What is the Annual Conference Session?
The annual conference is the basic body in The United Methodist Church and sessions of the annual conference have historically been a time for the people called Methodists to gather, give account to God of the work they have done and their stewardship of the resources God has given them since they last met. It has also been a holy time to discern God’s will for their future, a time when persons called to ordained ministry are commissioned and ordained, and both clergy and lay personnel and financial resources are deployed for ministry. Above all, annual conference sessions have been connectional gatherings where the gathered have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit and have been revived for God’s holy work.
The Annual Conference session will consider legislation, recognize retiring clergy, celebrate a Memorial service to honor clergy and clergy spouses that have passed during the previous year, and fix the appointments of pastors to the various charges.
Annual conferences are geographically defined and each year, across the denomination, the clergy members of the conference meet with at least an equal number of lay members in their annual conference session for worship, fellowship, and to conduct the business of the conference, which may last three to five days. The area bishop presides over these meetings. This will be the 169th session of the California-Nevada Annual Conference and the fourth year the annual conference will meet in Burlingame. The 2018 session is slated to meet in Modesto.