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Annual Conference moves to webinar format

Posted: July 21 2020 at 05:14 PM

Dear Clergy and Lay Members of the Northern Illinois Conference, 

This has been a season of changes and new learnings, as we all figure out ways to do things differently. The Annual Conference Committee is also working through these changes.

Last time we communicated, we shared that the 2020 Annual Conference session would be held using a telephone platform. However, as the committee heard from other Annual Conferences using the same technology, we learned of their challenges and started to look for other options.

Researching other Annual Conference plans, we found a different platform that would accommodate all our needs. Good News TV (GNTV), a video ministry related to The United Methodist Church, will be able to serve us through the webinar format via Zoom video conferencing. A dial-in option will be available. Observers will also be able to follow on Facebook Live.

The session will be held on the same date, Saturday, November 14, 2020, for a maximum of four hours. Other details:

  • GNTV will offer training sessions to help us become familiar with the format. They will also provide technical assistance the day of the session. 
  • Online registration will be similar to the in-person session process, and each person registered will get a unique ID number that will be used to vote. Even if several people are participating at one location or connection – each will be able to vote. GNTV has created software that enables safe voting and can give us results within a few minutes.
  • To help the credentials committee, please ensure that the correct names of your church's lay members to Annual Conference and alternates are entered in the lay leadership portal.
  • We still will take care of only necessary actions and business, which means fewer reports and legislation. Everything that is not essential for 2020 will be acted upon at the 2021 AC session.
  • Worship experiences incorporating traditions important to our Annual Conference will be recorded and premiered for viewing. The Worship Committee is preparing a timeline.
  • Webinars/Zoom meetings will be scheduled ahead of time to discuss the budget and legislation.
  • Historical reports and legislation will be available on the conference website by October 14.
  • Pre-Conference online Bible studies will held on three Thursdays in October with Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary for Discipleship Ministries, focusing on the conference's three strategic goals. Mark your calendars for Oct. 1, 8 and 22 at 10 am and look for more details and registration at a later date.

Friends, we know that it not easy for us to navigate these changes. Your Annual Conference Committee is trying their best to offer the best possible platform that will accommodate all our needs and have the least challenges. GNTV knows the United Methodist proceedings, so we feel cautiously confident. 

Please continue to refer to the AC webpage and eNews for dates, deadlines and details on all of these plans as they are finalized. And once again, thank you for your patience and your support in these very uncertain times.

Stay home, friends, and be safe!

Rev. Alka Lyall, Chair of Annual Conference Committee

Rev. Katie Voigt, Chair of Daily Proceedings

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