As a result of social distancing and many of the unknowns that we are currently facing concerning COVID-19, Annual Conference 2020 has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 19 at First United Methodist Church, Baton Rouge.
An alternate date of Saturday, November 21 has also been reserved at FUMC, Baton Rouge should we not be able to gather in September.
The Clergy Session will be held the day before on September 18 or November 20 respectively.
The Celebration of Ministry Service will be held on Friday evening, September 18 or November 20.
The Annual Conference Design Team, along with the Conference staff and Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, are currently working on details related to the agenda.
Different and Same
The Annual Conference session will be different in both format and time. While those details are forthcoming, there are some items within our holy conferencing that are both necessary and needed. We will, of course, worship, share conference reports, as well as legislative resolutions.
Additionally, we will ordain and license our clergy, memorialize those we have lost, and celebrate those who are retiring. The 2020-2021 conference budget will also be presented and voted on.
You should expect that many of the reports typically given during the Conference Session will be shared in a digital format utilizing Webinars, podcasts, and other ways that will allow for participants to ask questions and gain clarity about the work of the Conference.
For the past two years, Rev. R. DeAndre Johnson has been serving as our worship leader. Through music, Johnson has been helping us weave our stories together. The pastor of music and worship life from Christ Church, Sugarland, will be with us again.
Theme Remains the Same
Two years ago, we set into motion a three-year thematic approach to Annual Conference: 'Making Disciples, Transforming the World'. This work is grounded in the Great Commission from Matthew 28:16-20 with the sub-themes "Together" (2018) highlighted in Act 2:42-47, "In Love" (2019) coming from Romans 13:8-10, and "Day after Day," (2020) taken from The Message translation of the Great Commission, Matthew 28:20, that Jesus Christ will be with us "day after day after day."
All appointments and retirements will be set by Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the cabinet and will go into effect July 1.
We Remain United
As we move out of the fog of COVID-19 into what God is preparing for us next, we as a people of faith know there is one constant - God's love and redemptive power. We shall continue to focus on our call to love our neighbors and to meet them where they are, in whatever condition they are in. All the while, we shall continue to share the story of God's grace, love, and forgiveness.
This extended liminal time does not change who we are as the Louisiana Annual Conference or who we are in Christ. We continue to hold nothing sacred, but the mission - called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and we remain compelled by Christ's love for all of us.
We are continuing to work toward finalizing the details for Annual Conference 2020. Those details will be emailed through the Louisiana NOW email distribution (sign up here) and also posted on our web site and on our social media channels.
If you have any questions about appointive matters or how the postponement of Annual Conference may affect you, your church, or your ministry, we encourage you to reach out to your District Superintendent.
If you made a reservation with the Hilton through the Annual Conference block, it has been automatically canceled. If you made reservations with another hotel, we recommend calling that hotel to cancel.
We hope to have information soon on hotel reservations for what's being planned next. Meanwhile, we appreciate your patience during this extraordinary time.