Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,
Paul reminds us in Romans 8:28, “In all things God works for good!” I believe this to be true during these uncertain days known as the 2020 Pandemic. Local church leaders are sharing many success stories as they find new ways to connect to God, church members and their communities. Glory to God!
I am writing to share new information about the 2020 Annual Conference Session. Bishop Trimble and the Annual Conference Session Leadership Team have consulted with IU Health officials in regular conversation. It is now necessary to make some adaptive changes to our plan. These changes are being made so that we can do our essential work and provide safety to our members.
The Annual Conference dates will not change. We continue to plan to convene the Annual Conference Session for two, one-day sessions; the first on August 15 and the second on October 10.
The August 15 agenda will be adjusted so that we accomplish essential business, honor our retirees, and worship together to Celebrate Ministry as we commission and ordain clergy. The result is that the Laity Session and the Clergy Session will now meet virtually in July. The Clergy Session is scheduled on July 18, and the Laity Session on July 25. You will receive more information about these virtual meetings soon.
During the October 10 meeting, we will make decisions on the 2021 budget, care for any essential business that remains, and celebrate and honor in virtual worship our legacy churches and remember those who have died.
You will be receiving more information soon about how to register and the details of the agenda. This is what you need to know as you plan:
On August 15, there are three options for you to consider:
- Connect from home
- Gather at one of 10 regional sites
- Travel to Indiana Wesleyan University
It will be required that you register and designate your choice because we will limit the number of people who can be present at all sites to ensure social distancing and a healthy environment. The Celebration of Ministry worship will be live streamed at 2:00 p.m. so that everyone can participate.
On October 10, we plan a virtual experience for everyone, with the exception of a few essential persons for presentations and worship.
Together, we have experienced many new ways to connect, worship, care for one another, and do business. I believe “God is working for good” in the midst of all that is different and new.
I ask that you continue to pray for our Bishop, our Conference Superintendents and Directors, and the leaders of the conference and local congregations as we continue on this journey in faithfulness to our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We shall practice our commitment to “Do no harm. Do good. And stay in love with God.”
Rev. Dr. Cindy Reynolds
Annual Conference Sessions Team Chair