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A behind the scenes look at the Sessions Committee

By: Kay Braun, chair, Dakotas Conference Session Committee

Char Ough helps out with registration at the 2019 Annual Conference. Photo by jlnn studio.

It’s been a great Annual Conference! And the Sessions Committee is one part of the group which makes it happen. 

The sixteen member Sessions Committee includes clergy, laity and conference staff and are appointed by the Bishop. We meet four times a year, some of us by cell phone or laptop and some in small groups at various locations but we are all together in one meeting! It’s wonderful not driving to meetings and great to be able to see each other via cameras.

Kermit Culver, Brandon Vetter, Bruce Adams, Perry Schnabel, and Kathy and Al Roll were this year’s Host Team. The Host Team changes each year because they are from the host community. They organize the volunteers, the Festival in the Park, childcare, and other arrangements specific to the location of Annual Conference. They deserve credit for the wonderful food at the Festival and the fun Bean Bag competition. Please give them your thanks.

Taylor Johnson and Lou Whitmer, as worship coordinators, work to create the wonderful environment in which the Annual Conference takes place. The agenda is coordinated by Duane Coates. Bea Stucke is the Site Coordinator and her responsibilities included researching potential sites for Annual Conference in 2021-2024. Doreen Gosmire is the Communications Coordinator who works on all aspects of the communications about Annual Conference and the audio-visual systems for Annual Conference.

Other committee members include Jane Hincks as Conference Co-Lay Leader, Deb Kjerstad from the Board of Ministries Representative, Bishop Ough as a member, Rebecca Trefz as Executive Director of Ministries, Dayne Zachrison as member at large, and Kay Braun as chair.

Our meetings and work cover many areas: conference themes, speakers and workshop topics, preachers, locations, worship services, the Miracle Offering. At times, individuals work on a task then bring the results back to the group for further discussion. Our meetings include prayer, serious discussion, and laughter.

The recommendation for the sites for Annual Conference locations in 2021-2024 is an example of this behind-the-scenes work. Criteria for locations was in place and locations in several communities were visited. The location information was compared to the criteria to develop the proposal. We voted on the resulting site proposal which was approved .

2020 AC will be an overlapping Annual Conference with the Minnesota Conference. It will be in Sioux Falls, SD on Wednesday through Saturday June 10 – 13th. The Minnesota Conference will meet prior to our meetings, share some time on Thursday and Friday then we in the Dakotas will continue with our meetings through Saturday. It will be a memorable conference!

I look forward to the inspiration at next year’s Annual Conference.

Kay Braun, Chair, Sessions Committee

UMC

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