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What to Expect: 5 New Things to Note About Annual Conference 2019


There is rich tradition at the North Georgia Annual Conference, but with each session, there are also exciting updates and changes to look forward to as we gather for our United Methodist Family Reunion! Here are a few new things to expect at Annual Conference 2019: 

1 - Serving Together
Our related agencies are coming together to host an afternoon of fun, service, and barbecue on Tuesday! The event will immediately follow the close of the June 11 afternoon session of Annual Conference. Be sure to register for the barbecue with your Annual Conference registration. Read about the Serving With Each Other event at www.ngumc.org/newsdetail/serving-with-each-other-bbq-and-mission-project-with-related-agencies-12793273​

2 - The Hush Arbor
All should plan to visit The Prayer Room in the Empire Room of the Upper Level of the Foundry Building. The room will feature a Sankofa Hush Arbor. Sankofa Hush Arbors were secret places hidden in thick wooded areas where persons in slavery created a sacred place to worship free from whites, who offered westernized Christianity that demanded slaves to obey their masters. So important were these services that many who attended would worship all night only to return to the fields at sunrise. As you walk the labyrinth in the room, notice the 134 quart-sized mason jars filled with soil from historically and traditionally black churches in North Georgia. They are intended to remind us of the display in the Equal Justice Initiative Museum. At least two black Methodists from North Georgia have relatives whose names are included among those persons lynched in Georgia.

The Sankofa Hush Arbor is a collaborative effort of the North Georgia Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Annual Conference Visuals Team, and volunteers and friends from Mt. Pleasant UMC Social Circle, General Board of Global Ministries, Atlanta Community Food Bank, NGUMC Prayer Force, Covington First UMC, and John Rhodes of Harmony Grove UMC Lilburn. 

3 - Ask Gary!
Our guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, will present four times at Annual Conference. He'll share his story, offer theological and biblical foundations for peacemaking, and teach about human dynamics and about moving beyond conflict. His teaching will offer us vital tools for ministry. During those presentations, you'll have the opportunity to text Gary questions using our voting devices. There will also be two question boxes in the Grand Hall for those who prefer to write their questions. At the end of each day, Gary will have an opportunity to review the questions. On Friday, along with a panel, he'll answer some of our questions to help us deepen our understanding of peacebuilding in our context. Read more about our guest speaker at: https://www.ngumc.org/newsdetail/peacebuilding-annual-conference-to-welcome-teacher-and-speaker-gary-mason-12806090.

4 - Are You New?
Newcomers/first time-attendees to the North Georgia Annual Conference can learn about the Classic Center buildings and the city of Athens at an orientation on Tuesday, June 11, 9 to 9:25 a.m., in Grand Hall 4-5. 

5 - One With Each Other: At On-Site Registration and in the Sessions
Unlike other "voting years" where there was a lay side and a clergy side of the Grand Hall, this year laity and clergy may sit anywhere in the bar of Conference! Additionally, on-site registration will not be separated by lay and clergy. All will register in the Ligotti Room on the Lower Level of the Foundry Building. 

These are just a few things to note about Annual Conference 2019. Be sure to thoroughly read the Annual Conference Handbook where you'll find reports, information, and agenda! Find the Handbook and more at www.ngumc.org/AC2019. 


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