We recently completed annual conference session, which is the culmination of a year’s worth of planning. Summer in the conference office is less busy than the rest of the year but there is still a lot of work that needs to be accomplished. In fact, some things kick into high gear during or right after annual conference session.
After we catch our breath following session adjournment, we must quickly begin work on the reports, record of proceedings, and directories for the annual conference Official Journal and Yearbook; we calculate apportionments based on the approved budget; we review approved legislation for any follow-up action items; and we begin to plan for the next annual conference session almost immediately. And our camping ministry’s busiest season starts in June.
There are a lot of phone calls and e-mails from churches related to compensation and benefits during appointment changes. The benefits officer is kept very busy entering appointment changes in the United Methodist Church’s pension system. Churches need their 2016 apportioned amounts in order to plan their budgets, so the statistician is reaching out to churches with questions about their table data so that correct information will be used in the apportionment calculation.
There is also a summer lull in board and committee meetings, so we have training and orientation for conference leadership teams and others, such as clergy new to Minnesota. Summer is the time when we update the church conference forms and other resources that are time-sensitive.
Despite all the items we must get done, summer in the conference office is a slightly less-hectic pace than the rest of the year. We encourage staff to take their vacation time so they can be renewed. We enjoy the rhythms of the seasons and hope that you, whether you are a pastor, church staff member, or volunteer, are also able to enjoy the sweet and sometimes short summer in Minnesota.
Hold a worship service outdoors, laugh with the children in Vacation Bible School, go to the lake, attend one of our camps, visit a state park, or just have your morning coffee on the deck.
Above all, give thanks to God for the beauty of the season.
Barb Carroll is director of finance and administration, and treasurer, for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church