What's New at Annual Conference 2017?


Pictured: Rev. Cyndi McDonald and Rev. Pam McCurdy of the Visuals Team display an altar frontal for the Service of Ordination. It is handmade from t-shirts sent in by those being ordained and Christmas cards. The piece celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

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 2017: 

Welcome, Bishop
With great excitement we welcome Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson! Bishop Sue began serving our Conference in September and 2017 marks her first Annual Conference session as presiding bishop. We'll have two opportunities to hear her preach, at Opening Worship and the Service of Ordination.

A Wednesday Night Ordination Service
Our Service of Licencing, Commissioning and Ordination will be held on Wednesday night, the second night of Annual Conference. This year clergy are invited and encouraged to process in and sit together as a way to honor and recognize the support of their colleagues that surrounds them. All clergy, including local pastors, are invited. Clergy should pre-register for the processional and wear black robe with red stole

Oh, How We Worship
What happens when teams of excellent worship practitioners meet, study, pray, collaborate and plan for months to prepare for Annual Conference worship? You don't want to miss a single worship experience so you can find out!

With the theme "Show Your Work: Worship That Inspires Action," we'll focus on excellent worship throughout our Annual Conference session. Though each service will be unique, the week will take us through the four stages of worship: gathering (Opening Worship), the word proclaimed (Service of Remembrance), a time of response (Ordination), and sending forth (Closing Worship). Communion will be celebrated at the closing worship service this year.

Also new is scheduled time to hear from the worship planners about what worked, what didn't, what they hoped for, and how they prepared. These talks are appropriately titled "Show Your Work."

When Do We Eat?
  • Young Adults, What'll Ya Have? The Annual Young Adult Gathering has a new venue and it's a classic: The Varsity. Young adults are invited from 8 to 10 p.m. on Monday, June 12, to The Varsity on Broad St. in Athens. 
  • Laity Dinner: Gathering for a meal is a beloved tradition for North Georgia lay members. This year's event will be a Laity Dinner, held on Wednesday evening at 5:15. Dr. Deb McFarland of the Rollins School of Public Health and a member of Glenn Memorial UMC will be the keynote speaker. Her focus will be on the value of public health projects by organizations such as The United Methodist Church (clean water, Imagine No Malaria, and other public health programs). This will tie in to our Annual Conference theme of “Show Your Work” as well as the Four Areas of Focus of The United Methodist Church.
  • Clergy Brunch: This year, rather than a Clergy Lunch, clergy will gather for a light brunch at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. 
  • Concessions: Lunch concessions in the Atrium this year will feature a new and expanded menu from Athens' Levy Restaurants. Chick-Fil-A will be back with breakfast offerings each morning and will return for dinner Wednesday evening.
Are YOU New? Classic Center Orientation Offered Tuesday
First time members of Annual Conference are invited to a brief orientation to learn about the Classic Center building and the city of Athens. The orientation will be Tuesday, June 13, from 9 to 9:25 a.m. in Grand Hall 4-5 across from the Atrium.

And a few things that are the same!

While there are changes, much will stay the same! Here are just a few things you've come to expect: 

Mission and Giving at Annual Conference
Each Annual Conference gathering offers opportunities to practice stewardship and generosity. Here are a few of the ways: Handbook is Full of Good Info
Members of Annual Conference will be well prepared if they take the time to read and reflect on this year's Handbook. Find answers to questions, updates from agencies and organizations, and everything you need to know to be prepared. Handbooks will be distributed at your District Pre-Conference Briefing and a PDF of the document will also be posted online at www.ngumc.org/AC2017.

It's Live
The Annual Conference Session will be Live Streamed beginning with Opening Worship at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Find the link the week of Annual Conference at www.ngumc.org/AC2017