Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and Conference Secretary Jerry Bryan announced that Annual Conference 2017 is scheduled as a weekend conference. The gathering convenes Friday morning, June 16 and concludes mid-day on Sunday, June 18.
Upon Bryan’s recommendation at Annual Conference 2015, the body voted to meet at the Greenville Convention Center in 2016-18 in order to be able to book the conference center on the preferred dates as many centers book years in advance.
Bishop Ward explained that the decision to move to a weekend format is to make service as a lay member of Annual Conference “more accessible” for those who work during the week. “We hope this will increase the number of younger professionals who can be a part of Annual Conference,” she said. In addition, the decision was also made to help part-time Local Pastors who have employment elsewhere during the week.
The bishop said that resources are being developed to help educate local churches about Annual Conference and to help churches make use of the conference’s network of certified Lay Speakers to preach in local churches on June 18 while the Annual Conference clergy and lay members are concluding the business of the meeting and for the Ordering of Ministry worship service on Sunday morning.