The 2019 North Alabama Annual Conference will be June 2-4, 2019 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville under the theme “Singing God’s Song in New Places with New Faces.” The Conference priority focus this year is New Faith Communities.
During April, voting members received a PreConference Book either by mail or email. Nametags were included in the PreConference Book mailing for those who received a printed book. Those who have chosen “less paper at Annual Conference” and received a PreConference Book by email, were sent a nametag by snail mail. All members should remember to bring their nametag to Annual Conference as it serves as their credentials to fully participate in Conference business and cast votes during business sessions.
May 15 is the annual deadline for members and visitors to purchase meal tickets and make reservations for Special Meals such as the Laity Luncheon or COSROW Breakfast. After you make your reservations you will receive meal tickets in the mail.
Also, there are a number of hotels offering special rates during Annual Conference 2019. Most have a reservations deadline of May 15 to qualify for the Annual Conference rate.
Children from birth through those who have completed sixth grade are welcome to participate in Kids’ Camp and Childcare if a parent, grandparent or legal guardian is in attendance at Annual Conference. Kids’ Camp and Childcare is possible thanks to an incredible group of volunteer children’s workers. To help secure proper space, meals, snacks and staffing to keep this a top-quality program, all children must be registered by May 15 in order to participate.
This year’s guest speakers are both former church planters and have passion and experience with the priority focus of new faith communities.
Bishop Bob Farr is the Bishop of the Missouri Area of the UMC. Before being elected bishop he served as the Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence for the Missouri Annual Conference from 2007-2016, guiding 35 church starts into life and overseeing more than 150 Healthy Church consultations. He has pastored numerous churches in Missouri including planting Grace UMC in Lee's Summit and Hope Church in Lone Jack, a daughter congregation of Grace UMC. He has also co-authored several books on church growth and church health.
Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis currently serves as District Superintendent of the Gulf Center area of the Florida Annual Conference. She previously served as the Executive Director of Path1 New Church Starts at Discipleship Ministries (formerly the General Board of Discipleship) of the UMC. In that role she was chief visionary and relentless advocate for creating new places for new people as well as a consultant, coach and resource person to Bishops, Conference Developers and Church Planters in starting and maintaining New Churches.
Annual Conference is a time of worship, prayer, business and fellowship. Throughout the three days there are several special times of worship including the following:
In the spirit of this year's Annual Conference theme of "Singing God's Song in New Places with New Faces," the Annual Conference Special Offering will be designated for New Faith Communities both in North Alabama and abroad. The Special Offering will benefit Celebrate Recovery here in North Alabama and planting new congregations and revitalizing faith communities in the Nordic and Baltic region of Europe.
The offering will be received on Sunday during Opening Worship. Local congregations are invited to send their contribution to this ministry with their Annual Conference member.
This year there will be a variety of business before the Annual Conference. To help accommodate time for the business session, the morning start time on Monday and Tuesday will be 8 a.m. Also, differently than recent years, the ending time on Tuesday afternoon may go as late as 5:30 p.m.
Voting members are encouraged to read over all reports, petitions and resolutions and other business items to be best prepared to participate in business sessions. Links to this information are below.
During the 2019 Annual Conference Session, Annual Conference members will elect lay and clergy delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Only eligible clergy members of the Annual Conference may vote for clergy delegates. and only eligible lay members of the Annual Conference may vote for lay delegates.
Annual Conference members will elect the following:
North Alabama has a system of self-nomination for persons interested in serving on the delegation. Click here to learn more about the clergy and laity who have self-nominated.
This year, for the first time the Annual Conference will use an electronic voting system. Conference Secretary Dr. Dedric Cowser says, "By voting electronically, we will be able to reduce the amount of time involved in making these important selections and increase the accuracy of the balloting process."
Members will pick up an electronic handset each morning and return it each evening upon leaving the Von Braun Center. There will be tables inside North Hall marked for laity and clergy to pick up handsets. Voting members must show their nametags to receive a handset. Therefore, members are asked to allow extra time each morning to go through this pick-up process. The tables will open at 7 a.m.
Additionally, Annual Conference members are asked to guard their electronic handset carefully and return it to the appropriate table at the end of each day. The Annual Conference will be charged a substantial fee for each handset that is not returned!
For more information on the 2019 North Alabama Annual Conference visit www.umcna.org/ac2019.
If you have questions related to reservations or receiving Annual Conference materials please contact Annual Conference Registrar Doris McCullers at firstname.lastname@example.org , 205-226-7950 or 800-239-7950.