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Northern Illinois Annual Conference moves to teleconference meeting in November

Posted: June 4 2020 at 01:21 PM
Author: NIC Annual Conference Committee


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We want to begin by hoping that all of you are doing well and staying safe at home as we learn to live with this new virus until we find a vaccine for it. I also want to thank you all for being patient with your Annual Conference committee, as we have journeyed through these last couple of months, discerning the best format for our 2020 Annual Conference session.

We have taken this time because we wanted to be sure we were doing the right thing and would do all we can to not put anyone’s health at risk. So, given the uncertainty of how long we will need to maintain safe distancing, and how long before gatherings of about 1000+ people will be permissible, the Annual Conference Committee and Bishop have approved to hold a ‘virtual 2020 Annual Conference session’ on Saturday, November 14, 2020.

While so much has changed and our buildings remain closed, this year’s theme “Y Church?” still seems relevant as the church continues to be a presence (while not necessarily in-person) in our communities by meeting people’s spiritual, emotional and physical needs.

While we do not have all the details figured out yet, here are some things we can tell you:

  • It will be a teleconference (audio only), not a Zoom call (no video). • A toll-free number will be provided for us to dial in.
  • It will a maximum of a 4-hour call with a break.
  • Web trainings will be available prior to the call to help us understand the process to use this phone service.
  • Given the nature of this call, and in consultation with our chancellor, only necessary actions will be taken, 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 offered either before or after November 14. Episcopal and Laity addresses may also be delivered in the same format.
  • A virtual Clergy Session will be held on Monday, June 29 from10 am- 12 noon. Registration and more information will be made available soon.
  • The AC Committee is still looking at options for the Ordination Service for the class of 2020 ordinands. 
  • Webinars/Zoom meetings will be scheduled to discuss: the budget and legislation ahead of time to answer questions and for clarification.
  • Historical reports and legislation will be available on the conference website by October 14.


Friends, if this seems overwhelming, please know that we feel the same. We are all learning as we go along. We do hope to get some guidance from other Annual Conferences who are using similar platforms to hold their Annual Conference session before us. We humbly ask that you help us make this session successful by making sure the conference has the correct names of your lay members to Annual Conference and alternates. Please enter the information in the Conference Portal or contact your District Administrative Assistant. This will help the Committee on Credentials with the credentialing process.

Please check our website at umcnic.org/AC2020 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,
Rev. Ryan Sutton, Chair of the Committee on Credentials,
Rev. Melissa Meyers, Chair of Worship Planning 

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