Opening session: Worship and some opening motions will kick off our gathering, and we'll spend the bulk of this afternoon celebrating Holy Spirit breakthroughs in our midst and all we are accomplishing together through an engaging Missional Report featuring multiple voices and videos.
Clergy Session: All clergy will gather for worship, to celebrate those entering into ordained/licensed ministry and retirement, and to handle administration required by the Book of Discipline.
Laity Session: This session celebrates and explores opportunities for non-clergy leadership in our congregations. Worship, music, presentation, and discussion are all parts of this gathering.
Celebration of Life in Ministry: Often cited as the most impactful part of the conference, this worship service celebrates those who have died over the past year, those who are moving into retirement, and those who are taking major steps in their ministries through ordination and commissioning, and invites those feeling a calling to be blessed. Free drop-in child care is available during this service.
Worship with Love Offering: Rev. Bill Eaves is this year’s conference preacher and will give an inspiring sermon during morning worship, which is also when the 2019 Love Offering will be collected. The funds from this year’s financial offering will to go three projects: Lao Samphan Methodist Church (60 percent), Volunteer Lawyers Network (20 percent), and Volunteers in Mission Scholarships (20 percent). The second part of the Love Offering involves giving to God names of acquaintances who do not know Christ, for whom we are committed to “dare to reach” through our prayers and our witness of compassion, love, and hope.
Guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale: Rev. Dr. Teasdale, professor of evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, will deliver two teaching sessions focused on reaching the next person for Jesus. Church leaders are often bombarded with material that suggests it is only through human effort that the church will be effective. The study of evangelism starts with the assumption that God is active, and we are invited to participate in what God is already doing. Teasdale will explore evangelism in a new way and talk about expressing our faith clearly, articulately, and authentically.
District lunches: Conference attendees are invited to gather by district for lunch. This is a time for informal networking and a brief program to get to know your district superintendent and find out what's happening around your part of the state.
General Conference and a way forward: This is an opportunity to learn about and process what happened at General Conference 2019, hear from the Minnesota delegation, and talk about the future. An identity statement indicating who we want to be as an annual conference and how we want to live and work together, which is being developed by a diverse group of Minnesota United Methodists, will be presented to attendees for discussion and affirmation.
Legislation and action items: Every year, there are items to be discussed and decided upon as an organizational body. This is the time we engage in discourse and discernment.
Morning worship: Morning worship will include a dedication of the 10,000+ Lydia Project scarves that Minnesota and Dakotas United Methodists made to give to all delegates, alternates, bishops and spouses, dignitaries, visitors, musicians, and other guests at General Conference 2020.
General Conference 2020 hosting: The Dakotas-Minnesota Area will host General Conference 2020 in Minneapolis next May 5-15. The host team will talk about plans for welcoming and providing hospitality to visitors, and highlight opportunities to get involved by volunteering.
Legislation and action items: Every year, there are items to be discussed and decided upon as an organizational body. This is the time we engage in discourse and discernment. The 2020 conference budget is one of the things that will be voted on at this time.
Closing banquet: To close this year's gathering, Bishop Ough will deliver his Episcopal Address in a worship service that will also include communion and the setting of appointments.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church