WHO DETERMINED THE BUSINESS TO BE COVERED?
This session will consider only “essential business” of the Annual Conference, which Bishop Trimble will determine in consultation with the Extended Cabinet and those charged with planning the Annual Conference Session.
WILL HEALTH GUIDELINES BE FOLLOWED?
We have consulted health officials and church officials in determining what is essential business according to the Book of Discipline and in designing appropriate ways to guarantee the health of all members and participants. We have used as our guide the theme for the Conference to: Do No Harm; Do Good; Stay In Love With God. All sessions will be virtual. We encourage members to connect from their home devices. There will be limited space for people to gather in regional settings if needed.
WHY ARE THERE MULTIPLE SESSIONS OVER SEVERAL WEEKS?
In order to complete all the essential business and allow for computer fatigue of long virtual meetings, it is necessary to have more than one session. Clergy met on July 18 to conduct all essential clergy votes. Laity will meet virtually on July 25 to be informed and inspired for ministry. Members will meet virtually on August 15 and October 10 for 2 plenary sessions to vote on essential business, including the 2021 budget.
HOW WILL THE VIRTUAL MEETINGS WORK?
On August 15, the bishop and a few essential Conference leaders will gather at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, from which the live program will originate and be shared. We will also host regional sites for a small number of voting members to gather.
On October 10, the bishop and a few essential Conference leaders will gather at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis from which the live program will originate and be shared.
We have a contract with GNTV services to host a webinar and a platform for voting. GNTV has worked with several annual conferences and have a proven record of success. They will provide training for all members so that we are prepared for the session. Every member will use his or her personal device for voting and to connect to the webinar. Every registered member will be given personalized “log-in” credentials several days before the scheduled session.
WHAT ABOUT OUR SPECIAL WORSHIP TIMES?
We will virtually worship except for invited participants and guests.
August 15 will be the Celebration of Ministry Worship at 2pm ET. We will honor those retiring in 2020, commission provisional members, ordain deacons and Elders, and the Bishop will set all appointments.
October 10 will be the Celebration of Life Worship at 10:45am ET. We will have a special time to remember and honor Bishop Mike Coyner and celebrate and honor clergy and spouses who have entered their eternal home.
HOW DO MEMBERS PREPARE TO FULLY PARTICIPATE?
All members must register to receive their individual log-in credentials. All members must read and consider the online reports and presentations before the sessions convene. All members are encouraged to attend one of the voting training sessions.
WHERE DO WE FIND REPORTS?
All reports and presentations will be posted no later than August 1, 2020, for members to read and consider. You can find these reports here. All members are asked to send questions or concerns by August 10 so that they can be cared for before the August 15 session. Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN ARE THE TRAINING SESSIONS?
There are 2 training sessions planned so that members learn how to participate and vote with confidence. You can connect to either one or both if you want.
Training sessions are:
WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR THE 2021 ANNUAL CONFERENCE?
At this time we are planning to meet in person June 10-12, 2021, at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. It is our hope that it will be safe to gather as the Body of Christ for business, fellowship and worship. We will work with health and church officials to make appropriate decisions in Spring 2021.