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Dakotas Virtual Annual Conference 2020: Register now

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

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It is time for clergy and laity to register for the 2020 Dakotas Annual Conference! In order to obtain voting privileges and attend one of the necessary pre-conference gatherings delegates must register by September 27, 2020, 5 p.m. CDT. 

In a typical in-person Annual Conference session, the session is opened with a vote to approve the organizing resolutions (rules to guide the session). In order to expedite our work together in this virtual session, we are asking you to watch the video, read, and cast your vote regarding these resolutions as a part of registration.


Those who are not voting members should not register. The Annual Conference Session will be streamed to the Dakotas Conference website and Facebook page, and visitors will be able to watch at no cost. A Facebook account is not necessary to access the livestream.

The session will be conducted on a Zoom business webinar platform (this is different from the Zoom system most people are familiar with). Interaction will be limited but possible; through the platform, people will be able to indicate they want to comment, make a motion, or propose an amendment. When recognized by the presiding officer to speak, they will be able to unmute their microphone to address the body. Check out this cheat sheet to learn about how interaction will work.

Voting members will need to use a device with a stable internet connection. This can be a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Only one vote can be cast from each device. Each voter will need their own device. At this time, it is not possible to vote via a voice-only phone line.

For each session, participants are encouraged to sign-in 10 to 15 minutes in advance.

There will be several people dedicated to helping individuals with any connection problems.

The Conference Workbook will be available online and for download September 14. 
Each member of the 2020 Annual Conference Session is asked to register (as part of annual conference registration) for and participate in a pre-conference webinar. This will be an opportunity to discuss the legislation that will be acted upon during the conference. There will be little time during the actual session for discussion about these issues. It is key that participants take this time to get their questions answered. Here is some important information about the sessions:

  • Please attend the pre-conference webinar session that best fits your schedule. 
  • Connection information will be sent via e-mail to each registered participant in advance of your session.
  • One of these sessions will be recorded for those who cannot attend.
  • The pre-conference webinars will take place on the following dates and times:
    • Thursday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. CDT, 6:30 p.m. MDT
    • Wednesday, September 23 at 8 p.m. CDT, 7 p.m. MDT
    • Saturday, September 26 at 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT
    • Sunday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT

Each member of the 2020 Annual Conference Session is also asked to register and to attend a procedural orientation to check their connection and learn the specifics on interacting within the system (you can register for an orientation session as you register for Annual Conference). Each session is expected to last about 35 minutes; an hour is reserved to assist those who might have connection issues. The three session options are:

  • Monday, October 5 at 12 p.m. CDT, 11 a.m. MDT
  • Monday, October 5 at 8 p.m. CDT, 7 p.m. MDT
  • Tuesday, October 6 at 7 p.m. CDT, 6 p.m. MDT 


Are visitors allowed?

  • Due to the structure of the technology, only those people who are voting members will be in the Zoom webinar.
  • Visitors will be able to watch the proceedings live on the Dakotas Conference Facebook page (a Facebook account is not required to watch). 
  • A recording of a pre-conference workshop will be made available for visitors to watch in preparation for conference.
  • A recording of the key components of the conference sessions will be made available after the event.

What if I do not have a computer or Internet?

  • Voting members will need a device with a reliable Internet connection. For some, this might require participation from a church or another location where Internet is available.
  • It is possible to listen to the proceedings via a landline phone; however, voting is not possible in this manner.

What about the Celebration of Life in Ministry Service?

  • The Celebration of Life in Ministry Service, a time when we honor retirees, remember those who have left this earthly home this past year, recognize licensed pastors in ministry, and ordain clergy, is being planned for SEPTEMBER 18 at 7 p.m. CDT. The service will be live streamed so that people can watch remotely. The service will also be re-broadcast on October 9 at 7 p.m. CDT.


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 Love Lenten Study Slider_3.jpg 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000