*By Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.
The California-Nevada Conference Commission on the Annual Conference Session has chosen “Testify to Love: Do All the Good You Can” as the theme for the 2018 Annual Conference Session.
"The gathering of the people called United Methodists is always a joyful and spirited time. As we gather for our 2018 Annual Conference Session it will be good to be in the Central Valley District. Our brothers and sisters in this district are hard-working, faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. It will be a gift to be in their context of ministry and celebrate all the good that God is doing through them," says Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño. "Above all, it will be a blessing to be the people of God gathered in by God’s love. Join me in praying for our Session that it may be a time of thanksgiving for God’s goodness and eternal faithfulness, and the renewing of our spirits and commitment to Christ Jesus."
Bishop Carcaño will preach for the Service of Ordination on Friday evening.
The Annual Conference Session will meet from June 20 to 23 at the Doubletree Hotel and Convention Center in Modesto, California. This will be the 170th session of the California-Nevada Annual Conference and the first year the annual conference has met in the Modesto location.
The Rev. Robert “Bob” Chicou, who chairs the Commission, believes the new location will meet the majority of the Annual Conference Session needs. Chicou says, "Your commission is working hard to 'do all the good we can' for the greatest number of people attending, and the work of the Annual Conference Session." He added, "May God bless this Annual Conference Session, all the work we do, and all who attend."
This year’s annual conference offering will benefit United Methodist relief efforts in Puerto Rico. More information about this offering will follow in the weeks ahead.
Morning meditations will be led by Marlon Hall. He describes himself as a griot (a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa) who enjoys telling stories using photography, anthropology, filmmaking, and writing to share stories of love, imagination, and passion. Hall is the cultural architect and spiritual leader of The Awakenings Movement, a grassroots community of social visionaries and culture shapers in Houston, Detroit, and Nairobi. He has led workshops in the California-Nevada Conference.
California-Nevada Conference Superintendent for Mission Collaboration, the Rev. Linda Caldwell, will preach for the Memorial Service. Caldwell will retire this year after 26 years on conference staff. Prior to serving as conference staff, she was the pastor of Parkside UMC, Williams, CA; Calvary UMC, San Jose, CA; Associate Pastor, Community UMC, Fairfield, CA; and District Program Associate for the Shasta District.
A report on the findings and recommendations of the Wespath Financial Advisory Consulting Team will be presented during the session. On the evening of June 21, there will be a time of Christian Conferencing on the Council of Bishops' Report on a Way Forward.
The offering for the Ordination Service will benefit Strength for Service, an Advance Project providing daily devotionals primarily to first responders and military personnel. The Memorial Service offering will benefit the conference Board of Pension’s necessitous grants fund.
Registration, as well as the Annual Conference Session website, will be available in the near future.
*Hygh is director of communications for the California-Nevada Conference which includes 370 United Methodist Churches with 73,000 congregants in Northern California and Northern Nevada.