June 6, 2019
Are we working hard for you or what? What other communicators do you know that would put together an A to Z list of interesting things you should know about Annual Conference?
That’s right. This here is an exclusive.
So here it is: An alphabetized rundown of what’s happening (or ought to happen) at our upcoming Holston Annual Conference, to be held June 9-12 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina.
A is for Addiction. This year’s Annual Conference offering will be devoted to fighting opioid addiction in our communities. Please take your offering to Tuesday night’s worship service.
B is for Ballots. Have you heard? There’s an election going on. As members vote to choose their next delegates to General Conference, ballots will be paper instead of electronic this year, saving the Annual Conference significant cash.
C is for Colleges. The Tuesday morning session featuring our three affiliated colleges could be emotional. This will be the last year for Hiwassee College. The 170-year-old school closed its doors on May 10.
D is for Drums. The “African Drums” from Lennon-Seney United Methodist Church will wow us Tuesday night for the Missions Celebration.
E is for Everybody. God loves everybody. We should, too. Let’s give it a shot.
F is for Family. The Rev. Susan Arnold will be ordained on Wednesday. So will her daughter-in-law’s brother, the Rev. Clayton Farmer. Clayton is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the late Rev. Connie Mack Farmer. Susan is following her great-grandfather, the late Rev. Immanuel Rodgers.
G is for Get. Get our on-site edition of The Call newspaper every morning at Stuart Auditorium. If you’re back home, you can get the same news at Holston.org/ACNews.
H is for Healing Hands, this year’s theme. Wouldn’t that make a great hashtag? By the way, our Annual Conference hashtag is #holstonac19.
I is for Interpretation. For our Spanish speakers, interpretation will again be offered during Annual Conference sessions in Stuart Auditorium. Ask for the headphones at the information desk or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
J is for Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Sweetest name I know.
K is for 5K! We had a lower number of participants register for the 5K Run/ 1-Mile Walk on Tuesday morning than in years past. But it’s not too late to participate! See the front page of The Call on Monday for more info.
L is for Live Stream. All sessions will be live streamed at AC.Holston.org.
M is for Missions Dinner. If you didn't pre-register, there's still limited space available Monday, 5:30 p.m., Terrace Hotel auditorium. $25 at the door. George Howard from the General Board of Global Ministries is the speaker. A love offering will be taken for our English-Speaking United Methodist Church in Prague.
N is for New Business. It’s rather complicated, but a 2017 action has led to a 20-minute period in which members can have their proposals considered by the Annual Conference in a public way on a first-come, first-served basis. The Sunday newspaper will explain this in detail. You may also read about it in your “Book of Reports” on page 23.
O is for Ordination. The Service of Ordination, Commissioning, Recognition and Sending Forth will be held later than in recent years – on Wednesday afternoon instead of Wednesday morning. The election is expected to require a longer schedule on Wednesday, but most people seem to think that’s better than staying an extra day.
P is for Pastors ... specifically, our Hispanic pastors, who are meeting for a special dinner on Tuesday night at 5:15 in Terrace Hotel, room 316.
Q is for Quality. Annual Conference, for many, is an opportunity to spend quality time with their friends. For a reminder of all that we love about our friends and family in Holston Conference, watch this “Holston is My Home” video again.
R is for Retirees. We challenge you to get through the Retirement Recognition on Tuesday afternoon – including the video of remembrances and advice from our retiring clergy – without shedding a tear or stifling a sob.
T is for T-shirts. Got a favorite Resurrection or Holston camp shirt? Our CCYM has designated Monday as Holston T-shirt Day! Wear a T-shirt from one of our great ministries or events. Our photographers will be looking for you.
U is for Ushers. Led by the Rev. Tony Collins for umpteen years, our Annual Conference ushers do a great job. They will hand you your newspaper every morning, collect the ballots, help count any other votes, and generally keep things in order. Big ups for the ushers!
V is for Vendors. Our lunchtime vendors will be Bojangles, Lenoir’s Creek Farms, and Holy Smoke BBQ, serving on the grounds between Stuart Auditorium and Harrell Center.
W is for Women. The Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) will encourage us to celebrate our female leadership in Sunday’s newspaper and during a Wednesday presentation. Also, don’t forget the Clergywomen’s Luncheon on Monday at noon in Terrace Hotel, room 319.
X is for eXciting. One of the most exciting parts of Annual Conference is the honking of the horn from the parking lot, signifying the departure of our Hands-on Mission kits for Liberia and Zimbabwe! That’s happening on Monday morning.
Y is for Younger Voices. Our CCYM will be handing out “I love younger voices” buttons, encouraging members to vote for delegates 35 and younger.
Z is for ... We loved this response from the Rev. Ginger Howe Isom, who replied to our request for a great “Z” entry on social media: “Z is for Zombie, which is probably what we will all feel like after the 127th round of voting for delegates.”
We’ll get through it together, y’all. See you at the lake!
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.