What is an Annual Conference?
Those not familiar with the United Methodist Church may be confused when they hear about the various meanings associated with the title Annual Conference. Long-term members may be equally confused on this subject matter.
Methodists have three different meanings for the term. When you hear the term annual conference, it could be referring to any one of three things. The annual conference is a regional body, an organizational unit, and a yearly meeting.
As a regional body, an annual conference is a geographical area that may cover an entire state, only part of a state, or even parts of two or more states. The United States has 56 annual conferences, supervised, and managed by bishops in 46 areas.
As an organizational body, an annual conference has a central office and a professional staff that coordinates and conducts the ministry and business of the conference. It likely has a director of connectional ministries, a treasurer, directors of programs, communication director and other staff deemed appropriate and the annual conference.
As an annual conference session, clergy members and lay members from the conference’s regional churches, gather once a year for worship, fellowship, and to conduct the business of the conference. It generally lasts about 3-5 days and includes reports, election of delegates, adoption of the budget, and other matters regarding to programs and ministries.
This is the month that our annual conference is receiving its annual conference report during its annual conference . . . . make sense?
All United Methodist and guests are invited to the Opening Worship and Time of Remembrance Service for this year’s Annual Conference. This special service, which hosts United Methodist from around the Conference, will be held at First UMC Richardson, Sunday, June 3, beginning at 7:00 PM. Bishop Tracy Smith Malone of the East Ohio Conference will be the guest preacher. A Time of Remembrance is the Conference’s way to honor the memory of those clergy members who have passed away during the previous year. Among the clergy that will be remembered is Bob Spencer (March 25, 1932 – December 11, 2017) former pastor at St. Philip’s UMC.