South Georgia prepares for 2012 Annual Conference session

4/5/2012

Plans are quickly taking shape for the 2012 South Georgia Annual Conference session, scheduled for June 3-5 in Macon at the Macon Centreplex.

With a theme of “Let the Redeemed Say So,” based on Psalm 107:2, this year’s Annual Conference session will give attendees the opportunity to gather together in fellowship and worship. 

“The annual conference session is always a highly anticipated time when we celebrate what God has been doing through the congregations and ministries that make up the South Georgia Annual Conference,” said Bishop James R. King, Jr.  “This year, as we focus on 'Let the Redeemed Say So,’ may we recommit ourselves to seeking opportunities to witness by showing and sharing kindness and goodness.”

Macon last hosted South Georgia’s Annual Conference session in 2004 and 2005. 

“I am very excited to be a part of the Local Arrangements Committee this year,” said committee co-chair Nancy Hudson. “We have an excellent committee in place that’s working on details that will help to make everyone’s stay in Macon comfortable and enjoyable.”

All conference business sessions and worship services will be held at the Macon Centreplex.

As in years past, the highlight of the conference will be the coming together of churches, clergy, and laity from across the South Georgia Conference.  Large and small, rural and urban, all will come together to celebrate what God is doing in South Georgia and their oneness in Christ.

The 2012 Annual Conference session will commence on Sunday evening, June 3, with Dr. Marcus Tripp preaching during the opening worship service. It will continue Monday morning, June 4, with separate laity and clergy sessions, followed by the evening’s combined ordination and commissioning service with guest preacher Bishop B. Michael Watson. It will close on Tuesday evening, June 5, following the traditional “fixing of the pastoral appointments” for the coming year by Bishop King.

The Memorial Service for deceased clergy and clergy spouses will be held Tuesday afternoon, and the Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated in this service.  On Tuesday morning, the Conference will recognize and celebrate 10 retiring clergy.  Each retiring clergy person will have a moment to address the Annual Conference.

Woven between worship services will be plenary sessions for information sharing, celebration, inspiration, and decision-making. On Monday afternoon, attendees will hear a report from the General Conference delegation; Tuesday morning will include a feasibility report and recommendation from the district study task force.

Dr. Brent Strawn, associate professor of Old Testament at Candler School of Theology and co-editor of the New Common English Bible, will lead two Bible teaching moments, one on Monday afternoon and the second on Tuesday morning.

This year’s special offering will be divided three ways to benefit the Conference’s three mission agencies – Vashti, Open Door Community Center, and Wesley Community Centers. Each local church is encouraged to receive an offering in the weeks prior to Annual Conference and bring the offering to Macon.

Directory photographs for the new South Georgia Clergy Directory will be taken during the 2012 Annual Conference in Macon.  Anyone serving under the appointment of the South Georgia Conference will be included in the Directory, including all levels of Lay, Local, and Ordained pastors.  This year’s directory will include a single picture of the clergy member. An additional photo of the clergy and their spouse may be taken optionally, but the spouse must be present with the pastor for the picture to be taken. Photos will be taken Sunday from 3-5 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Life Touch Booth in the Macon Convention Center's Monument Room."   

“Despite the Annual Conference session’s shortened schedule and time constraints, we’ll still be able to take care of all the business that needs to be taken care of,” said Rev. Craig Hutto, secretary of the South Georgia Conference. 

“The witnessing theme of ‘Let the Redeemed Say So’ will run throughout the business sessions and worship services,” he said. “We will focus on being more intentional about how we share our faith in our communities.”

Fellowship is also a key component of each Annual Conference session, Rev. Hutto said.

“There is, of course, a lot of business that takes place, but one of the most important aspects of the Annual Conference session is the conferencing between pastors and lay persons. We encourage attendees to arrive a little early to have more time for that kind of conferencing to take place.”

For more information about the 2012 South Georgia Annual Conference Session, visit www.sgaumc.org/ac2012.