October 13, 2021 | by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Clergy and Lay Members of the Annual Conference Session,
Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ our Lord.
We look forward to being with you at our upcoming 173rd Annual Session of the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church. We will convene at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 29th for our Opening Worship Service and will conclude on Sunday, October 31st at 11:15 am with a worship service that we hope all of our California-Nevada Conference churches and communities of faith will join via live-stream.
We will gather under the theme of “Presente,” in the spirit of Jeremiah 29:7 --
“…seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile,
and pray to the Lord on its behalf,
for in its welfare, you will find your welfare.”
God surely calls us to be present in the communities where we live and serve for the welfare of those communities, as well as for our own welfare. As we do God’s work, serve as Jesus calls us to serve, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to be faithful Christians in the world, we will find our well-being.
We will be meeting in-person for our plenary sessions at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center located at 1400 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814 and lodged at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel nearby.
Some of you have expressed concerns about our meeting in-person in this time of ongoing pandemic. We share your concern and have addressed the need to follow the safety protocols of the CDC, state, county, and local health offices.
We have met with the staff of the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center and toured our meeting spaces. We found that they are following all necessary safety protocols with great care as is the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. Here is the link to the Sheraton COVID protocols: https://whattoexpect.marriott.com/sacsi.
The commitment to safety that we ask all conference members to abide by is that all will:
We attempted to obtain rapid COVID tests for all participants but found that the rapid tests are in high demand, so stocks are low. Unfortunately, we were not able to purchase these tests.
Some lay members to the Annual Conference Session have informed us that due to concerns about age and certain underlying health conditions, they will not be able to attend this year’s Session. You are in our prayers as is your local church. Please inform your pastor so that the process to find an alternate can be undertaken. This may be a good opportunity to provide younger church members with the opportunity to attend the Session of our Annual Conference.
Friends, we know there is fear among us. We cannot assure you that no one will become ill with COVID because of gathering for our Annual Conference Session. What we do know is that COVID will be with us for some time, and we can help lead our communities through life in COVID by our commitment to observe safety measures including being vaccinated and praying without ceasing for the healing of all around the world with special prayers for those who—after these many months—continue to serve as essential workers in service to humanity.
God bless you all,
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Rev. Gary Pope-Sears, Chair
Commission on the Annual Conference Session
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is Resident Bishop of the San Francisco area and the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church.