2022 Annual Conference: Agenda, Special Offering, Resolutions, Disaffiliation Info.

Annual Conference Updates - May 12, 2022

5/12/2022

Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Conference and Agency Leaders,

Thank you again for the attention you are paying to all of the many details of the 2022 Annual Conference session set for June 5-8 in Columbus. Below is highlighted or new information you will find helpful as you prepare for Annual Conference, including:
 

  • Timeline and Agenda
  • Report from the Board of Trustees
  • Updates to the Board of Pension and Health Benefits Report
  • Updated Covid Safety Protocols
  • Childcare Deadline
  • Voting
  • Training Session for Online Clergy Session & Electronic Voting (May 17)

The safety of our South Georgia Conference family continues to be our top priority. The program committee and conference staff are monitoring the uptick in covid-19 cases and have made available an alternative space within the Convention Center where members may be in a mask-required setting and social distance all while still fully participating in Conference. Additional information about this option is below. As always, we want to provide the safest conference experience possible for our members. 

As a reminder, we will be utilizing electronic voting during our conference. Members are requested to bring a device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) in order to vote during the conference session. If you do not have your own device or cannot borrow one, you may share a device with a fellow conference member. Please make your plans now to secure a voting device.

We will continue to communicate with you regularly over the next few weeks.

Grace and peace,

Meredyth Earnest
SGA Conference Secretary


 

Conference Timeline and Agenda - June 5-8

  • May 16 - Clergy Session Part 1 Meeting Link & Voting Credentials Issued Via Email
  • May 17 - Conference Member Online Meeting/Electronic Voting Training Session, 6pm
  • May 22 - Clergy Session Part 1, 4pm (Online) 
  • June 5 - Registration Opens, 3pm
  • June 5 - Opening Worship Service, 7pm
  • June 6 - Clergy Session Part 2 & Laity Session, 8:30am
  • June 6 - Methodist Home Barbecue (St. Luke UMC), 5pm
  • June 6 - Service of Ordination with Commissioning (St. Luke UMC), 7pm
  • June 7 - Memorial Service (St. Luke UMC), 2pm

Click here for a working agenda of the 2022 conference session.

Report from the Board of Trustees
Written into Recommendation 1 of the report by the Conference Board of Trustees is a resolution stating the intent of the Conference Trustees to honor the current disaffiliation policy through December 31, 2024. You can read the full report of the Trustees beginning on page 31 of the Book of Recommendations and Reports.

Update to Board of Pension & Health Benefits Report
The following reports have been revised or added since the Book of Recommendations and Reports was published. Conference members will need to have these additional reports available to them during our session.

  • Report #5: The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits has updated Report #5, to include new recommendations on HealthFlex insurance premiums for 2023.  Click here to download the revised Report #5.

  • Report #7: The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits wishes to include their recommendation on how to fund the proposed Trust. They have published an additional funding supplement to the Retiree Healthcare Trust report #7. Click here to download Report #7 supplement.

  • Report #9: The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits received an approved Comprehensive Benefits Funding Plan for 2023 from Wespath and are presenting an updated Report #9. Click here to download Report #9.


Updated Covid Safety Protocols - Extension of the Bar Available
In an effort to provide an alternative option for our members seeking a conference experience with additional covid safety protocols in place, an on-site “extension” room is now being offered. In a spirit of hospitality, we have established a room that will serve as an extension of the bar. This room will be equipped with socially-distanced seating (no tables), and the wearing of masks will be enforced for all within. Whereas masks will be encouraged for all members who wish to wear them in any conference meeting room, it will be enforced within this particular room.

This room, which is right around the corner from the main plenary session, is available to voting conference members only. It will be monitored by tellers and supplied with a live feed of the conference business. Members will still be able to vote and watch the proceedings in real time. However, if a member of the conference utilizing the extension room wishes to address the conference (make a motion, speech, etc.) he or she will have to walk to the microphones in the main plenary session to do so. A teller will assist with this process, alerting the Bishop that a member is approaching the microphone to ask to be recognized. There is no way to be recognized by the Bishop or any presenter from within the extension room.

Conference members who anticipate wishing to utilize this designated space during our time together are asked to please complete this interest form. This allows conference leadership to prepare adequate seating and teller coverage. Please note that this interest form is non-binding and any conference member may elect to sit in the room or leave the room at any time. The form is used for planning purposes only.

As a reminder, in order to reduce the total number of persons in the room and practice social distancing, this room will only be for voting conference members. No guests, spouses, etc. will be allowed within - as the entire room will be considered an extension of the bar.

Please click here to let us know that you plan to utilize the extension room.

Childcare - Deadline is May 22
Please note that the deadline to register for childcare is Sunday, May 22. Click here for more information and to register

Voting
This year we will utilize an electronic voting system provided by GNTV during our Annual Conference sessions.This system is the same one we used during our 2020 and 2021 virtual sessions. Please note the following details:

Member Voting Credentials & Email Verification
Each conference member will receive a personal voter identification number in order to vote during the clergy session and/or the main session.  Pastors: please take the time now to check the church dashboard and ensure that the correct person is listed as your member(s) and that your member has an email address listed. For the information on training opportunities and other vital information to reach the right person, the information in the dashboard must be correct. If you need help verifying or making a correction to lay member information, please contact your district office or meredyth@sgaumc.com.

Electronic voting during the online Part 1 Clergy Session 
  • Those who are eligible to vote during the May 22 online Part 1 Clergy Session will receive their unique voting credentials via email on Monday, May 16. 
  • ​You will need an internet-connected device such as a desktop or laptop computer with speakers, a tablet, or a smartphone. You will access the session using a web browser (i.e. the platform you use to get on the Internet, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.). A webcam is not necessary.

​Electronic voting at the in-person Annual Conference Session in Columbus

  • Members are requested to bring a device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) in order to vote during the conference session. If you do not have your own device or cannot borrow one, you may share a device with a fellow conference member. 
  • We are told the wi-fi signal will be strong enough for our needs. However, we may have to ask that during the vote you utilize your cellular data should that become necessary.
  • Member-specific voting credentials will be issued at registration. Only those who are present at the session in Columbus are eligible to vote; there is no hybrid option.

Training Session for Electronic Voting - Members Encouraged to Attend
An online training opportunity is available on May 17 at 6 pm allowing you to familiarize yourself with the online process and voting for the Clergy Session and the electronic voting for the main business session. Conference members are encouraged to attend this session.  The link to participate was included in an email sent May 12.

The same voting platform will be used for both the May 22 Clergy Session (Part 1) and the June 5-8 Business Session.

To participate in the training session, you will need an internet-connected device such as a desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone. You will access the session using a web browser (i.e. the platform you use to get on the Internet, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.). A webcam is not necessary.

Has there been a change in your lay member?
Each charge conference should have elected an alternate lay member(s). If your alternate member is attending the conference in place of the primary member please share that information with your district office as soon as possible so that proper credentials may be prepared.

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