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Frequently Asked Questions

Ac 2020 Logo Virtual Final 2

AC2020 Frequently Asked Questions

When is Annual Conference?

Our Annual Conference Session will be held on Saturday, November 14 via Zoom Webinar. We will begin at 10am and finish at 3:30pm, with a break from 12 noon to 1:30pm. The Retirement Service will follow via video premiere at at 4:30pm. The Memorial Service video will premiere earlier in the week on Thursday, November 12 at 7pm. The Commissioning and Ordination Service will be held on Friday, November 13 at 4pm via livestream at and Facebook Live (be sure to follow Northern Illinois Conference – UMC at ( More details coming...

What is the theme of our Annual Conference?

Our theme for Annual Conference, conceived more than a year ago, couldn’t be more pertinent in 2020: Y Church! Since mid-March, we’ve lost the fellowship and the in-person gatherings that we took for granted and yet we’ve learned some new ways of being church through far-reaching online worship, renewed small groups and expanded mission outreach. During AC2020, we have an opportunity to think about “why church” in terms of what it really means to be church.

Do I have to register for Annual Conference?

All clergy and lay members to annual conference must register to participate in the November 14 Annual Conference session. Only those registered will receive a Zoom link and an ID that will allow them to vote. Questions about registration? Contact Laura Lopez at  Guests, observers  and alternate lay members to annual conference (unless the lay member cannot attend) do not need to register and will be able to view a livestream of annual conference (access details coming soon).

If you missed the Bible study sessions, you can view them at The Retirement Service, Memorial Service, and Ordination and Commissioning Service are open to all to view and do not require registration. Access details will be provided closer to AC2020.

What does “virtual conference” mean?

Even with cautionary limits on large gatherings, technology has given us an opportunity to meet “virtually” via our computers, tablets, and smartphones. This year’s location for conducting the business of annual conference will be online utilizing Zoom Webinar. This platform will allow clergy and lay members to annual conference to meet, vote, ask questions and complete the business of the annual conference. “Guests” to annual conference will be able to view the proceedings via livestream.

What is the difference between Zoom and Zoom Webinar?

Many local churches have used Zoom for Bible Studies, staff meetings, and other online gatherings. Zoom Webinar is different! While Zoom Webinar will allow our approximately 1000 members to participate from the comfort of their own homes, there is a difference in how one participates. Because it would be overwhelming for most people to see nearly 1000 tiny pictures of our participants, you will see only the presenters. Registered participants will still be able to ask questions, debate and vote.

What do I have to do in order to participate?

First, all clergy people and lay members to annual conference must register by midnight, October 25. In order to help the day go smoothly, we recommend registered participants attend a technology training session on Wednesday, November 11 at 1pm or 7pm or Thursday, November 12 at 9am. Each session will last 90 minutes and will cover both participation in Zoom Webinar and the voting process.

How will we vote?

Registered participants will receive an email shortly before annual conference. It will include a link to the November 14 annual conference session, a voter identification number and instructions for voting.

Can registered lay members to annual conference or clergy people share a computer to participate in the virtual annual conference?

Yes, they can share a computer to participate and share a computer to vote. However, if you can use your own laptop, tablet, or smartphone to vote, it may make the process easier.  Access tips for voting and Zoom webinar participation will be provided when the Voter ID and Zoom link is emailed.  In addition, the technical training sessions mentioned above will walk you through the process of voting and participating.

What if we do not have internet service?

There will be a phone-in option that includes voting; however, participants will miss out on the visuals associated with the presentations. We recommend contacting your local church for suggestions about any technology limitations.

What about the Bishop’s Appeal?

Bishop Sally Dyck chose Rev. Young Seon (Christina) Kim’s secondary school in Tanzania as the Bishop’s Appeal. Rev. Kim is a member of NIC and is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries and hopes that we can help her complete construction on the secondary school in time to open in 2021. Please visit to view several videos about the school as a way of energizing your congregation’s generosity. You are invited to make a gift during the registration process or send your gift postmarked by November 2 to Northern Illinois Conference, PO Box 5646, Carol Stream, IL 60197-5646 and put "Bishop's Appeal" in the memo line. You may also text give” to 844-563-0429 and follow the steps.

Is there a Mission Challenge?

Yes! This year’s mission challenge will be to collect Hurricane Relief items for Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC), our United Methodist disaster relief supply center just south of Springfield, Ill., which is celebrating 20 years of ministry in 2020. There is no district challenge and churches may donate any item off the wish list. For collection sites and donation items, go to

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