By: Christa Meland
The 2021 Annual Conference is just weeks away, and everyone can participate—whether or not you’re a voting member! Annual Conference is a time to connect and worship with United Methodist friends and colleagues; hear from Bishop David Bard; recognize clergy entering new phases of life and ministry; celebrate what we have accomplished together and how we've pivoted over the challenging past year; and learn from teaching session speaker, Rev. Rachel Billups.
June 22 and 24 will be entirely virtual, and June 23 will invite attendees to meet in small, in-person groups at various sites across the state.
Here are three ways all laity can participate:
Watch the live stream: All three days of Annual Conference will be live streamed on the Minnesota Conference Facebook page, and you can watch without registering or paying a fee. This includes worship and discussion around legislation.
Attend Laity Session: Laity Session will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22. This is an opportunity to connect with other Minnesota United Methodist lay people and to hear about some of the ways that laity are making a difference in their congregations and communities. This year’s session will also feature a learning session with Victor Thompson and Mary Kay DuChene from nonprofit LeaderWise on the topic of breaking through gridlock. Attendees will explore what we as individuals bring to hard conversations in our lives, where we might be getting stuck, and how we might approach these conversations in a new way that involves true listening and expressing our views with grace and compassion. The Laity Session is planned by, led by, and specifically designed for laity—and you can participate for free by watching the live stream on the Minnesota Conference Facebook page.
Learn and connect in-person: On Wednesday, June 23, all are invited to gather at one of 20 host sites around the state. We’ll talk about critical issues facing our church and world—and hear from Rev. Rachel Billups, senior pastor at Ginghamsburg Church in Ohio, who will engage in a live Q&A after her presentation. Each host site will be limited to no more than 50 people. After a year of distance, we can’t wait to see each other face-to-face. Lunch will be provided by the host church, and the required COVID-19 protocols will be in place. (If you will not be fully vaccinated or don’t feel comfortable meeting in-person, you can still register and meet with a small group of other virtual attendees instead.) The cost if you’re not a voting member and wish to participate on this day is $10—which covers food and hospitality.
Join us in June for three inspiring days of celebration, learning, and looking ahead. View the conference schedule to learn more, and register here!
Christa Meland is director of communications for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church