2018 Annual Conference pursues new paths
Shorter schedule among the changes
BY HOLLY MCCRAY
Delegates and guests to the 2018 Annual Conference should prepare for a meeting transformed in purpose and schedule — and should register online now to attend.
The abbreviated meeting in Oklahoma City will open early May 29 (Tuesday) and conclude May 31 (Thursday). Activities will NOT be held on Memorial Day, as in past years.
With one exception, Oklahoma City University will host all events, with its Freede Center as hub. That exception: St. Luke’s UMC is site for the Service of Commissioning and Ordination on the evening of May 30 (Wednesday).
You’re invited to Annual Conference to journey alongside other Oklahoma laity and clergy on a “Quest” in pursuit of United Methodism’s primary mission: “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Wednesday for workshops:
Teaching and workshops will fill most of May 30 (Wednesday), led by Junius Dotson, who launched the denomination’s #See All the People initiative and is the denomination’s general secretary of Discipleship Ministries.
In the afternoon, the first set of workshops will be organized by church size. The second set — about 20 classes — offers choice among topics, based on your personal preference.
At lunchtime that day, multiple food trucks will serve you right outside the Freede Center.
Most Annual Conference business will be conducted on Tuesday and Thursday.
You must sign up separately for special events such as seminary luncheons and the Missions Breakfast. A Laity Luncheon is not planned this year.
Annual Conference Offering:
The Annual Conference Offering will benefit an outreach effort that can help each church build relationships with firefighters, police officers, and other first responders in a community. The donations will purchase copies of the devotional book “Strength for Service to God and Community” at a discount, for distribution by Oklahoma churches to those crucial community leaders.
Repair homes with bishop:
“Let’s Finish This” will be a rally call led by Bishop Jimmy Nunn during the three-day meeting. Volunteers are being called to sign up for service this summer to complete repairs to about 40 storm-damaged Oklahoma homes. The Disaster Response Ministry of the Conference’s Office of Mission is overseeing this effort. The bishop himself plans to work beside other volunteers on project sites.
Consent calendar is new:
For the first time, a consent calendar will expedite business plenaries.
Delegates can learn more about this by attending pre-conference district meetings, reading the Pre-Conference Workbook, and watching a video featuring Bishop Nunn.
View or download the Pre-Conference Workbook: www.okumc.org/preconferenceworkbook. Watch the video: www.okumc.org/consentcalendar.
Pre-Conference District Meetings:
April 15, at 4 p.m., Woodward-First UMC, (Cimarron District)
April 22, at 2 p.m., Orlando UMC (Northern Prairie District)
April 22, at 5:30 p.m., McDaniel Student Center at Oklahoma City University (Heartland and Crossroads Districts)
April 29, at 4 p.m., Tulsa-Faith UMC (Council Oak and Green Country Districts)
May 6, at 3:30 p.m., Coalgate UMC (Lake Country District)
Download the app:
The digital hub for all things Annual Conference is www.okumc.org/annual_conference
You also can download the free Annual Conference app on your smartphone. Search for OKUMC or Oklahoma UMC in the iTunes App Store or Google Play stores.
Watch for updated information online and on the app in days to come and during the three days of Annual Conference.
The plenaries will be streamed live online.
Attention, clergy: In addition to registering to attend the meeting, you must sign up in advance for two key Annual Conference activities.
All clergy — active and retired — need to sign up online now to schedule your official photo session with Lifetouch. Use the link in the Annual Conference digital hub.
Health screenings are limited to active clergy and their spouses, and they must register between May 1 and 15 to participate. Watch for email from the Conference Benefits team with instructions.