“This was the best Pre-Conference event I’ve ever attended!” was one of a dozen positive responses Rev. Gere Reist, California-Nevada Conference executive director of Leadership Development, received after the District Conference/Pre-ACS Orientation in the El Camino Real District this past Saturday (May 18).
The event took place at Almaden Hills United Methodist Church in San Jose.
Reist credits the new format of PowerPoint and video combined, interspersed with Question and Answer times, with making the event move quickly and smoothly.
“We want to make sure delegates to Annual Conference are not dealing with information cold,” explains Rev. Craig Brown, executive director of Congregational Development, who led a portion of the Pre-Conference event held in the Central Valley District, at St. Paul’s UMC in Manteca.
“There are some significant items on the agenda and we want people to feel prepared to deal with them.”
Among those: Consideration of the actions of the 2019 General Conference, election of delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences, revisions to the Standing Rules, and changes to the budget structure.
This year the Pre-Conference Orientations are being preceded by District Conferences, at which the members of Annual Conference are being tasked with voting on nominations for district committees and also on forming District Unions, “the successors to the district extension societies” which currently handle financial and real estate assets for the districts.
“We need voting members to be present to vote on these items,” says Diane Knudsen, executive director of Finance and Administration for the California-Nevada Conference, who helped facilitate the Los Rios District gathering, held at Pinole UMC.
The Great Northern District Conference and Pre ACS Orientation took place at First UMC in Loomis.Some 60 persons were in attendance, representing more than 30 churches, according to Rev. Jorge Domingues, Cal-Nevada's executive director of Connectional Ministries.
“The District Conference had a very lively discussion about the creation of the District Union and the vision of how we will be strategic about the resources that are available to the district to start and invest in new mission opportunities,” he says, adding that the District Conference approved the creation of the District Union almost unanimously.
Two more District Conference/Pre-ACS Orientations are on the docket. On Saturday, June 1, the Bay District event will take place at Taylor Memorial UMC in Oakland 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., and the Central Valley District will hold a second District Conference/Pre-ACS Orientation on the same date, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at Tulare UMC.
Register here: Bay District Central Valley District
There is a $20 fee to attend, which covers refreshments and lunch.