Earlier this year, prior to the 2021 Annual Conference session, the Conference conducted a survey to gather feedback regarding the life of the local church and the upcoming General Conference session.
More than 300 responses were received from clergy and laity across South Georgia, and the responses were and are being used to make decisions for the future of the Conference, Bishop Bryan said in a pastoral letter.
“Thanks to each of you who responded,” he said. “You provided a wealth of insight to me and to the leadership teams of our conference. Your voice is important, and it is being heard.”
Part of the survey focused on the delayed 2020 General Conference session, and from the responses received, Conference leaders have created a Frequently Asked Questions document to help address those questions and help better inform Conference members.
Here’s who responded to the survey (309 total responses):
61-70: 115 responses
71-80: 65 responses
51-60: 58 responses
41-50: 32 responses
81-90: 21 responses
31-40: 17 responses
20-30: 2 responses
Active Clergy Delegates: 130 responses
Lay Delegate: 127 responses
Retired Clergy Delegate: 32 responses
Non-delegate: 21 responses
Average Worship Attendance (pre-pandemic)
0-50: 79 responses
300+: 67 responses
50-100: 65 responses
100-200: 59 responses
200-300: 40 responses
Here’s how respondents said they are engaging in and preparing for the upcoming General Conference:
How is your church engaging in conversation about the upcoming General Conference?
Only informal conversation among members: 196 responses (64.1%)
Formal conversations hosted or initiated by church leadership: 74 responses (24.3%)
I am not aware of any conversations: 35 responses (11.5%)
As of right now, how is your church preparing for the upcoming General Conference (select all that apply)?
I am not aware of any preparations - 59 responses (19.6%)
Only informal conversations - 141 responses (46.8%)
There is not consensus on what steps to take - 55 responses (18.3%)
We are preparing to remain affiliated with the South Georgia Conference - 91 responses (30.2%)
We are preparing to disaffiliate from the South Georgia Annual Conference - 20 responses (6.6%)
We are currently engaged in the disaffiliation process - 4 response (1.3%)
Bishop Bryan and the Leadership Forum Task Force have also decided - in the midst of rising COVID cases and in an effort to better present information to as many people as possible - to pivot from an Oct. 9 conference wide in-person gathering and instead offer more localized informational gatherings at the district level. Those interested should contact their district office, Jay Hanson (email@example.com), or Kelly Roberson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request a gathering. Together they will help coordinate meetings in the districts.
“I truly believe the more informed and equipped we are, the more we can keep our focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” Bishop Bryan said. “Thank you for being Alive Together at the Table with me and with the leadership of our great conference.”