rules so that we can host a virtual conference and accomplish the business necessary to go forward for the coming year while maintaining the safety and health of our delegates.
Worship Services & Business Sessions
Annual Conference will be on Saturday, August 15, from 8:30 am – 4 pm. In addition to this virtual gathering, we will host the clergy session virtually on the afternoon of Sunday, August 2 as well as four virtual worship services. The August 2 clergy session and the August 15 business session will utilize an online meeting and voting platform that will allow members to securely participate using an internet-connected device. A non-voting live stream option will be available on the conference website for any guests who wish to view the sessions. The four worship services will be streamed on the conference website. A more detailed agenda will be available soon.
- August 2 - Virtual Clergy Session, 3 pm - 5 pm
- August 8 - Virtual Commissioning Service, 2 pm
- August 9 - Virtual Ordination Service, 4 pm
- August 11 - Virtual Retiree Recognition, 7 pm
- August 13 - Virtual Memorial Service, 7 pm
- August 15 - Virtual Annual Conference Session, 8:30 am - 4 pm
Book of Recommendations and Reports
Business items for the 2020 Annual Conference session are contained in the Book of Recommendations and Reports (BOR). Inside the BOR you'll find helpful annual conference information, detailed reports from conference ministries, pension and benefits recommendations, conference budgets, and much more. One of the purposes of the BOR is to allow you to read the recommendations and reports before the annual conference session. As it's always been, the BOR will be an invaluable resource prior to and throughout the Annual Conference session. The BOR is now available for download as a PDF file at no cost in its entirety or in sections. You can also purchase it for $11 (plus tax and shipping) as a professionally bound book here, through lulu.com*. (Use code PUBLISH15 for 15% off through July 17)
The Book of Recommendations and Reports will not be mailed. If you prefer a printed copy versus a digital download, you must print it at church, at home, or purchase it here.
Several reports that did not make the Book of Recommendations, including the full agenda and the nominations report, will be placed on the conference website and an email sent out when they are available.
In addition to the BOR, a series of videos will be made available prior to conference that will provide additional details and explanations of several important motions that will be brought to conference for vote. An email will be sent out once these videos are available. You are encouraged to watch these videos prior to conference. Because of our limited time frame, much of what will be on the videos will not be presented during the virtual conference. We anticipate that the reports during the virtual conference will refer to the videos, the BOR, and other information provided online, but we will not present the information again. For you to be adequately informed so that you can cast your votes you will need to study the BOR and any other information presented online.
Training Opportunities, Voter Identification, & Email Verification
We are providing several opportunities for training on how to log in to the virtual conference, how to speak during conference, how to make motions, and how to use your personal voter identification to cast your votes during conference. Each delegate will receive a personal voter identification via email prior to conference. Pastors and church administrative assistants, please take the time now to check the church dashboard and ensure that the correct person is listed as your delegate and that your delegate has an email address listed. For the information on training opportunities and your delegate’s voter identification to reach the right person, the information in the console must be correct. If you need help verifying or making a correction, please contact your district office or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- July 13 - Clergy must have email address on record in conference database
- July 28 - Clergy and lay members of the Board of Ministry receive voting credentials for Clergy Session by email
- July 29 - Online platform & voting training - 2 pm
- July 30 - Online platform & voting training - 8 am
- July 30 - Lay members must have email address on record in conference database
- August 10 - Online platform & voting training - 6 pm
- August 11 - Online platform & voting training - 10 am
- August 11 - Laity & clergy receive voting credentials for Annual Conference by email
Make sure to review the FAQs about the virtual Annual Conference Session. Please continue to visit www.sgaumc.org/annualconference often as we approach annual conference.
If you are a clergy person reading this email, please make sure your charge-wide lay member to Annual Conference has this information. In the same respect, if you are the lay member to Annual Conference, please ensure that your pastor(s) has seen this information.
I am excited about the program plans that have been put in place by our Annual Conference program team, our worship team, and our Bishop. We look forward to “seeing” you soon!
Dr. Nita Crump