As we continue to make plans for the Aug. 14-15, 2020, Session of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, we are focusing on the safety and health of our members. With this in mind, we are trying to limit the exposure of people to each other during the Annual Conference session.
This has led us to two decisions:
We will not be having Displays during the Session.
Initially, we had hoped to be able to accommodate this meaningful part of our gathering. However, as we continued to explore the details, we realized that we could not sufficiently mitigate the potential risks. All display registrations will be refunded with our deepest gratitude. Questions can be directed to our Displays Coordinator, Christy Blickensderfer (email@example.com).
We are requesting that you limit attendance to Conference members, invited guests, staff, and volunteers.
Our Annual Conference is an open, public meeting, as outlined by the 2016 Book of Discipline ¶722. We can restrict public participation for certain matters, such as Clergy Executive Session, but we do not believe we are authorized to do so for the entire session. However, we also recognize the potential risk to our members in having additional guests and observers onsite during our session. Therefore, we are requesting that our members take every effort to limit the people present to just the Conference lay and clergy members, specific invited guests who have direct business with the Conference during session, and our staff and volunteers who are required to execute the Conference session. We are continuing plans to offer onsite childcare, but we are requesting that it only be used by Conference attendees who do not have other options for childcare during our session. In order to best accommodate and safely host our members, we are also continuing our plans for onsite special and group meals.
We are still making decisions about the best ways to include guests and visitors during our worship experiences, and we will have further information about worship participation in the next few weeks. As has been our custom, we will be broadcasting all of our worship services and plenary sessions through our Conference website.
Questions about this can be directed to our Sessions Committee Chair, Curtis Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We recognize that these decisions will be inconvenient for some, and that with these decisions we are losing valuable and meaningful parts of our Annual Conference Session experience. These are extraordinary times in which we are meeting, and we believe that our service to Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, requires us to take every possible effort to promote the safety and health of our members and communities.