Pandemic prompts annual conference schedule change


The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes in the schedule for the 2020 Great Plains Annual Conference session.

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. sent a letter to clergy and lay members of annual conference Wednesday, April 8, notifying them that to ensure their safety he had consulted with the ministry area directors and decided to change the scheduled May 27-30 session.

Under the revised schedule, annual conference now will be a one-day conference call to tend to items that cannot be delayed. Then, a more complete annual conference session will be conducted Oct. 1-3 in Grand Island, Nebraska. The October session will include the memorial service to honor deceased clergy and clergy spouses.

Decisions are still pending for ordination and the honoring of retiring clergy.

“Please know that you will be kept informed on all decisions related to annual conference as they are made,” the bishop said in his letter. “In addition to correspondence by email and direct mail for those without email, you will be able to find the most recent information on the conference website.”

Hotel blocks that had been planned in Topeka have been canceled, but the bishop noted that people who had made reservations must call the hotel themselves to cancel accommodations.

Questions can be directed to district superintendents and to the Rev. Nancy Lambert, director of clergy excellence and assistant to the bishop, in the conference office. But due to the volume of emails and calls on more urgent matters for local churches right now, the bishop asks that people be gracious in deciding which questions to ask right now because some answers may still not be known.

Information will be shared as it becomes available on the conference website.

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