Recommended for newcomers to conference session, this is an opportunity to hear what to expect, find out how legislation is handled, and learn about the budget and other proposed legislation. This gathering takes place on Wednesday from 9 to 10 a.m. at the River's Edge Convention Center. There is no fee, but pre-registration is appreciated.
On Thursday and Friday, there will be an array of groups gathering over the lunch break (and one over dinner) for a time of connection. Grab your box lunch and head off to a meeting room. Participation is optional and registration is not required (although it is helpful for planning purposes if you indicate during registration where you might connect.) Here are some of the options:
Clergy serving in cross-cultural congregations gather to discuss their unique contexts.
Exploring a call to ministry gives those discerning whether they are called to vocational ministry an opportunity to discuss their discernment process and learn about the variety of opportunities to respond.
Lay servants, certified lay ministers, and lay speakers are people who have explored, trained, and committed to serving in their congregations and beyond. All involved or interested in the program are encouraged to attend.
Licensed local pastors will gather for a time of connection and discussion about their ministries.
Palestine-Israel Justice Project members and those interested in learning about it will gather to talk about efforts and plans for a just peace in the Holy Land.
Reconciling Ministries hosts Building an Inclusive United Methodist Church, What's Next? In light of the bishops' response to the Commission on a Way Forward, there will be a panel discussion of lay and clergy members to discuss ways to encourage conversations across Minnesota about how to welcome LGBTQ people into the church and affirm them. This discussion will be moderated by Kelly Dunn.
Retiring clergy remembrances is an opportunity for clergy moving into retirement to reflect on their ministries.
Hopeful Earthkeepers invites you to get outside for dinner on Thursday. First UMC of the St. Cloud Region has a wonderful facility surrounded by a beautiful landscape. Land stewardship is carefully planned and maintained by members. Come tour the prairie landscape of First UMC, eat dinner, and learn about upcoming opportunities to create a more just and sustainable world from some of the Minnesota Earthkeepers. First UMC is located six miles from the River’s Edge Convention Center, and the group will organize a carpool to dinner. Learn more about Earthkeepers.
Clergy spouses will gather with Char Ough to discuss and celebrate the very special ministry of supporting our pastors.
#Her Truth, a video about women in ministry breaking their silence will be viewed and discussed at this gathering hosted by the United Methodist Women.
Conversation around the Revised Social Principles: The Social Principles of the UMC are being revised. You are invited to a conversation about the revisions being proposed. We would love your input and ideas. A draft of the revisions will be available in April.
Several seminaries will offer a time for alumni and friends to gather.
Childcare, staffed by a licensed provider, is available for children birth through 10 years. Fees are charged per-session per family (rather than by child). Register for childcare as you register for the conference. Free drop-in child care is available for the Celebration of Life in Ministry service from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Friday.
A dedicated space for families, accompanied children, and mothers needing a private spot is available in the room between Haws C and the river walk windows. This is also the site for drop-in childcare during the Celebration of Life in Ministry service, scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday.
The Cokesbury book store will look different this year as it moves to a model of providing display copies and free shipping of orders. Visit Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday until 2 p.m. to see the latest offerings. There will be a book signing with teaching session speaker, Rev. Olu Brown. Check with the store to find out when.
An array of vendors will be on-hand with crafts, services, and other products to benefit congregations and clergy. Stop by and check them out.
Kits or supplies for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) can be brought to the collection site at the convention center. They will be taken to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Illinois and then distributed around the world where they are needed most.
Note: This year's program is different than in prior years. Active clergy enrolled in HealthFlex need to make appointments for Blueprint for Wellness screenings available on-site during annual conference. Information is being sent directly to plan participants. Retirees on the Conference Supplement Plan will need to contact Jean Edin for a screening appointment.
LifeTouch will be on-site at the convention center taking formal photos of clergy. Photo credential cards and a free 8 x 10 are the enticement to stop by. No appointments are required. Photos are used for a clergy directory, the conference website, and other internal purposes. There is no obligation to purchase additional photos.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church