Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in many parts of Alabama, the in-person North Alabama Annual Conference planned for August 16-17, 2020, at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville has been postponed until late September and will have a multi-venue format.
Conference leadership is committed to applying the Do No Harm recommendations (www.umcna.org/donoharm) to this year’s Annual Conference meeting. The Bishop, Cabinet and Annual Conference Planning Team do not think it will be possible to safely hold a large, in-person gathering of 1,500 people eight weeks from now, knowing that multiple counties within the Conference area have not yet seen an initial two-week decline in coronavirus cases.
Bishop Wallace-Padgett states, “While this second postponement for our Annual Conference meeting is disappointing for all of us, our leadership feels strongly that we must proceed in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of our Annual Conference members and communities.”
Instead of one large gathering, the postponed Annual Conference will be an in-person satellite experience, live-streamed to sites within each District on Saturday, September 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The multiple sites will reduce the number of persons in any one location so that social distancing and other precautions can be better observed. The goal for the 2020 Annual Conference is to do connectional work safely with the largest participation possible.
Alabama state law currently allows virtual meetings for business corporations, but not nonprofits. If this changes in the next few weeks, meeting options for the 2020 Annual Conference will expand to allow the possibility of virtual attendance.
Bishop Wallace-Padgett adds, “We will share more details in the near future as satellite sites and the schedule are finalized. Thank you for your patience, resiliency and flexibility in our ever-changing environment.”