Annual Conference Memorial Service moved to May 31 at Huffman UMC

March 09, 2007

Bishop William H. Willimon and the Annual Conference planning team announce a change to the previously released schedule for the 2007 Annual Conference events. The Memorial Service, during which the Annual Conference pauses to remember and celebrate the lives of those clergy and clergy spouses who have died in the last year, will now be held on Thursday evening May 31 at 7 p.m. at Huffman UMC.

"The Memorial Service has long been an important part of our Annual Conference. I have been concerned that the service gets wedged in to an already full day of business,” Bishop Willimon says. “I have heard many good suggestions for how to improve our announced format for Annual Conference. So, in response to these concerns, particularly from our retired clergy, we are making Thursday evening a special time of remembrance and thanksgiving for our departed servants of Christ."

Originally the service was to be held on Saturday, November 3 at Gadsden First UMC. The previous thought was to provide the Annual Conference an additional time to gather and worship during the year by connecting the Memorial Service to All Saints Sunday. However, the Bishop and Planning Team have now decided it more important to keep the service close to the Annual Business meeting while still making sure this celebration of the saints and their ministry among us does not get diminished among all the business of the Annual Conference.

Why does the Annual Conference hold an annual Memorial Service? When a clergy is ordained, he or she is no longer a member of any individual congregation. Instead, he or she becomes a member of the Annual Conference. Therefore, it is appropriate for the entire Conference to take a time of worship to remember and celebrate the lives and ministry of those faithful members of the Annual Conference in much the same way local congregations remember on All Saints Sunday. All clergy and lay members of North Alabama Conference congregations are invited to attend this service each year.

Bishop Willimon also announced that the preacher for the Memorial Service will be Rev. Dalton Styes, senior pastor of Vestavia Hills UMC.

Stay informed of all the latest Annual Conference 2007 information and register online by visiting the AC Meeting section of the Conference website.

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