When Bishop James Swanson implemented a Special Called Session at Central United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 1, he wanted to appeal to family members of ordinands and others who can’t travel to Lake Junaluska to attend Annual Conference on a weekday.
"The ordination service is one of the most inspiring worship experiences in the life of our conference,” Swanson said. “Maybe there are those who will come to Knoxville to see this.”
Swanson also wanted to help new ordinands become eligible to vote at the beginning of Annual Conference, rather than missing a day, waiting for the clergy session to occur.
Finally, after preaching at Central recently and hearing about its history of hosting Annual Conferences past, “I thought it would be good to allow that congregation and sacred building to once again have the experience.
"I realize it may be inconvenient to some,” he added, “but I think we can work out some of the inconveniences.”
On June 1, the Clergy Session begins at 4 p.m. The Ordination Service begins at 5:30 p.m. Only clergy are allowed in the sanctuary during the Clergy Session, according to the Rev. Grady Winegar, conference secretary. All laity are invited to join the clergy for the Ordination Service.
Central UMC is located at 201 Third Avenue, Knoxville, Tenn. Directions and other details are provided on the "Upcoming Events" page.
Child care is provided for infants and toddlers free of charge from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on June 1. Reservations must be made by May 28 by calling toll-free (866) 690-4080.
Several businesses and some churches near Central UMC will offer parking. These lots will be marked. Additional parking will be available (with shuttle bus/van service from 3 to 5:15 p.m.) from Church Street UMC (900 Henley Street) and from Emerald Avenue UMC (1620 North Central Street).
The regularly scheduled session of Annual Conference will be held June 8-11 in Lake Junaluska, N.C. For more information, call the conference office toll-free at (866) 690-4080 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org