2020 Tennessee Annual Conference to be a Fully Virtual Meeting
July 10, 2020
Bishop McAlilly and the Annual Conference Design Team hoped that postponing our scheduled annual conference meeting from June to September would allow us to hold our usual, large in-person gathering. However, restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic persist and are ever-changing. The team now believes that, even by September, it is unlikely we would be able to meet in the manner that we have in the past.
The safety of our annual conference members is paramount. Also, many details must be put into place and financial commitments must be made months ahead of the annual conference. After weighing options, the team was in full agreement when making the decision about how best to proceed.
The 2020 Tennessee Annual Conference on September 18 & 19 will be a fully virtual meeting with members participating remotely. The 2020 Clergy Session will be conducted remotely as well on August 18 at 2 p.m. There will be a setting of appointments at the close of the Clergy Session at which time the List of Appointments will be posted on the conference website.
The Service of Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination will be held in late August with a few, by-invitation-only guests present. The service will be recorded and will be broadcast at the start of our annual conference meeting on Friday evening, September 18, at 7 p.m.
The remainder of annual conference worship and business sessions will be held on Saturday, September 19 beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the day with a lunch break between sessions. A detailed schedule will be sent to annual conference members in September.
The annual conference will be live-streamed and available for viewing online by congregation members just as it has in the past.
We understand that the opportunity to be physically in community will be greatly missed. We also know that some may not yet feel comfortable using technology, but we will work hard to equip everyone with what is needed to succeed with this format.
More detailed information and a registration link will be posted soon. All clergy and lay voting members of the annual conference will receive a unique voting code to be able to participate. Several opportunities for training will be provided.
We are working with Good News TV (GNTV) again for our annual conference production. Fortunately, GNTV has worked with many United Methodist annual conferences this year as they have made the transition to virtual conferences. These annual conferences have given GNTV rave reviews and our confidence in them is strong. The company understands the needs and challenges we face and is helping our team adapt and learn quickly.
Thank you for the grace you are extending to the team members planning annual conference during this unusual time. A virtual meeting will be a challenge to accomplish, but the Annual Conference Design Team is committed to creating an annual conference with opportunities for holy conferencing, worship, and celebrating our connection. God is continually equipping us to do something new!