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Plans underway for 2019 Annual Conference

Annual Conference is a yearly session when clergy and lay members gather for worship, fellowship, learning, and conduct the business of the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church. During the 2019 Annual Conference session, members of the conference will hear reports of past and ongoing work; adopt future goals, programs and budgets; ordain clergy members as deacons and elders; and participate in workshops and learn about evangelism. All are welcome to attend the June 6-8 event at the Event Center in Bismarck, North Dakota.

In a time of continual changes, God is calling United Methodists in the Dakotas to remain rooted in Christ. Drawing on John 4:1-26, the theme of this year's annual conference session is “Dare to Reach: Love Boldy!” We will explore ways in which Jesus calls us to step out of our comfort zone and reach those around of us with the love of God in ways beyond our imagination. We will tell our collective story of how God's love quenches our thirst and claims us, and explore ways to invite everyone to drink from the well so that their thirst may be quenched—"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19).

Rev. Dr. Mark R. Teasdale, E. Stanley Jones Associate Professor of Evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, will provide two teaching sessions focused on reaching the next person for Jesus. Dr. Teasdale shares that he loves teaching evangelism. Church leaders are often bombarded with material that hints it is only by human effort the church will be effective. The study of evangelism starts with the assumption that God is active, and that our efforts are only to participate in what God is already doing. Dr. Teasdale says, "Our job is not to generate a mission, but to look to God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, expecting miraculous power to burst forth as God moves to accomplish God’s purpose—the redemption of all creation!"

As a practical theology, evangelism gets to the heart of what we believe– who God is, what God does, and how God forms us to be part of God’s purposes. In his courses, Dr. Teasdale takes time to help students answer questions so they can express their faith in a clear, articulate, and authentic way in word and practice. "My greatest hope is that they will become public witnesses, inviting those who are not Christians to know God through Jesus Christ, and strengthening the church by leading other Christians to articulate their faith," he states. View his full vita here.

The 26th session will begin with pre-conference events and workshops on June 4-5. Take a look at the schedule here. Registration will open March 1st, 2019. You will want to book your hotel room now. Take a look at your options here.