The South Georgia Conference Annual Conference Session Program Committee has announced that the 2012 Annual Conference session has been shortened by one day. It will now be held Sunday, June 3, 2012 through Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Wednesday’s sessions were cut in an effort to save the Conference and local churches money, they say. According to Director of Administrative Services Miriam Hagan, as much as $20,000 could be saved.
“This is one way of us responding to the economic climate,” said Rev. Craig Hutto, Conference Secretary and pastor of Douglas First United Methodist Church. “We’re trying to be better stewards of our resources.”
On the final day of the 2011 Annual Conference session, held June 5 through June 9 in Tifton, the Conference approved a motion to look into reducing the Annual Conference session by one day. Eliminating Wednesday’s activities is in response to that motion and the Conference’s desire to cut costs.
The 2012 Annual Conference session, which will be held in Macon, will begin on Sunday, June 3 with an opening worship service. It will conclude on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 5, after the fixing of appointments and sending forth service.
Because of the shortened timeframe, there will be no health break component to the 2012 Annual Conference session, as has been done the past two years in Tifton.
“Because of the shortened time, I encourage delegates to plan their time carefully,” Rev. Hutto said. “I encourage them to get to Macon a little earlier on Sunday afternoon before the opening worship service to fellowship.”
The conference will also utilize technology to help cut costs. Annual Conference delegates will have the option to download all of the needed documents and forms instead of having them mailed.
“This will be an option for the delegates,” Rev. Hutto said. “The idea is to begin moving in that direction and have everything available for download. It will be a cost and time-saving measure.”
Delegates who would prefer to have their documents mailed may still choose that option.
The theme of the 2012 Annual Conference session, taken from Psalm 107:2, is “Let the Redeemed Say So,” with a focus on evangelism and witness.
In addition to regular business and worship sessions, members of the Annual Conference will hear reports from the General Conference delegation and from the task force for district realignment, Rev. Hutto said.
In January, the Local Arrangements Committee will send a mailing that will include lodging options to all clergy and lay members to Annual Conference.