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2022 Annual Conference

 

The 2022 Annual Conference session will be held starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 16 to noon on Saturday, June 18, in person, at the Hampton Convention Center based on John 4:24 (CEB):

“God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.”

 

Virginia Annual Conference proceeding toward in-person June session

March 31, 2022 — The Annual Conference Planning Team, in partnership with Bishop Lewis and conference planner Neal Wise, continues to plan for the 240th session of the Virginia Annual Conference to be in-person.

The Planning Team and conference leadership have continued to monitor the COVID pandemic: positivity rate, hospitalizations, surges, and new variants.

Of the utmost importance is the health and safety of all members and guests attending Annual Conference 2022. At this time, the Planning Team remains confident the meeting can proceed forward in-person, but plans for pivoting to a virtual Annual Conference, should it be deemed necessary, are in place.

As the date of the conference gets closer, the Planning Team will share more about any COVID protocols that conference members and guests can expect while attending the conference. As the Hampton Roads Convention Center (HRCC) is owned by the city of Hampton, the conference will be subject to their protocols in addition to any made by conference leadership.

Questions may be directed to the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Conference Director of Connectional Ministries, at SteveSummers@vaumc.org

 

Book of Reports

The Book of Reports is now available digitally. Click here for an introductory letter by the Rev. Dr. Steven Summers. Click here for the Book of Reports. The hard copies of the Book of Reports are being mailed on Wednesday, May 18, to the people who requested one.

Registration

The deadline to make changes in EVC for lay members elected to the annual conference session is May 31, 2022. The conference will no longer mail name badges and registration cards to clergy and lay members. Members will pick up name badges upon arrival at conference. A barcode on each badge will be scanned to register attendance.
A troubleshooting desk will be available for last-minute changes.
Forms to bring to conference for last-minute changes: Local church member form (pdf)  District member form (pdf)

Hotel Reservations

Hotel Reservations for Annual Conference will be made again this year with an online reservation system.  Reservations opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday, February 23.  Annual Conference members received an email with the link to book their rooms on February 21; it is also available here.

For your planning purposes, the conference will begin with the Clergy and Laity Session at 9 a.m. with an informational District Initiative meeting and 10:30 a.m. Clergy and Laity Session will begin on Thursday, June 16, and end at noon on Saturday, June 18.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your reservation, please contact the Conference Housing Team at achousing@vaumc.org, 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday

Virtual Promo Packet

To be good stewards of the environment and the financial resources of the conference, the annual conference “promo packets” will ​continue to be virtual. Electronic copies will be accepted for inclusion in the Virtual Promo Packet, which will be posted on the conference website. The Virtual Packet will be available for viewing on the website beginning June 1. Information for the Virtual Promo Packet needs to be submitted in pdf, PowerPoint, or video format to the Office of Connectional Ministries (BevMyers@vaumc.org) for approval by Friday, May 20.

Displays

Only officially recognized boards, agencies, caucus groups, United Methodist-related institutions of the Virginia Conference, and agencies that currently receive funds from Virginia Annual Conference benevolence and grants are allowed to display at annual conference sessions. The purpose of a display is to promote and communicate the ministry responsibility of the organization. The purpose of displays, in general, is to communicate those ministries which the Virginia Conference, as a whole, supports.
Click here to download the complete guidelines (pdf).
Click here to request display space. The deadline for requests is Monday, May 16
Questions may be directed to the Rev. Eric Vaudt at EricVaudt@vaumc.org, (757) 759-7484.

Banquets

If you are planning a Banquet for this year’s Annual Conference and would like to have your event listed in the Conference Banquet Schedule, click here to submit a request.
Questions may be directed to the Rev. Mike Reaves at MichaelReaves@vaumc.org, (757) 653-8537

Clergy Pictures

Re:Member Church Directories will be set up in the display area to take clergy pictures. It’s been several years since this has been done so all clergy are encouraged to take the time to have a picture taken. New clergy are especially encouraged to have this done. You may have your picture taken beginning at 4 p.m., Wednesday, June 15, when registration opens, as well as all day Thursday and Friday.

