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The 2020 Annual Conference
IMPORTANT NOTE: The 2020 appointments were fixed by Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey July 1. You can read more about the 'virtual fixing' in this article
 

As a result of social distancing and many of the unknowns that we are currently facing concerning COVID-19, Annual Conference 2020 has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 19 at First United Methodist Church, Baton Rouge.  

An alternate date of Saturday, November 21 has also been reserved at FUMC, Baton Rouge should we not be able to gather in September.  

The Clergy Session will be held the day before on September 18 or November 20 respectively.

The Celebration of Ministry Service will be held on Friday evening, September 18 or November 20.  

The Annual Conference Design Team, along with the Conference staff and Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, are currently working on details related to the agenda. 
 

Different and Same


The Annual Conference session will be different in both format and time. While those details are forthcoming, there are some items within our holy conferencing that are both necessary and needed. We will, of course, worship, share conference reports, as well as legislative resolutions.

Additionally, we will ordain and license our clergy, memorialize those we have lost, and celebrate those who are retiring. The 2020-2021 conference budget will also be presented and voted on.  

You should expect that many of the reports typically given during the Conference Session will be shared in a digital format utilizing Webinars, podcasts, and other ways that will allow for participants to ask questions and gain clarity about the work of the Conference.

For the past two years, Rev. R. DeAndre Johnson has been serving as our worship leader. Through music, Johnson has been helping us weave our stories together. The pastor of music and worship life from Christ Church, Sugarland, will be with us again.  
 

Theme Remains the Same 


Two years ago, we set into motion a three-year thematic approach to Annual Conference: 'Making Disciples, Transforming the World'. This work is grounded in the Great Commission from Matthew 28:16-20 with the sub-themes "Together" (2018) highlighted in Act 2:42-47, "In Love" (2019) coming from Romans 13:8-10, and "Day after Day," (2020) taken from The Message translation of the Great Commission, Matthew 28:20, that Jesus Christ will be with us "day after day after day." 

  

We Remain United


As we move out of the fog of COVID-19 into what God is preparing for us next, we as a people of faith know there is one constant - God's love and redemptive power. We shall continue to focus on our call to love our neighbors and to meet them where they are, in whatever condition they are in. All the while, we shall continue to share the story of God's grace, love, and forgiveness. 

This extended liminal time does not change who we are as the Louisiana Annual Conference or who we are in Christ. We continue to hold nothing sacred, but the mission - called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and we remain compelled by Christ's love for all of us.   
 

Stay Tuned 


We are continuing to work toward finalizing the details for Annual Conference 2020. Those details will be emailed through the Louisiana NOW email distribution (sign up here) and also posted on our web site and on our social media channels. 

If you have any questions about appointive matters or how the postponement of Annual Conference may affect you, your church, or your ministry, we encourage you to reach out to your District Superintendent. 


Hotel Reservations


If you made a reservation with the Hilton through the Annual Conference block, it has been automatically canceled. If you made reservations with another hotel, we recommend calling that hotel to cancel.

We hope to have information soon on hotel reservations for what's being planned next. Meanwhile, we appreciate your patience during this extraordinary time.

 







The dates to the right will be updated when new dates are scheduled. 

Featured Speakers

FAQs
Bishop Harvey is from the Texas Annual Conference where she served as associate pastor for The Foundry United Methodist Church in Houston from 1992-1996 and as executive pastor for Memorial Drive UMC in Houston from 1996-2008. She then moved to the position of Director of Missional Excellence for the Texas Annual Conference, serving from February of 2008-May 1, 2010.  Just prior to her election as a United Methodist bishop during the 2012 South Central Jurisdictional Conference, Harvey served as Deputy General Secretary for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). It's pretty rare for a bishop to serve as bishop to the same Conference where they served.  You can read more about Bishop Harvey here
In the United States of America, The United Methodist Church is divided into five areas known as jurisdictions: Northeastern, Southeastern, North Central, South Central and Western. Louisiana is a member of the South Central jurisdiction. During this year's Annual Conference, we will elect delegates to both General and Jurisdictional Conference. When those delegates meet for 2020's Jurisdictional Conference, they will gather to to elect new bishops and select members of general boards and agencies.
We thought a lot about this question and the answer is: business casual. You will most certainly see folks dressed like they are headed into church but you will also find folks wearing slightly more casual dress. Bottom line - dress comfortably but not "chilling-on-the-couch-watching-a-Saints-game" casual. 
We should start with the definition of an episcopal area which is the annual conference to which a bishop is assigned by the Jurisdictional conference. In our case, this area is the entire state of Louisiana and Bishop Harvey lives within the bounds of the episcopal area and presides over the work of our annual conference. That said, the episcopal address is the annual address given to the members of the Annual Conference. It's sort of like the State of the Union where the president gives an annual report to Congress.  
Pretty cool, huh? Read more about those here
You'll hear the term, 'bar' mentioned. It's not this type of bar. The bar is an area located in the center of the floor with tables. This is the area for the delegates to sit. If you are a visitor, you will sit in the rear. For the most part, churches tend to sit with one another. Feel free to head into the bar area and stake your claim!
The Annual Conference design team is a diverse group of leaders inside the Annual Conference. This group meets all year to plan and prepare for the Annual Conference. The group consists of elders, local pastors, deacons, lay members, Conference staff and youth leaders. The theme “Making Disciples, Transforming the World,” which began in 2018, will continue at this year’s Annual Conference, as well as in 2020. The sub-theme for 2019 is “In Love,” with Romans 13:8-10 anchoring our call to love all of God’s people. We are called to make disciples and transform the world in love.

You might think it references that we conference once a year, and that is true but there it more to it. United Methodist pastors serve in what's known as the itinerant system, meaning pastors are sent, not called or hired. “Itinerancy” refers specifically to the commitment by pastors to go and serve wherever their bishops send them. “Appointment” is the action taken by bishops. These are different, yet related. Clergy in The United Methodist Church commit to serve where their bishop appoints them. Appointments are typically for one year at a time, though the bishop may move any itinerant pastor at any time. The appointments for the coming season will be 'fixed' by Bishop Harvey during the ordination service and while most every pastor in our Conference know where she/he will be serving in the coming year, there was a time not so long ago when pastors would arrive in Shreveport to Annual Conference to find out where they will be serving in the next year.  

You can read more about this system here

This is a gathering of Methodists, you know there will be snacks! In the concourse area, snacks such as peanuts and popcorn will be up for sale. You are free to bring your own snacks, such as fruit, protein bars, peanuts, gummy bears or even those fancy chocolate dipped almonds. 

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