Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Grace and Peace from our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
As the pandemic year of 2020 ends, we are looking ahead to 2021. On January 1, 2021 we will begin a new quadrennium. As we look ahead, one of the things we must consider is our annual conference nominations process. In 2020, we developed a slate of persons and verified their willingness to accept the positions for which they would be nominated at the 2020 Holston Annual Conference. However, due to the pandemic, we were unable to meet for an in-person event. Therefore, under Tennessee law, we could not conduct business that required discussion and vote unless we could get a unanimous decision. Furthermore, our Standing Rules also stated that if we presented a slate of persons for nominations, we had to have debate. To further complicate the situation, we are technically still in the old quadrennium. For instance, we are not going to hold General Conference 2021, we are going to hold the 2020 General Conference, that has been postponed. The times they are certainly strange.
We are reminding you of these challenges to bring you up to date on our plans for the 2021 Holston Annual Conference. Our goal at this time is to have an in-person event. We will probably need to continue the protocols we have been following. We will have to social distance and we may all have to wear masks, but we pray for the opportunity to gather and conduct the business of the Holston Annual Conference. At that event, we will present the same slate of nominees that were developed in January 2020 for the in-person 2020 Holston Annual Conference that was held virtually. We are going to ask the District Superintendents to re-verify that those persons we were asking last year are still willing to serve. The only changes we plan to make are to replace persons that might indicate they are no longer willing to serve or to report changes that have been made by groups that are able to make changes on their own based on Discipline or Standing Rules.
We ask you to continue to pray for our local churches, the members of our congregations, and the pastors that lead them. This continues to be a challenging time for all of us. Please include asking God to allow us to hold a safe in-person 2021 Holston Annual Conference. Additionally, we seek God’s strengthening and blessing for those men and women that we will be nominating to lead our annual conference in the quadrennium that awaits us.
Remembering that God’s love, mercy and grace is always more than sufficient for all our needs,
Rev. Terry Goodman Mary Virginia Taylor
Secretary of the Annual Conference Resident Bishop