March 28, 2017
Annual Conference 2017 is quickly approaching! This year's theme is, "Imagine: By Faith It Can Happen." We are most appreciative to Dr. Larry Bryars and his staff at Frazer Memorial UMC in Montgomery, AL, for hosting us again this year as well as Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon and his staff at Montgomery FUMC for hosting the ordination and commissioning service. This year we welcome Claire Bowen and Dr. Victor Dingus as our teaching session guests. We are honored to announce that Robert McMichael and Jarvis Wilson will be leading our music once again. Please note several important highlights and changes to annual conference.
Annual conference is Sunday, June 4-Wednesday, June 7, 2017. The reservation system is available by clicking here. This simplified system is only needed if you or members in your group wish to reserve a meal, volunteer for the Upper Room prayer line or participate in the Biometric Health Screening. On-site registration will open on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at 3:00pm.
We will begin each day of annual conference with worship and communion. Many people throughout the annual conference will be involved in this holy time. Our own clergy will be preaching at all worship services. To see the working agenda, click here. Note that opening worship will begin at 6:00pm on Sunday, June 4. The clergy executive and laity sessions will follow that service.
This year's missional offering is for the Alabama-West Florida local mission agencies. We will joyfully collect this offering at opening worship on Sunday, June 4. A bulletin insert will follow in the coming days.
We are excited to invite choir members from around the conference to participate in the Opening Worship Mass Choir. Choir directors who are interested in bringing members to participate should contact Wayne Sigler at Frazer Memorial UMC. Details about the evening and music selection information may be found here.
Meals will again be served at Frazer Memorial UMC for Monday and Tuesday lunch as well as the Laity Banquet on Tuesday evening. Please make a reservation by clicking here if you plan to eat meals on campus or attend the banquet. This year the clergy spouse's luncheon will be held at Montgomery FUMC. Traditional group breakfasts/lunches may also choose to have their gatherings on campus and will arrange their own catering. If you are in charge of a group or special lunch and need room space, please click here to register your group.
Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church is offering child care for most sessions of annual conference. The Frazer nursery will be open 30 minutes prior to the sessions. Montgomery FUMC will provide nursery care for the ordination/commissioning service and spouse's luncheon. Both facilities offer this care for nursery- and elementary-aged children, except where designated. There is no charge for child care. Child care can be reserved here.
Youth pages have always been a part of our annual conference and we appreciate their presence, energy, and assistance! Students, ages 12-18 and active members in the United Methodist Church, are eligible to serve as pages at the annual conference. Youth pages extend lay leadership and we appreciate their participation! Click here to apply.
Please note the ordination and commissioning service will again be a combined service this year. It will be held Monday, June 5, starting at 7:00pm at Montgomery FUMC.
In order to be good stewards of the conference budget, we will again forego printed worship bulletins for several services. Instead, a downloadable "Guide to Annual Conference" pdf will be provided several weeks before annual conference. In it will be worship bulletins, pages that were previously bag inserts and other relevant notes. You may wish to access it on your computer, tablet or phone, or print a hard copy on your own to bring with you. Printed worship bulletins will be provided to family members at the memorial service as a keepsake. The traditional ordination/commissioning service bulletin will be a printed version, as usual.
Should you or your agency wish to submit a digital "insert," it must be laid out and submitted no later than April 15. It will go in the "Guide to Annual Conference" behind the agenda and worship bulletins that will be electronically distributed to all clergy and lay delegates. All inserts must be one page, 8.5 x 11 submitted as a pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not submit a brochure repurposed. Digital inserts should be a general overview of your ministry. No late submissions will be accepted. All submissions must be affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Your Book of Reports will be sent to your district office and either distributed at a gathering or picked up by each pastor. Please look for instructions from your district office. It is essential that you review this publication before arriving at annual conference. Should you choose the pdf download option, it is recommended that you download it from the conference Website before arriving at annual conference. As we confirm more cost-effective methods to print/distribute our conference journal, we will provide an updated link with information and instructions for ordering as soon as it is available.
Alabama-West Florida boards and agencies have been given priority for the limited number of available display spots. To reserve a table or exhibit display, click here. Should there be openings, our conference registrar will contact you in order of request. Requests must be affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
We are again anticipating a great response to the request for UMCOR relief kits
and supplies. We are encouraging local churches and groups to continue to assemble these kits or collect supplies to make up kits. A truck from Coleman American will accept donations in the parking lot at Frazer Memorial UMC. We appreciate any group that is willing to continue this ministry and will gladly accept these donations at annual conference. Click here for more
As a reminder, we encourage you to prayerfully consider nominating someone for one of our conference awards: The Alice Lee Award, Jane Walker Scholarship Award, Francis Asbury Award, Harry Denman Evangelism Award and the Local Church Heritage Award. Click here for more information.
Blocked rooms, some with special rates for hotels in Montgomery, have been posted. Click here for an updated list.
We look forward to seeing you at annual conference in Montgomery, AL, June 4-June 7, 2017!
Mary Catherine Phillips
Director of Communications