Clergy: Report Absence

A reminder to clergy that according to ¶602.8[1] of the Discipline, any active clergy member of the Annual Conference who will not be attending will need to send your conference secretary (not the bishop) a letter with a reason as to your absence from Annual Conference. Please email Conference Secretary Joshua King at JoshuaKing@vaumc.org or if you are giving a written letter, please address it to: Rev. Joshua King, P.O. Box 487, Purcellville, VA 20134.

Invitation to Join Holy Rollers

Every year, the bishop of the Virginia Annual Conference makes an appeal for United Methodists in Virginia to give money to underwrite vital ministries around the world. The Holy Rollers, a group of laypeople and clergy, pedal bicycles for two-and-a-half days to encourage folks to contribute money for the offering. Click here for details to join the group on the ride or lend support.

Per Diem

By conference action, retirees, persons receiving their first appointment, and selected others are authorized to receive reimbursement for expenses to attend Annual Conference. This reimbursement is not to exceed $170 per night ($340 maximum reimbursement, receipts required,) and is subject to the limitations of conference approved rates. Vouchers are available at the link below and at the Pensions display in the Special Events Center. They need to be submitted to the Conference Treasurer’s Office with appropriate receipts. The Conference Treasurer encourages all reimbursements to be made by direct deposit. Instructions are attached to the vouchers to make provisions for direct deposit. Vouchers will not be accepted after July 31. Click here to see a breakdown of conference-provided per diem from the Standing Rules (pdf).
Click here to download per diem and ETF voucher (pdf)

Mission Opportunities

The mission opportunities during annual conference have been a highlight of the connectional system as 1,300 churches, their clergy, and annual conference members gathered, served, and shared our gifts with the world. In the coming 2022 annual conference, the Serving office is excited to announce three opportunities for us to come and serve this world together united as one. “United as One in Worship” is the overarching theme of the 2022 annual conference session. We believe that serving is another expression of our worship and we would like to provide the following opportunities for our churches to serve together:

  • “Being together”A 5K run/walk for members of the Annual Conference to remember the importance of well-being and health in ministry. A virtual platform will be offered for churches to hold a local 5K run/walk, allowing individuals to join in this effort to be together. All proceeds of this race will be contributed to the annual conference offering #nurturingtogether
    Registration for VAUMC 5K Run/Walk is open. Go to www.vaumc.org/beingtogether or find the race at https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Hampton/VAUMC5Krunwalk. All are invited to run and walk together. There is a virtual option for anyone who might not be attending conference in Hampton.
  • “Nurturing together” The annual conference offering will benefit both local and international mission projects to nurture leadership. This annual conference offering will directly sponsor the D.Min Program at Wesley Theological Seminary whose graduates serve to nurture soldiers all over the world. Also, Partnerships of Hope will continue to be the recipient of this annual conference offering. Most of the Partnerships of Hope projects focus on leadership development and their countries.
  • “Collecting together” The annual conference Kits and Cans collection will continue to collect United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) kits and food. Each district will host a district collection event one to two weeks before the annual conference. All UMCOR kits will be collected and sent to mission central, UMCOR Supply Depot and any collected food for any district-specific items will be distributed among the local ministry organizations.
    We are thankful for this opportunity of serving together and we pray that the churches will continue their support by encouraging the local churches to be part of this effort. For more information, visit www.vaumc.org/acmission. Contact us at serving@vaumc.org for any other questions.

Restaurant Listing

Click here to download a list of area restaurants (pdf)

FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As the conference, districts, churches and members continue to adapt during the COVID pandemic, you may have questions related to the in-person Annual Conference meeting from June 16-18, 2022. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to help conference members make appropriate plans and to know what to expect.
This document will be updated frequently to reflect current realities and the latest information.
Email questions to the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries, at SteveSummers@vaumc.org.

