2020 Annual Conference going online


SPRINGFIELD -- Bishop Frank J. Beard, all 10 district superintendents, the extended cabinet and the Annual Conference Sessions Committee announce today that the 2020 Annual Conference will be held online on Saturday, Aug. 15.
While a complete agenda is still in development, plans are for IGRC clergy to gather for the online Clergy Session from 10 a.m. to noon with a lunch hour to follow. The full session of the Annual Conference will begin at 1 p.m. and be completed that afternoon.
Persons who have hotel reservations may want to contact their hotel to ensure cancellation of their reservation. Some Peoria hotels have already begun notifying persons of the cancellation.
The agenda will include only the minimal amount of legislative business that is required for our Annual Conference to continue operating. Bishop Beard, in consultation with the IGRC Board of Ministry, will announce plans for ordination and commissioning in the near future.
Reports, presentations, and addresses will be prepared on video and available for members to review in advance. We will surround our work in worship and prayer, but we will not have our traditional worship services.
To ensure that the online session is legally permissible under the provisions of the Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act (805 ILCS 107.10), a ballot will be prepared, asking all lay and clergy Annual Conference members to approve a special set of standing rules specifically to govern the online session. The Sessions and Standing Rules committees have collaborated with the Area Office as they seek to support the following principles:

  • Ensure that every member has an appropriate and secure vote
  • Provide for efficient and orderly conduct of Conference business
  • Clearly and simply express the means of member participation
  • Provide participation options for members who do not have reliable internet access
 A ballot will be announced and persons will have several weeks to complete voting either by mail or online during June.
With these new rules applied, the Annual Conference Session will be conducted using a combination of website streaming video of the session for the general public, video conferencing for members, and a means of online voting. Small satellite viewing and voting centers will be set up throughout the districts for those who cannot access the video stream or online voting portal.
The announcement follows several meetings, including approval of the change of venue. Bishop Beard and the Cabinet approved the measure unanimously May 19 and the Sessions Committee May 27. The process of change is outlined in ¶603.3 in the 2016 Book of Discipline.
Bishop Beard will also be convening virtual district meetings in the next few weeks to allow persons to ask questions about process and prepare for the online session.
Details will be available in the next few weeks along with a new registration web site. Please feel free to reach out with questions to Director of Connectional Ministries Curtis Brown at cbrown@igrc.org .