Bishop: Annual Conference To Be Hybrid



Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, after consultation with Conference Sessions Chair Alan Morrison and other leaders, has announced that the 2021 Annual Conference will be held in hybrid form on June 18-19. Clergy session will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 3 via Zoom Webinar. 

“Due to the limitations on the size of gatherings and concerns for the safety of all participants, we’ve made the decision to care for the celebrations of ministry with as many people as we can accommodate in person,” said the Bishop. “We’ll use indoor and outdoor space at the Bayfront Convention Center and do all we can to maintain proper distance and abide by protocols to keep everyone safe.”

The Bishop notified all clergy and lay members of the annual conference in a letter  emailed on Saturday, March 6, 2021.  She also recorded a video of the message to share in churches. 

The hybrid 2021 Annual Conference session will be live-streamed from the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie. In addition to the Bishop, Coordinating Cabinet and Board of Ministry, some members of the Conference staff, Connectional Leadership Table, Board of Laity and the Sessions Team will be on-site during the event.

The Annual Conference will officially begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18 with the Ordination and Commissioning Service. Based on occupancy limits, each of those being ordained or commissioned may invite guests. The number of guests will be determined later. 

On Saturday, June 19, the day will begin with Bible Study, followed by the State of the Church Address. Families of members who have passed away in the past two years will be invited to attend the 11:30 a.m. Memorial Service with Bishop Moore-Koikoi preaching. The number of family members also will be determined at a later date.

Members of the Annual Conference will be asked to vote by paper ballot on these pieces of the legislation:

  1. A motion to suspend the Conference rules requiring in-person voting
  2. The Budget for 2022, which will be discussed during District Conferences
  3. A slate of nominees for Conference boards and committees

Bishop Moore-Koikoi, working in consultation with our Conference chancellors and Conference Secretary, will determine if there are any other pieces of legislation which must be cared for via paper ballot.

The registration form for voting members will include a checkbox to support the mail-in ballot process. Contingent upon a supportive response by the majority, ballots and return envelopes will be sent to voting members three weeks before the event. 

Completed ballots must be returned with signature and, if mailed, postmarked by June 30.  Conference Secretary John Wilson and his secretarial staff will verify and tabulate the results.

“The process is based on trust,” Rev. Wilson said. “If suspension of the rules is not approved, we fall back on caring for the business of the annual conference as we did last year. The Connectional Leadership Team will care for any necessary business.”

The CLT has authority to act on behalf of the Conference between sessions. CLT handled the 2021 budget and nominations, as well as other required legislation, when the Annual Conference session could not be held in person during 2020. 

The registration fee for the 2021 Annual Conference was waived by the Sessions Team during its March 4 meeting.