Bishop Ward gives us updates on the 2020 apportionments and the 2021 virtual Annual Conference, scheduled for June 16-19, while thanking churches for their faithfulness in supporting the connection.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all of our life together and for your faithfulness and partnership in Christ’s ministry through The United Methodist Church. First, I’d like to thank you for your faithfulness in supporting the apportionments in 2020. Over 85 percent of the apportionments were contributed by churches across our Annual Conference, a remarkable, remarkable thing in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. This is a sign of your trust in one another, your trust in Christ, and your love for our connection.
As a result of this strong continuing commitment to Christ’s ministry, 90 percent of the apportionments will again be spent here in the North Carolina Annual Conference to support ministry, and nine or ten percent will be used to support ministry of our church across the United States and around the world. Thank you.
Secondly, I would like to give you an update on plans for Annual Conference this year in 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic, it will not be safe to gather in June, in Greenville in the Convention Center. We will have a virtual Annual Conference on the same designated dates in June [June 16-19]. On Wednesday, the clergy session will assemble, on Thursday lay and clergy members will gather for the full session of the Annual Conference, and on Friday and Saturday, ordinations will be celebrated in small configurations of four or five ordinands across Friday and Saturday. Those who retired this year and those who retired last year will be honored and a memorial service will be held for all our beloved friends, clergy, and their spouses, who have died in the last two years.
Stay tuned as we continue to work towards the virtual session. The virtual session will be interactive, unlike last year. There will be an opportunity for give and take, for comments and questions, and we look forward to sharing together in this annual celebration of our United Methodist life.
May Christ be with you as we continue to be faithful in the ministry to which we are called through The United Methodist Church.