How will the Annual Conference meeting in June be in-person?

Bishop Lewis, alongside the Annual Conference Planning Team, has and continues to monitor the spread and surge of COVID across the Commonwealth. Safety for all Annual Conference members and guests remains one of the primary considerations for this event and within the conference as a whole.

At this time, there are positive signs the Omicron surge has reached its peak as well as signs that the pandemic is entering into a stage that is more manageable. Some powerful tools to fight against this pandemic such as vaccines, high quality masks, and personal hygiene practices are also now available to us as opposed to our status in Virginia last year and in 2020.

Currently there are also safety protocols in place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.

This decision is subject to change should the AC Planning Team and Bishop Lewis deem it necessary due to COVID.

What protocols are in place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center?

The Planning Team and conference leadership have continued to monitor the COVID pandemic: positivity rate, hospitalizations, surges, and new variants.
Of the utmost importance is the health and safety of all members and guests attending conference. The Planning Team remains confident the meeting can proceed forward in-person, but plans for pivoting to a virtual Annual Conference, should it be deemed necessary, are in place.
As the date of conference gets closer, the Planning Team will share more about any COVID protocols that conference members and guests can expect while attending the conference. As the Hampton Roads Convention Center (HRCC) is owned by the city of Hampton, the conference will be subject to their protocols in addition to any made by conference leadership.

Cleaning & Disinfecting Practices at the Convention Center

All high touch areas have been placed on visible continual cleaning and disinfecting routine during event hours and post event. Hospital Grade Sanitization Wipes are regularly used to be less intrusive during event hours. Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers are used to disinfect larger spaces more effectively. Through the partnership of VenueShield, the HRCC is shifting products to Clorox T360 for this higher quality of disinfectant in sprayers. 

Hand Sanitizers have been installed at each entrance area, elevator landings, eating areas, ATM’s and adjacent to restroom locations. Portables stands are strategically placed during events. Touch-free dispensers will be used wherever possible and routine checked to ensure they are filled.

Restrooms are regularly monitored and disinfected as well as sanitized during events. The use of touch free urinals, toilet fixtures and sink faucets. This touch free design aims to reduce cross contamination and encourage better hygiene.

Additional signage has been placed throughout the venue to promote hygiene and reminders are added as CDC/Local direction suggests.

The HRCC is focused on using products on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved list for use against COVID-19. Workers have been trained on proper PPE/Manufacture directions/OSHA requirements for safe use.

Equipment Modifications
  • Water Fountain stations have been recently converted to add a sensor based bottle-filling station.
  • HVAC Systems
    •  Frequent Air Filter Replacement is scheduled with upgraded filter in all areas of the Center.
    •  Bio-ionizing UV Technology has been installed in all units to assist with air purification
  • Elevator/Escalators
    • New Technology for cart air purification and self-cleaning button protectors are installed inside the cart.
    • Escalators have been modified to have a UV sterilizer handrail making it clean and safe for riders.
I don’t feel safe attending this gathering in June. If the event proceeds as scheduled in-person, how can I participate?

The Virginia Annual Conference will be working in partnership with the Hampton Roads Convention Center (HRCC) on COVID policy procedure for the June event. Learn more about this in the question above. 

 The Annual Conference will not logistically be able to facilitate a hybrid model of the annual conference session. Therefore, it will be either all in-person or an all virtual event.  

In either case, the Annual Conference session will be livestreamed for viewing purposes for the general public and non-voting members of Annual Conference.

Will childcare be provided at Annual Conference this year?

No, childcare will not be provided at Annual Conference. However, there will be a designated Parents Room and Nursing Room available to parents and guardians on-site

If the annual meeting shifts to a virtual format, how will housing arrangement costs be reimbursed to conference members?

Housing for Annual Conference members opened on February 23. Conference rates are guaranteed through May 15. Should Annual Conference move to a virtual format, all registrations will be canceled automatically.  Credit cards will not be charged until check-in, so no refunds will be needed. 

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