ALCOA, Tenn. (May 18, 2017) -- The annual meeting of Holston Conference leaders is about three weeks away. Will you be there June 11-14 at Lake Junaluska, N.C.?
If so, you've already received lots of materials and emails -- and perhaps have already attended meetings -- to prepare for the yearly gathering of about 2,000 preachers and church members. All will be there to help Holston Conference plan for the next year of ministry and business for 881 churches and related ministries.
Here's what we know so far:
BOOK OF REPORTS
The Book of Reports was posted earlier this week. (Those who paid for a hard copy should be receiving it in the mail soon.) The "Book of Reports" is ... well, a bunch of reports ... from our ministry teams, boards, agencies and other groups.
Annual Conference participants will want to pay the most attention to reports requiring a voting decision. Examples of these are:
> $9.074 million proposed budget for 2018 (pages 95-103)
> report and resolution on clergy abuse (pages 173-179)
> pensions and health benefits (pages 180-186)
> resolutions on vacations, migrants, and sacraments (pages 209-212)
> constitutional amendments from General Conference (pages 214-219)
STRATEGY TEAM PROPOSAL
A big decision for Annual Conference members will involve a proposed strategic plan for Holston's future, a laborious effort by a 13-member team over the last couple of years. To be sure you know what you're voting on, the team has also provided a 30-minute video.
Hand-in-hand with the strategic proposal to "re-size" Holston districts from 12 to nine is Bishop Dindy Taylor's announcement that she will only appoint nine district superintendents at Annual Conference.
Meetings in every district were planned to make sure all Annual Conference participants are up to speed on everything from meals to music. Four briefings already happened on May 7. The rest are scheduled May 21 and May 23. There's even a 75-minute video from the Johnson City meeting -- in case you can't be present at any of the briefings.
ISHE ANESU OFFERING
This year's Annual Conference offering is designated for Ishe Anesu Project in Zimbabwe. Many congregations have already taken their offerings; others will do that prior to June 11. Maria and Bill Humbane, who are retiring their long-time leadership of the children's mission, will be present at Annual Conference.
HANDS-ON MISSION PROJECT
Congregations throughout Holston are collecting food, health, and school supplies for either Ishe Anesu in Zimbabwe or United Methodist schools in Liberia. Every district has a different assignment, and every district has deadlines for where they want the supplies dropped off. (Check with your district office for details.) Volunteers will transport supplies from each district location and deliver them by June 7-8 to Fairview United Methodist Church in Maryville, Tenn., where the donations will be loaded into ocean carriers for the trip to Africa.
Visit AC.Holston.org for more information, including deadlines for signing up for activities and frequent updates.