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AC registration opens: Award nominations needed

Come join us in Bismarck, North Dakota from June 8-10 for the twenty-fourth session of the Dakotas Annual Conference. The theme of the 2017 Annual Conference is “Encounter the Spirit: Live Expectantly.”

The three-day conference session, June 8-10, is a time for Dakotas United Methodists to worship and enjoy fellowship, learn from teaching sessions, seek God’s guidance as we make decisions about ministry direction, determine budgets, ordain and commission clergy, and receive the bishop’s clergy appointments. Again this year, those who can’t attend in person are invited to watch the key sessions—including the bishop’s episcopal address and the teaching sessions—online via live streaming.

Annual conference registration is open - click here to register. Fees for the 2017 conference session will remain the same as last year. The cost will be $85 for all delegates and retirees ($110 after May 19) and $5 @ day for those visiting. Fees do not include meals and some special events. You can select a variety of meal options when you register online. All are invited to the Festival in the Park, which includes a meal, fellowship and fun on Thursday, June 8 and the Celebration of Life in Ministry (commissioning and ordination service) on Friday, June 9; there is no additional cost to attend either event.

Several awards will be announced at annual conference. Nominations are now accepted for the following awards:

Denman Award for Evangelism— The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Three awards are given annually one for clergy, one for laity and one for youth.  Click here for detailsPhoto: Three teens from Olivet UMC received a Denman award at AC 2016 and were interviewed via videoconference.

Francis Asbury— The Francis Asbury Award offered through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) recognition to individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the church's ministries in higher education at the local, district, or annual conference level of the church. The award is named for Bishop Asbury and is based on his admonition to the people called Methodist to erect a school in the vicinity of every church. "We must," he said, "...give the key of knowledge to your children, and those of the poor in the vicinity of your small towns and villages."

One Matters— The One Matters Award is offered through Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.  The award recognizes churches in each conference that are turning zeros into positive numbers with a renewed focus on discipleship.

Streams of Justice— The Stream of Justice award is dedicated to ministries on Native American reservations, local churches and outreach centers in communities (rural and urban), and state-wide and regional organizations which have programs that offer components of justice education, advocacy and empowerment in addition to material assistance and spiritual support. Click here for more information on this award. Photo: Representatives from Rapid City churches receive the 2016 Streams of Justice award from Rev. Gail Arnold. Left to right: Gail Arnold, Karl Kroger, Greg Kroger, Sharla McCaskell, John McKnight, DeAnn Eidem and Kevin Kloster.

If you know of a church or individual who is deserving of one of these awards, please submit your nominations to Rebecca Trefz via e-mail here by March 29, 2017.  Read about last year’s award winners here.