LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (June 11, 2017) -- The 2017 session of the Holston Annual Conference begins today and continues through Wednesday at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.
This year’s Annual Conference includes 1,946 clergy and lay members representing 880 churches in 12 districts in east Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and north Georgia.
Also attending are representatives of three related colleges, five Wesley Foundations, a children’s home, a retirement community, four camps, and several seminaries and ministry teams.
The Annual Conference is the yearly meeting of Holston United Methodists for spiritual renewal, ministry and business decisions. Commissioning, recognition, and appointing of clergy will also happen. John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, desired Annual Conference to be a means of God’s grace through Christian “conferencing.”
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY
Registration opens today at 2 p.m. at the Foundation for Evangelism Center, the second building on the left inside the main entrance of Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. For those who are staying on the grounds of Lake Junaluska, housing check-in is at Bethea Welcome Center.
Registration will remain open until 8 p.m. tonight. (Tomorrow, registration will move to the Susan Todd Lounge on the 2nd floor of Harrell Center. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
The Laity Session begins today at 4 p.m. in George Stuart Auditorium. Speakers include Del Holley, conference lay leader, and Michael Eastridge, chair of the Strategy Team, who will explain more about the proposed strategic plan.
The Clergy Session begins at 5 p.m. in Stuart Auditorium with Bishop Mary Virginia “Dindy” Taylor.
Tonight, pre-service music will kick off at 7 p.m. in the auditorium with the choir from Fountain City United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tenn. Worship and Holy Communion begins at 7:30 p.m. with Bishop Taylor preaching and the Rev. Nancy Hobbs serving as liturgist. Members of the United Methodist Men and United Methodist Women will help serve communion.
Following worship, servers for Monday-morning communion will meet in Stuart Auditorium for rehearsal. Members of the Conference Choir (singing at Monday's Memorial Service) will also meet for rehearsal in Stuart Auditorium after tonight's worship.
This week’s music leader is Wesley Rouse from Fairview United Methodist Church in Maryville, Tenn. Organist is Bryan Underwood from State Street United Methodist Church in Bristol, Va.
HOW TO KEEP UP
Members of the Annual Conference will receive The Call’s e-newsletter every morning, Sunday through Thursday, in their in box. (Send us an email if you want to make sure you’re on the list.)
The Call’s printed edition will be provided today at registration and also on Wednesday morning at Stuart Auditorium. (Here's today's printed edition in PDF.)
The complete list of Annual Conference news will be posted at ACNews.Holston.org.
General information about Annual Conference is available at AC.Holston.org.
If you can’t be at the sessions, live stream is available at AC.Holston.org.
In addition, news, updates and images will be provided through our social media. Caroline Lamar will post on Instagram. Ronnie Collins will post on Twitter. Terry Goodman will provide Sunday through Wednesday morning Spreaker podcasts about the day to come and the previous day’s activities. A variety of material will appear on our Facebook page. Hashtag is #holstonac17.
Buzz Trexler returns this year as Annual Conference photographer. Holston communications staff members include Annette Spence as editor and Donna Hankins as multimedia coordinator.
Be sure to visit these exhibitors in Harrell Center auditorium. Some will be on the grounds between Stuart Auditorium and Harrell Center:
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
GBHEM Endorsing Agency
United Theological Seminary
Holston Camp and Retreat Ministries
Holston Children’s Ministry Team
Big Stone Gap Church and Community Renewal
Duke Divinity School
Eastern Mennonite Seminary
Grace Home for Children (South Sudan)
Holston Black Methodists for Church Renewal
Holston Conference Foundation
Holston Clergy Spouses
Holston Home for Children
Intentional Growth Center
Morgan Scott Project
Holston Older Adult Ministry
Holston Outreach/ Advocacy Team
Holston Partners in Crisis
Holston Peace with Justice
Reconciling Ministries Network
Society of St. Andrew - Tennessee
Wesley Leadership Institute
Holston Youth/ Young Adults Ministries
First UMC of Cleveland
Cherokee Firewood Cutting Ministry
African Rescue Ministries
Appalachian Trail Chaplaincy
Holston Methodist Federal Credit Union
Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer
Candler School of Theology
Shop the World
Send news tips to Annette at thecall@Holston.org.