By Jennifer Lambert, Annual Conference Secretary and Pastor of Red Mountain UMC
This year, due to continued restrictions placed on in-person gatherings by the COVID-19 pandemic, our Desert Southwest Annual Conference session is scheduled to take place June 11-13, 2021. Rather than being held in person at the Mesa Convention Center, our Annual Conference will again turn to a virtual format. GNTV will assist with our digital venue, enabling delegates and clergy to gather by video. More specific times of our virtual meeting will be announced soon.
The deadline for individuals and local churches to submit petitions and rule changes has passed. The deadline for boards, commissions, agencies or any five (5) members of the annual conference to submit a resolution is April 30, 2021.
At the time of this writing, COVID-19 pandemic also continues to affect General Conference scheduling and decisions which impact our conference. It is possible that the timing and the process for episcopal nominations and elections may change, but at this point, we are guided by the conference rules which state that episcopal nominations are due by April 1, 2021.
All elders who are full members of any Annual Conference are eligible for nomination. Persons submitting names shall identify themselves including eligibility to nominate. (see page 154 in the 2020 Journal for additional information). Any changes in the decisions about the election of new bishops will be shared with the Conference through the normal channels of communication in the General Church and in the Desert Southwest Conference.
Details regarding registration and voting eligibility at Annual Conference will be published in March 2021 at dscumc.org/ac along with details about practice sessions and pre-conference briefing(s).