FAQ: October 25 Session of the North Georgia Annual Conference


Below are answers to questions about the special called session of the North Georgia Annual Conference. Read the announcement of the called session on the Conference News page.

When and where is the called session?
Saturday, October 25, 2014, at 10 a.m. at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia. The session will be held in the Grand Hall, lower level.

Where is registration? What are the hours?
Registration will be on site at the Classic Center from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 
  • Laity will register in Athena AB
  • Clergy will register in Athena CD
Who attends?
Members who must attend are defined in 2012 Book of Discipline ¶ 602 (clergy) and ¶ 602.5 (lay). (See called session announcement for excerpts from the Book of Discipline.)

Clergy: Deacons and elders in full connection, provisional members, associate members, affiliate members and local pastors under full-time and part-time appointment to a pastoral charge. If clergy are added or decreased by a local church since the June 2014 Annual Conference session, equality dictates that lay member positions are created and should be filled, or diminished.
Lay Members:  Lay members of record whose status has not changed* with the local church, district (at large members), or by virtue of office which elected them for the June 2014 annual conference session remain the lay members of record. The exception is if a local church’s charge conference has elected a successor member since the June 2014 annual conference and that lay member to annual conference has taken or will take office before October 25, 2014. This includes district at large and youth members.

Alternate Members: Alternate members of record, whose status has not changedwith the local church or district which elected them, will remain alternate members. The exception is if a local church’s charge conference has elected a successor alternate member to annual conference since the June 2014 annual conference and that alternate member has taken or will take office before October 25, 2014.

*Status changes include death, departure from the denomination or departure from the local church from which the lay person was a member or alternate member to annual conference.  

What if I cannot attend?
There are no excused absences (Book of Discipline ¶ 602.8). Clergy who cannot attend are to send an email to Donn Ann Weber, Conference Secretary. Laity from local church are to notify the pastor. Laity who are district at-large members should notify their District Superintendent.

Athens on a Saturday during football season?
There is not a UGA football game on Oct. 25.  

How long will the meeting last?
We anticipate that the session will last three to four hours. 

Where do we park?
Use the Classic Center parking deck.

What about lunch?
We will meet until the session adjourns and will not break for lunch. 

What about travel arrangements?
We do not have a reserved blocks of rooms.  If your travel time requires you to stay overnight, you can find information about Athens area hotels at the Convention and Visitor’s Center website,  www.visitathensga.com. Use the map at the following link to search hotels by proximity to the Classic Center: http://www.visitathensga.com/places-to-stay/hotel-map/.

Why are we meeting about Simpsonwood again?
The Board of Trustees will make a report regarding offers on the Simpsonwood property, fulfilling the directive that Annual Conference gave them via resolution in 2013 and affirmed in 2014. What other matters will be discussed?
The only agenda item will be the Trustees Report regarding the Simpsonwood property.

Why is there a need for a closed session?
The Book of Discipline authorizes closed sessions, but cautions that closing meetings should be done with great restraint, and only after a vote in an open session of three-quarters of the voting members present. Subjects which may be considered in closed session specifically include real estate matters under 2012 BOD ¶ 722. 

At this called meeting of the North Georgia Annual Conference, the Board of Trustees desires to report to the Annual Conference on its recommendations concerning offers of purchase relating to the Simpsonwood property following confidential negotiations. Any vote on resolutions regarding those recommendations will be taken at an open meeting of the Annual Conference following the adjournment of the closed session unless otherwise directed by the Annual Conference.

How do I review the material presented at Annual Conference in June?
You can find the Trustees Report, Simpsonwood Board Report and budget information presented at the North Georgia Conference in June in the 2014 Handbook. Also linked below is the PowerPoint presentation from the Simpsonwood report. Will child care be offered?
Child care will be available for infants through kindergarten-age children at Young Harris Memorial UMC, 973 Prince Avenue, Athens, from 8:30 a.m. until 45 minutes after adjournment of the called session.

The cost of child care is $10/hour. Fees are calculated in full hour increments, to be paid by check or cash at pick-up. Child care is provided only for attendance at the called session. Children must be registered by Friday, October 17, to secure a place.