True or false? Annual Conference begins Sunday

True or false? Annual Conference begins Sunday

How long have we been meeting in Lake Junaluska?

ALCOA, Tenn. (June 9, 2017) -- Holston Annual Conference happens Sunday, June 11 through Wednesday, June 14, at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. The theme is "Behold!" The agenda will include worship, business, and fellowship. The hashtag is #holstonac17.

That's all you need to know, right?

Well, let's see what you do know. Here's an Annual Conference quiz to prepare you for the big event. Answer the following statements with "true" or "false."


As always, ordination will be a highlight at Annual Conference.


FALSE. There won't be an ordination service at this Annual Conference.

The Rev. Mickey Rainwater, chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, says it’s because of the board's 2015 change in the provisional period from two to three years. So, on Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. there will be a “Service of Commissioning, Recognition and Sending Forth" (involving nine provisional members and four associate members) … but no ordination.

"At the 2018 annual conference we anticipate a service of commissioning and ordination," Rainwater said.

The print newspaper will be available at Stuart Auditorium every morning.

FALSE. For 16 years, The Call has provided a daily on-site newspaper with the help of a late-night production deadline. However, our printer recently stopped operating 24/7, which necessitated earlier printing deadlines.

So this year, The Call will provide a printed newspaper on two days instead of four: Sunday and Wednesday.

To compensate for the print reduction and to keep the information coming, our communications staff is boosting content and delivery in new ways. The Call will send an electronic newsletter to Annual Conference members Sunday to Thursday morning by 8 a.m. (Send us an email if you want to be sure your address is on the list.)

We’re also adding a new podcast and assigning special correspondents to our InstagramFacebook, and Twitter accounts. Another place to find our Annual Conference news is … and of course, you can always locate general information and watch the live stream at

This is the 40th consecutive time the Holston Annual Conference has met at Lake Junaluska.

TRUE. Did you know that? Prior to 1978, Annual Conference was held at churches. In 1977, Central United Methodist Church in Knoxville hosted the Annual Conference. Bishop Ellis Finger presided as resident bishop.

In 1978, the Holston United Methodist (predecessor to The Call) reported that the first AC session at Lake Junaluska ended with the passing of a $4.7 million budget and the approval of a resolution calling for “strong legislation that would cease and desist orders against mining operations that endanger public health, safety, or welfare.”

Two offerings will be taken at this Annual Conference.

TRUE. On Tuesday morning, please take your offering for Change for Children to the table outside Stuart Auditorium between 8:30 and 10 a.m.

On Tuesday night, please take your offering for Ishe Anesu Project to evening worship. The music begins at 7 p.m.


On Tuesday, Annual Conference members will join in a “Stop Hunger Now” mission project.

FALSE. It’s true that you’ll have an opportunity to help feed the hungry through a meal-packaging event on Tuesday during lunchtime. However, the international hunger relief agency that many Holstonians know as “Stop Hunger Now” is no longer called that.

In January, the organization’s leaders changed the name to Rise Against Hunger, while explaining a re-branding effort and a problem with trademarking the former name.

“Stop Hunger Now” was founded in 1998 by United Methodist pastor Ray Buchanan. The agency took a giant step toward global organization in 2005 when Buchanan brought 50 volunteers to a Raleigh warehouse to package 20,000 meals, according to The News & Observer.

Because this isn’t an election or General Conference year, there won’t be debates or hot topics.

TRUE/FALSE. Not sure. The proposed Strategic Plan will require a vote, as will the $9.07 million proposed 2018 budget and five constitutional amendments from last year’s General Conference. The Book of Reports includes three resolutions that could raise questions, as well as a report from the “Task Force on Bullying and Harassment of Clergy by Laity” and a change involving the retiree health insurance supplement and direct invoicing to the local churches.

The related committees and teams try to do their homework and provide opportunities for members to ask questions before and during Annual Conference (examples: a Strategy Team chat room on Monday during lunch and a budget question-and-answer session on Monday during dinner). Sometimes a “hot topic” will quickly pass with a favorable vote – such as the change from the apportionment to the 10 percent tithe in 2010 – and sometimes a so-called non-issue will arouse a heated conversation.

Because every Annual Conference member’s voice is important, be sure to study your Book of Reports, attend all sessions, and take advantage of opportunities to ask questions and learn more. The Call will try to keep you informed both throughout and after the sessions.

This is your last chance for Joey’s Pancakes.


Sad but TRUE. There are a lot of favorite eating places for Holston Annual Conference veterans, and one of those is Joey’s Pancakes in Maggie Valley. The restaurant’s owner, 70-year-old Brenda O’Keefe, recently announced that the last breakfast would be served on Tuesday, June 13. Joey’s Pancakes has been serving hotcakes to Holstonians for 51 years.


Find out more about Annual Conference at


Annette Spence

Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.

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