Bishop Ward shares the plans for the 2020 Annual Conference as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
We are Easter people profoundly connected in this time of COVID-19. The pandemic continues and so it is impacting our decisions and planning toward the 2020 session of the North Carolina Annual Conference. Rather than the usual multi-day Conference, we will gather virtually on Thursday morning June 18 from 10:00 am until noon. We’ll worship together and care for the essential business of the Annual Conference. You will be able to receive your advance material to prepare for the Annual Conference session either through the mail, using paper, or by going online. Soon you’ll have an opportunity to indicate your preferences in that regard.
As we move through the Annual Conference session, you will be able to vote on the matters before us either on a paper ballot to be mailed back or online. There will be opportunities to engage prior to Annual Conference in a web-based setting where you may ask questions and have conversation with those who will be presenting the reports.
We will wait until June 2021 to gather in our All Saints service as we remember those who’ve died in the past year. We will also postpone until June 2021 the celebration of and recognition of those who are retiring this year. The clergy session will be held at Saint Luke United Methodist Church Sanford, on Saturday, September 19 at 10 am. The same day at 2 pm, we will have the ordering of ministry service in which we will set apart for ministry those who are commissioned into missionary service or set apart as lay missioners in our church. We will also commission and ordain clergy.
I invite your prayers for all of these times together. Continue to stay alert to the Conference website and to the emails which come to you and to your mail so that you may be updated and prepared for this annual time in which we gather to connect anew with one another to be revived in our life together and to make important decisions. Be sure if you have made a reservation at a hotel for Annual Conference to cancel it immediately so that you will be prepared for the virtual Annual Conference on June 18.
Our prayers continue for these plans and for all our life together.