By Cate Monaghan
Interim Director of Communications
The Commission on the Annual Conference Session has resolved to adopt the theme chosen for the 2020 General Conference, “And Know That I Am God,” taken from Psalm 46, as the theme for the 2020 gathering of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The unanimous decision was made at the commission’s October 10 meeting.
The commission, chaired by Rev. Gary Pope-Sears, welcomed three new members: Kim Hines, secretary (at left), and new Worship Committee co-chairs, Revs. Vincent Santanelli and Lindsey Bell-Kerr (at right, below).
The 2020 ACS, June 12-15 in Modesto, California will cover a weekend, which has led to some agenda changes. The Commissioning and Ordination Service is being tentatively planned for Saturday evening and the Memorial Service for Sunday. The commission hopes that non-voting members of congregations will take the opportunity to drive to Modesto to be present for one or both of those days, to participate in this important event in the life of Northern California and Northern Nevada UMCs.
All clergy, as well as elected lay members, are obligated to attend all four days of the conference.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño said it is the responsibility of pastors to ensure that their lay members register online for the conference, and she encourages them to begin planning early for coverage at their churches on that Sunday morning.
Churches that have Internet capability in their sanctuaries may join the ACS Sunday worship service, which will be live streamed (as is all of ACS). In addition, the Worship Committee is considering creating a special liturgy, complementing the Sunday service at ACS, that churches can use to include their congregations in what is hoped will be a conference-wide corporate worship experience.
Two preachers have been selected. As she customarily does, Bishop Carcaño will preach during the Ordination service and the Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, superintendent for the Los Rios District, will preach at the Memorial Service.
Conforming to pattern, clergy and Laity Sessions will be held on the first day of conference. Sections work is tentatively scheduled for Saturday morning.
The agenda will include a report from the General Conference delegation, balloting on episcopal candidates, and selection of the jurisdictional nominating pool for serving on general agencies and committees. Two, or perhaps three, bishops in the Western Jurisdiction will be retiring in 2020 but Agenda Chair Emily Allen said the number of candidates Cal-Nevada nominates does not have to conform to the number of vacancies.
The commission heard a report from a site selection committee that recommended the conference return to either the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, or the fully renovated/expanded Sacramento Convention Center and adjacent Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, in 2021 and 2022.
“I value everyone staying together,” said the bishop, responding to the fact that the Sacramento option offers more hotel rooms in one space. She urged district superintendents to remind pastors, at church conferences, to prepare their budgets to adequately fund hotel costs for ACS – for themselves and their lay members.
After weighing numerous factors, commission members unanimously approved moving back to the California capital in 2021 and 22.
The next meeting of the commission is scheduled for January 6, 2020.