News and Views

Annual Conference Session set for June 1-4

Posted by Melissa Lauber on

By Melissa Lauber
UMConnection Staff

“You Have the Power” is the theme of the 232nd Annual Session of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, which will be held June 1-4 at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Conference features a packed schedule.

On Wednesday, June 1, a mandatory clergy session will be held 2 p.m. The laity session will be held that same day at 7:30 p.m. In addition, the retiree luncheon will start at 11 a.m., and the dinner for extension ministers is at 6 p.m. Throughout the day, courses in variety of topics will be offered for those who register.

Online registration for this event is now open. The cost is $129 before April 14 and $159 after. Churches are expected to pay the registration expenses of lay and clergy members.

One of the highlights of the session with be a farewell celebration for Bishop Marcus Matthews, the resident bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, who is retiring Sept. 1 after 42 years of ministry. The celebration will be June 3 at 7:30 p.m.

A Memorial Service, honoring those who have died in the previous year, will be June 3 at 10 a.m., and the Service of Ordination will be held Saturday, June 4, at 9 a.m.

Bishop James R. King Jr., the episcopal leader of the South Georgia Annual Conference, will be the preacher for both of those services. Bishop Matthews will preach at the conference worship service June 2 at 7:30 p.m.

A Bible study, led by Bishop Young Jin Cho, of the Virginia Annual Conference, will be June 3 at 8 a.m.

All of these services, and other portions of the plenary session will be live-streamed on the Conference website.

At the laity session, Munashe Furusa, vice chancellor of the United Methodist-affiliated Africa University in Zimbabwe, and BWC Lay Leader Delores Martin, are expected to be the featured speakers. The Rev. Ann Ross Stewart, a much heralded pastoral counselor, will speak at the retiree luncheon and extension ministries dinner.

Included in the plenary session will be a report from the BWC’s 12-member delegation on the proceedings of the General Conference session, which will be May 10-20 in Portland, Ore. At this quadrennial session, the law, structure and budget of the denomination will be decided.

Members will also vote on the endorsement of the Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi as their candidate for the office of bishop. Moore-Koikoi, superintendent of the Baltimore-Metropolitan District, was endorsed by the BWC delegation in February. The episcopal elections will be held as part of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, July 11-15 in Lancaster, Pa.

Lay and clergy members will hear reports on conference ministries, including expanded options for clergy health care; come together in mission in Circles of Prayer; vote on the 2017 budget; and consider resolutions on matters of rules and administration for the conference and local churches.

A Pre-Conference Briefing, to answer any questions members may have about these issues or other matters concerning the Annual Conference Session, will be held April 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at First UMC in Hyattsville. No registration is needed to attend the Pre-Conference Briefing.