|In this time of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that brings uncertainty and increased health risks, Bishop Bob Farr has decided to postpone the 2020 Session of the Missouri Annual Conference scheduled for June 5-7, 2020 in Springfield, Mo. Expect dates, deadlines, special meals and all special activities connected to annual conference to be delayed and/or suspended at this time.
For Missouri United Methodists, postponement means experiencing annual conference in a new way in 2020. As many of our local churches have experienced grief and loss, the Conference and more importantly, our connection, are experiencing loss at not being able to gather physically and celebrate our shared ministries, learn together and conduct the business of annual conference, including the ordination and commissioning of 18 individuals who have worked a number of years to arrive at this stage of their vocational call.
All details have not yet been worked out, but we can share the following with you:
We know you have many questions in this unforeseeable time. As we prayerfully discern God's voice on this unprecedented journey, be sure to check the conference website and social media regularly. Also, please check your email frequently for pertinent updates.
- The Conference has formally notified the University Plaza and Convention Center, Juanita K. Hammons Center for Performing Arts, Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the various hotel properties with whom we have room blocks. If you have made hotel reservations, please contact the hotel property and confirm cancelation so that you might receive your refund. Please note several of the hotel properties had 30-day cancellation policies including: University Plaza Hotel, The Q Hotel, Bass Pro Angler’s Lodge, and DoubleTree by Hilton. You need to call immediately (May 1) to cancel your reservation to ensure that you do not incur late cancellation charges.
- Failure to contact your hotel and cancel your individual reservation by tomorrow, May 1 may result in an immediate charge to your credit card. While the Conference is doing all in its power to ensure this does not happen, we will be unable to cover these losses should you fail to give timely notice to the hotel.
- All registrations made through moacinfo.com will be fully refunded through PayPal, credit card or through physical check (if originally paid in that way). The Conference finance department will begin processing these refunds next week. If you have not received a refund by May 15 and you believe you are entitled to one, please contact Staff Accountant Lindsay Ready at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will have our livestreamed pre-conference briefing (75 minutes) scheduled on Thursday, May 28 at 10 a.m. We will use this session for Bishop Farr’s State of the Church address, further discussion around how the postponement of annual conference will work and an update on the General Church regarding the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference postponements to 2021.
- Bishop Farr has called a virtual clergy session (60 minutes) on Friday, June 5 at 10 a.m. Full connection, provisional and licensed clergy will receive an email with details about accessing that session, along with details about voting on the Business of the Annual Conference (B.A.C.), the formal business conducted during the executive session. Since the clergy session is closed, lay members and guests without express permission of the bishop may not attend. It will not be recorded. Clergy members in full connection will receive an electronic or mailed ballot (if no email address on record) to vote on the B.A.C. prior to the clergy session.
- We are working on scheduling a one-day clergy and lay session (2-3 hours) on a Saturday in August to conduct the essential business of the annual conference including voting on matters such as the 2020 Standing Rules, Nominations report, 2021 apportioned budget and other financial matters. These votes will be retro-active to July 1, 2020.
- More details to come on how this session will be conducted. We are preparing for conducting this session through livestreaming combined with district gatherings across the state. We invite you to remain flexible as it is yet unknown what public gathering restrictions and social distancing requirements will be in place in August across the state.
- We are working closely with the commissioning and ordination classes to discuss the safest and best way possible to celebrate their commissioning and ordination this year.
JUNE CAMPS CANCELED
Due to health and safety concerns, the Office of Next Generation Ministries has made the difficult decision to cancel the following camps scheduled for June:
All camp registrations for the above camps will be fully refunded. The Conference finance department will begin processing these refunds in May. If you have not received a refund by the end of May and you believe you are entitled to one, please contact Camping Registrar Tina Twenter at email@example.com. Contact Scott Burdin, NextGen Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about summer camping.
- NextGen Mobile Camps originally scheduled for 6/15-6/19 in Kansas City and Wentzville
- NextGen Mobile Camp originally scheduled 6/22-6/26 in St. Charles
- NextGen Overnight Camps: Xtreme/Xtreme Ignited originally scheduled for 6/8-6/12
- NextGen Overnight Camp: God’s Girls on the Go originally scheduled 6/22-6/26
In addition to the above cancelations, the following mobile camps hosted at Missouri local churches with partners Eagle Lake or Heartland Camps have also canceled:
Heartland and Eagle Lake are offering campers options regarding their paid registration including rolling over to 2021, donating or receiving a refund. Contact your local church camping coordinator with questions about camper refunds for the Heartland and Eagle Lake camps mentioned above.
- Eagle Lake Mobile Camp at Kennett originally scheduled for 6/1-6/5
- Eagle Lake Mobile Camp at Oregon originally scheduled 6/8-6/12
- Heartland Mobile Camp at Fenton originally scheduled for 6/1-6/5
- Heartland Mobile Camp at Kirkwood originally scheduled 7/6-7/10
- Heartland Mobile Camp at Pacific originally scheduled 7/27-7/31
Our team continues to monitor the updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local health departments related to camping events scheduled for the remainder of the summer. We will keep the Conference apprised of any decisions about further July and August camping events.