From the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee
Although uncertainty remains due to the pandemic, the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee has determined the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will take place in 2021. The event is planned for June 30-July 4, 2021, in Greensboro, N.C.
Conference arrangements will, of course, abide by guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the state of North Carolina that are in place at the time of the Conference. We hope that by then we may all gather in person, but if CDC and/or state social distancing guidelines limit the number of people who can meet in the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, we are making contingency plans for a hybrid event. Such a scenario will allow for on-site participation (within government guidelines) along with virtual access for both delegates and non-delegates.
Because the 2020 Annual Conference was canceled due to coronavirus, it is very important to have Annual Conference next summer for the church’s wellbeing as we consider a compelling vision for the denomination, hold elections, hear agency reports, and worship together.
Registration fees for next summer remain unchanged: $125 for non-delegates and $305 for delegates. Children and youth may register for free, but there are activity fees for each age group.
As was announced this past May, the 2020 Conference theme will be the 2021 theme: “God’s Adventurous Future.” Program and featured resource leaders for the 2020 Conference also have been deferred to 2021, as have the 2020 items of business.
We are pleased that the people who were scheduled to preach at the 2020 Annual Conference have agreed to preach next summer:
— Wednesday evening: Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey
— Thursday evening: Richard Zapata of Anaheim, Calif., a pastor of Santa Ana Principe de Paz Church of the Brethren
— Friday evening: Chelsea Goss and Tyler Goss, a sister-brother duo who have appeared at National Youth Conference and National Junior High Conference
— Saturday evening: Beth Sollenberger, district executive minister for South Central Indiana District
— Sunday morning: Patrick Starkey, chair of the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren
Other 2020 leadership who will serve as resources for next year’s event:
— Michael Gorman, the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Md., and a frequent lecturer at churches, institutions of higher education, and clergy gatherings, will lead morning Bible studies and several insight sessions.
— Tod Bolsinger, vice president and chief of leadership formation at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and author of “Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory,” will lead a Friday morning plenary session.
— Fernando Ortega, a multi-Dove award winner and singer-songwriter whose hits include “This Good Day,” “Jesus, King of Angels,” and “Sleepless Night,” will give the Wednesday evening concert.
The Worship Planning Team from 2020 also will continue into 2021 including convenors Jan King and Emily Shonk Edwards from the Program and Arrangements Committee, Cindy Laprade Lattimer, Robbie Miller, Mandy North, and Josh Tindall.
For more information about Annual Conference go to www.brethren.org/ac .
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