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Annual Conference set for May 30 to June 1

Voting at AC

The theme and the keynote speaker for the 2024 Michigan Annual Conference have been announced, along with important reminders for lay members.

Content Editor

Lay and clergy members of the Michigan Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church will meet for business, fellowship, and worship from May 30 to June 1, 2024, at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, MI, near Traverse City.

Annual Conference will begin with the opening worship and memorial service on Thursday, May 30, and conclude at 5 pm on Saturday, June 1. The clergy session will be held on Wednesday, May 29.

Registration opens on Friday, March 1, at 9:00 am EST. Those lay and clergy members already in the Brick River database will receive an email with registration instructions and a link. Local church administrators should speak to their lay members as soon as possible and ensure they are listed in Brick River correctly to avoid registration complications.

The Annual Conference website is live. It has the full schedule, information about accommodations and activities, and downloadable copies of reports and other essential materials. More information will be released in the coming weeks.

“Fearless: Embracing a New Future” is the theme, and the keynote speaker is the Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, Senior Pastor of the historic Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.

A gifted pastor-theologian, Gaines-Cirelli will preach and teach out of her 20-plus years leading congregations through periods of spiritual growth and engaged discipleship. She has a heart for radical hospitality and encouraging congregations to fight injustice in divisive times.

Preacher at AC
Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, Senior Pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., is the featured speaker at the 2024 Michigan Annual Conference. ~ photo courtesy Ginger Gaines-Cirelli

This year’s theme was inspired by two scriptures that will help chart the course as the Michigan Conference moves into the future. Coming out of the season of disaffiliation, the conference hopes to return to the critical missional and ministry needs of the world. At heart, the annual conference hopes to cast a vision and boldly turn a page to welcome exciting new chapters in this journey as United Methodists in Michigan.

The theme with scriptural emphasis points forward and focuses on God, who says not to be afraid but to trust in the strength that only God can give:

    • “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when Christ is revealed, we will be like Christ, for we will see Christ as Christ is” (1 John 3:2, The Inclusive Bible).
    • “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NRSVue).

As members prepare for annual conference, Michigan Conference staff want to remind churches about a few important matters related to lay members and their registration.

The number of lay members each church can send to the annual conference has been updated. It is recalculated each year to help the conference reach an equal number of clergy and lay members, as the Book of Discipline requires. Click to view the updated numbers.

The Board of Laity selects additional lay equalization members to reach the required number of laity since retired clergy also attend annual conference. District Lay Leaders, as listed on this web page, are responsible for coordinating the recruitment of lay equalization members for each district. Contact them with questions regarding how many equalization members are needed for each district and the requirements to be a voting member.

This is an excellent time to remind churches that it’s important for them to elect alternates to annual conference in case their elected member cannot attend. This should be done as soon as possible.

For information about lay equalization, contact Sarah Vollmer, Annual Conference Registrar, at [email protected].

Conference staff also encourage all clergy and laity to confirm with their local church leadership that lay members are listed in the Brick River database. This is the only way conference staff can validate their registration. This will ensure lay members receive important information, timely registration information, pre-conference reports, and invitations to Zoom gatherings. It will also confirm that those registered for onsite housing are guaranteed a room.

Read this article and follow the directions for updating Brick River information for lay members of annual conference. Only designated church leaders (administrative assistant/office manager, treasurer, and chair of the staff-parish relations committee) can edit church leadership information in Brick River. Contact Pamela Stewart, Conference Statistician, at [email protected] if there are questions regarding Brick River access.

Check the 2024 Michigan Conference website frequently for updates. Notices and articles in MIconnect will also share updated information regularly.

Last Updated on February 20, 2024

The Michigan Conference