Show Your Work: Plans for Annual Conference 2017 Are Well Underway


Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the Annual Conference Planning Committee are busy preparing for the 2017 Annual Conference Session, set for June 13-15 at The Classic Center in Athens. 

The Conference begins on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. with laity orientation in the Grand Hall and clergy executive session in the Theater. The three-day conference closes Thursday afternoon.

Members and guests will experience this year's theme, "Show Your Work: Worship That Inspires Action," through worship led by North Georgia United Methodists. A teaching time called “Show Your Work” is set to follow each worship service, allowing the worship planners to share practical tips and insight on what went into the making of the four services.

As the logo highlights, the worship planning committee is already modeling how prayer, study of scripture, collaboration and preparation leads to excellent worship that inspires action. 

“Our goal is to have the best worship experiences we’ve had all year!” said Bishop Sue, who is presiding for the first time over the North Georgia Annual Conference Session this June.

Bishop Sue will preach Opening Worship and the Service of Ordination. She has invited Rev. Jimmy Moor, recently retired, to preach the Service of remembrance, and Rev. Olu Brown to preach the service of Word and Table and Sending Forth on Thursday.

Not only will our Conference focus on worship innovation, the four services themselves will progress through the stages of worship. The services begin with gathering (Opening Worship), move into the word proclaimed (Service of Remembrance), a time of response (Ordination), and sending forth (Closing Worship). 

Four teams of worship leaders are each planning one service:

  • Rev. Sonny Sellers of Griffin First UMC and Chapel Roswell Band are coordinating Opening Worship on Tuesday
  • Rev. Cindi McDonald of Mt Carmel UMC and Atticus Hicks of Oak Grove UMC Decatur will coordinate the Service of Remembrance on Wednesday afternoon
  • Robert McMichael of Mount Bethel UMC Marietta and Gerald Ricks of Central UMC Atlanta are coordinating the Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination on Wednesday evening
  • Rev. Olu Brown of Impact UMC and the Impact Worship Team will coordinate closing worship on Thursday morning
The teams are collaborating with liturgists, servers, musicians and worship and visuals committees.

“After all, Liturgy comes from the word Liturgos,” explained Rev. Herzen Andone, director of Connectional Ministries. “Liturgos means ‘work of the people.’” Connectional Ministries staff are preparing training opportunities for both lay and clergy after Annual Conference that build on what we learn in June.

Notable schedule changes from recent years include a shift in the day of the ordination service. This year’s Service of Ordination and Commissioning is scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, June 14.

The laity dinner is moving to Wednesday before the service.

“The annual Laity Meal in North Georgia is one of the largest gatherings of its type,” said Conference Lay Leader Bill Martin. “Moving the meal to Wednesday night will allow those wanting to attend the Service of Ordination to have a place at the Classic Center to share a meal together and then conveniently make their way to the service. The laity dinner also has a long history of outstanding speakers and this year will be no different.”

A detailed agenda will be available in the spring.

Two things to count on every day of Annual Conference: Childcare and GROW Day Camp will again be offered and the beloved morning communion service is scheduled to be held each morning. 

Find more information on Annual Conference 2017 at