“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
June 7–12, 2021
The Annual Meeting Planning Work Group, in collaboration with Conference staff, is working hard to create an experience that will be educational, supportive, collaborative, and enjoyable — balanced by our sincere desire to keep everyone safe and healthy. To that end, the decision was made that the entire Annual Meeting will be virtual this year. Like the rest of the world, our team simply does not know when it will be safe to gather in-person, or even how that might look in June. That said, we have a lot of exciting plans to share with you!
The activities and learning sessions for the Annual Meeting will be spread out throughout the week of June 7, with the bulk of the work conducted on Friday and Saturday. Monday through Thursday we will have two workshop sessions each day, one mid-morning and the other mid-afternoon. We are accepting workshop proposals now! All workshops will be open to all delegates and visitors and will be recorded for later viewing by those registered for the Annual Meeting.
The business meeting, when we will vote on various business of the Conference (budget, compensation guidelines, etc.), will take place Friday afternoon and will be open to delegates only (to ease difficulties with online voting) but will be recorded and available later for public viewing.
On Friday evening, June 11, we will formally kick-off the Annual Meeting with a worship service, Rev. Shari Prestemon’s State of the Conference, and some fun surprises. Saturday will begin mid-morning with a keynote address from author Susan Beaumont, author of How to Lead When You Don’t Know What You Are Doing. Virtual “tabletop conversations” will follow her keynote address. The afternoon of Saturday, June 12, we will reconvene for a virtual panel of congregational leaders across the state who have engaged in the vital task of racial justice work. Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister of the United Church of Christ, will moderate the panel, which will be followed by small conversation circles. Saturday will conclude with a virtual concert and social “chat” to visit with friend across the Conference.
On Sunday June 13, we will worship together across the state and hear a message from Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson. That virtual worship service will be live-streamed and we are working hard to make it as accessible as possible for every congregation in Minnesota to worship as one.
One important thing to note: there will be no resolutions this year. While resolutions are very important to the work of the Conference, the Board of Directors concluded that it added a level of complexity to a virtual meeting that will already be highly complex.
Finally, our registration costs. We will ask delegates to pay $50 to attend the Annual Meeting, with delegates able to participate in all sessions. All visitors (non-voting delegates) will be asked to pay $25 for all sessions except for those on Friday (open to voting delegates only).
The Annual Meeting Planning Work Group is eager to engage with you and make this Annual Meeting the best experience possible.
Rev. Danielle K Bartz
Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Work Group