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Missouri Annual Conference 2020 Session Postponed


April 30, 2020

In this time of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that brings uncertainty and increased health risks, Bishop Bob Farr has decided to postpone the 2020 Session of the Missouri Annual Conference scheduled for June 5-7, 2020 in Springfield, MO. Expect dates, deadlines, special meals and all special activities connected to annual conference to be delayed and/or suspended at this time.
 
For Missouri United Methodists, postponement means experiencing annual conference in a new way in 2020. As many of our local churches have experienced grief and loss, the Conference and more importantly, our connection, are experiencing loss at not being able to gather physically and celebrate our shared ministries, learn together and conduct the business of annual conference, including the ordination and commissioning of 18 individuals who have worked a number of years to arrive at this stage of their vocational call.
 
All details have not yet been worked out, but we can share the following with you:
 

  • The Conference has formally notified the University Plaza and Convention Center, Juanita K. Hammons Center for Performing Arts, Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the various hotel properties with whom we have room blocks. If you have made hotel reservations and have not received a cancellation notification (check your spam/junk folders), please contact the hotel property and confirm cancellation so that you might receive your refund. 
  •  UPDATE: MeetingMAX (the group reservation system we use for MOAC20 hotels) has canceled all reservations and issued cancellation emails.Please note:
       1) Attendees that did not reserve through our system will need to call their hotels directly.
       2) Some attendees will need to check spam or junk folders for the cancellation email depending on their security settings.
       3) If you receive an email cancellation, you do NOT need to call to cancel your hotel reservation.
  • All registrations made through moacinfo.com will be fully refunded through PayPal, credit card or through physical check (if originally paid in that way). The Conference finance department will begin processing these refunds next week. If you have not received a refund by May 15 and you believe you are entitled to one, please contact Staff Accountant Lindsay Ready at lready@moumethodist.org.
  • We will have our livestreamed pre-conference briefing (75 minutes) scheduled on Thursday, May 28 at 10 a.m. We will use this session for Bishop Farr’s State of the Church address, further discussion around how the postponement of annual conference will work and an update on the General Church regarding the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference postponements to 2021.
  • Bishop Farr has called a virtual clergy session (60 minutes) on Friday, June 5 at 10 a.m. Full connection, provisional and licensed clergy will receive an email with details about accessing that session, along with details about voting on the Business of the Annual Conference (B.A.C.), the formal business conducted during the executive session. Since the clergy session is closed, lay members and guests without express permission of the bishop may not attend. It will not be recorded. Clergy members in full connection will receive an electronic or mailed ballot (if no email address on record) to vote on the B.A.C. prior to the clergy session.
  • We are working on scheduling a one-day clergy and lay session (2-3 hours) on a Saturday in August to conduct the essential business of the annual conference including voting on matters such as the 2020 Standing Rules, Nominations report, 2021 apportioned budget and other financial matters. These votes will be retro-active to July 1, 2020.
  • More details to come on how this session will be conducted. We are preparing for conducting this session through livestreaming combined with district gatherings across the state. We invite you to remain flexible as it is yet unknown what public gathering restrictions and social distancing requirements will be in place in August across the state.
  • We are working closely with the commissioning and ordination classes to discuss the safest and best way possible to celebrate their commissioning and ordination this year.
 
We know you have many questions in this unforeseeable time. As we prayerfully discern God's voice on this unprecedented journey, be sure to check the conference website and social media regularly. Also, please check your email frequently for pertinent updates.