The Commission on the Annual Conference Session (ACS) for the California-Nevada Annual Conference set the start date for ACS registration at its Nov. 27, 2018 meeting, and moved forward in other areas of planning, as well.
Registration for the annual conference will open Feb. 28, 2019.
Pre-ACS Orientations have been scheduled for May 18 and June 1. Details will be forthcoming.
The emphasis of the June 18-22, 2019 gathering will be on fixing our focus on Jesus, in reference to Matthew 8:18-27 – and through that, on creating a holy space where each member feels safe, respected, that they are heard, and that they are loved. With ACS following closely behind the special called General Conference (Feb. 23-26), the commission is preparing for a significant amount of interpretation of whatever action is taken in St. Louis, as well as for the possibility of legislation coming out of General Conference that would require ratification.
There will be ongoing work of interpretation leading up to annual conference, also, according to Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño.
In addition to responding to the work of the 2019 General Conference, ACS in June will need to elect delegates to the regular session of General Conference, taking place in Minneapolis in 2020, Agenda Chair Emily Allen reminded.
She also asked that agenda items be submitted on an ongoing basis. “If you have it now, submit it now,” she said. “As soon as you have it, send it to me, and I can begin to build the agenda.”
Rev. Youngmi Jung, pastor of Novato United Methodist Church and an at-large member of the commission, urged that special attention be given to ethnic congregations for whom “this is a very critical time.” She said the issue of LBGTQ inclusivity, to be considered at General Conference, “is very critical to them,” and said it will be important to look at how Cal-Nevada leadership can affirm the faith journeys of congregants in those communities.
She praised Bishop Carcaño for reaching out to Cho-un Korean UMC in Sacramento, the day before. “It was very, very powerful and important, what the bishop did in being present at a Korean church,” she said, noting that this is a time when ethnic congregations may feel “theologically marginalized and categorized.” She affirmed the need to create an atmosphere of pastoral care at ACS.
That priority is the reason that the conference will not import a guest speaker or guest worship leader in 2019. This time, the bishop said, we will need to create that holy space “with our own voices.”
Rev. Lisa Warner-Carey, Worship Team chairperson, used a sailing metaphor to illustrate turning over anxieties to “the One Who calms the storm.” In turbulent seas, she said, if the crew lets go of everything, the boat will right itself – just as God will “make the equilibrium” if we allow it, she said.