August 28, 2020 | by JB Brayfindley
“Welcome! What a strange time and what a strange way to be together,” stated Los Rios District Superintendent Shinya Goto and emcee for the recent Pre-Annual Conference Session Briefing for Los Rios, Great Northern and Central Valley districts on Saturday, August 22, 2020. For this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Rev. Goto, informed participants that the platform had recently been changed from in person to virtual.
The Pre-ACS event was divided into three parts starting with a prayer and devotions along with brief introductions of the upcoming conference activities. The second part included viewing the Pre-ACS training video. And, for the last part, participants followed a different zoom link to participate in individual district meetings online.
“Even if not present in person, God binds us together in the real presence of God who will bless us,” stated Bishop Carcaño reflecting on this event and the upcoming live broadcast of the 2020 CNUMC Annual Conference Session (ACS) streaming on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday, September 17 through Sunday, September 20, 2020.
“This can be a time of rebirth and clarity,” stated Rev. Debra Brady, superintendent of the Central District, as she prayed the final prayer of the morning session. “We call on You as our Good Shepherd to lead us.”
“We are going to do essential work at annual conference,” explained Bishop Carcaño. Bishop Carcaño noting the special virtual events such as the Memorial Service at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 19 and the Commissioning and Ordination Service on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. She announced a Service on Denuclearization on Friday, September 18 at 3 p.m. The online legislative session will occur on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the virtual plenary floor without the need for separate sectional break out zoom room meetings. Clergy and laity Zoom sessions will be held on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“There will be very few legislative proposals,” stated Jorge Domingues, executive director of Connectional Ministries, pointing out that only ten proposals have been submitted so far including pension and budget plans. There will be updates on strategic planning work and resolutions passed during the 2019 ACS. “All sessions will end with devotional times.”
Bishop Carcaño stated, “It will be prayerful and worshipful with teaching times as well as devotional times.”
Voting members need to register by September 1st in order to vote during ACS. If you are not sure whether you registered, check your email to see if you received a confirmation of your registration. If not, please register at cnumc.org.
The ACS Training Video was presented by David Wood, executive director of Good News Video (GNTV). Participants overviewed the zoom options including the use of chat, Q & A and how to vote. (To practice voting now, visit the website vote.gntv.info and enter the ballot code of 123456.) GNTV will be facilitating 60-90-minute training sessions in September for clergy and lay members. A GNTV member will be live and assisting participants in all the features including debates and voting protocols. Participants attend only one or as many as they like. Dates of upcoming 2020 ACS Training events include: