What's New at Annual Conference 2018


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 2018: 

Let Us Pray
This Annual Conference session we will focus on spiritual disciples and the importance of being "One with Christ." We have four times set aside to learn about spiritual disciplines from experts from here in North Georgia. Presenters will include Ellen Shephard, Gregory Ellison, Anjie Woodworth, Andy Woodworth, Lahronda Little, Julie Boone, Millie Kim and Tavares Stephens. Consider reading Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie J. Thompson to prepare. 

Oh, How We Worship
What happens when four teams of excellent North Georgia United Methodist 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!

Though each service will be unique and led by a different North Georgia Conference church, 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 again this year. Read more about worship.

Called to Ministry
For the first time in several years, North Georgia will celebrate three Global Mission Fellows. These three young adults from our Conference will become Global Ministries missionaries who will serve for two years as missionaries in the United States. We will commission a United Methodist Deaconess, a layperson called to vocational ministry who commits to a life-long vocational ministry in love, justice, and service. And we will commission a Global Ministries missionary from the North Katanga Conference who will serve in Atlanta. We will ordain 8 elders and 2 deacons, and we will commission 15 provisional members, plus license new local pastors. 

Clergy to Process Into Ordination (But No Need to Pre-Register)
Clergy will once again surround the newly licensed, commissioned, and ordained at Wednesday's Ordination Service. This sends a very special message of love and support to those who join the fellowship of the Called. There is no need to pre-register, just arrive "robed and stoled" in the Pre-Function Area (overlooking the Atrium) on the second floor of the Classic Center at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13. 

Laity Invited to Tuesday Morning Drop-In Information Sessions (No Formal Lay Orientation)
On Tuesday, June 12, at 10 a.m. laity are invited to drop-in information sessions around The Classic Center on Leadership UMC, Scouting, and United Methodist Women. There won't be a formal lay orientation. Clergy will have an executive session at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

  • Leadership UMC - Grand Hall 5
  • Scouting - Grand Hall 7-8 Pre-Function Area
  • UMW - Grand Hall 4
When Do We Eat?
  • Young Adult Game Night: The Annual Young Adult Gathering has a new venue and a new time. All young adults are invited to The Rook and Pawn in Athens on Tuesday, June 12, at 6:30 pm. 
  • Laity Dinner: Gathering for a meal is a beloved tradition for North Georgia lay members. This year's Laity Dinner, held on Wednesday evening at 5:15. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a long-time United Methodist, will be keynote speaker.
  • Clergy Brunch: 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 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 12, 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:
  • The Annual Conference Special Offering will go toward the Ministerial Education Fund.
  • A Red Cross Blood Drive will be held June 13-14.
  • The UMW is collecting UMCOR Hygiene Kits during registration.
  • The 12th Annual Conference 5K will be sponsored by our Conference Council on Youth Ministries and funds from the race will go toward the Youth Service Fund. That fund is raised by youth and goes to support youth mission projects in our Conference. 
Cokesbury on Site
Cokesbury Ministry Resource Center will be set up in the Foundry Building. Use code "AC2018" for free shipping.

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 have been distributed at District Pre-Conference Briefings and a PDF of the document is posted online at www.ngumc.org/AC2018.

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/AC2018.