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Meet United Methodists across the globe, volunteer General Conference 2020

By: Jan Russell, volunteer coordinator, GC 2020 Host Comittee, and Doreen Gosmire, director of communication, Dakotas UMC

Jan Russell, the volunteer coordinator for General Conference 2020 Host Committee, is on a mission to recruit 1,100-1,200 volunteers to show United Methodists that will gather from across the globe, May 5-15, 2020, extraordinary hospitality. Find all of the details to volunteer here.

“The world is coming to the upper Midwest,” says Russell, “We will be hosting 6,000 United Methodists. We want to show them bold, north hospitality.”

Currently, 600 volunteers have registered. Bishop Bruce R. Ough, resident bishop for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church, encourages United Methodists to take this opportunity to witness the global church. 

“It is our privilege and honor to host visitors from around the world, and to introduce them to this place we call home,” says Ough. 

Are you wondering if volunteering at General Conference 2020 will be a fit for you? Here are some frequently asked questions about volunteering to help you find the right volunteer opportunity that fits you.

Do I need to volunteer for all ten days of the conference? No, you can choose to do a three-hour shift one day, or multiple shifts over several days. You can choose to do up to two shifts in one day.

Is there a uniform or dress code? You will wear a purple vest to indicate you are a host team volunteer. The vest will be given to wear at the beginning of your shift. You will return the vest when your shift is over. We ask that you wear a plain, light-colored top, that covers your shoulders (no logos), and dark-colored pants or skirt to compliment the purple vest. No buttons, stickers, or any campaign material will be allowed to be displayed while you are volunteering.   

Will there be childcare available?  Childcare will be available on April 29, April 30, May 5, May 6, May 14, and May 15. Contact Jan Russell to reserve a space at 612-230-6150.

Can I volunteer for GC 2020 Host Committee and other groups? Yes. During GC 2020, You will be identified as a volunteer for the Host Committee by wearing a purple vest. When your shift is complete, you will return your vest, and your duties with Host Committee will be complete. You are then free to volunteer for other organizations. 

Will there be park and ride options, so I don’t have to drive all the way downtown and park? Yes, we will have park and ride lots at key locations around the Twin Cities. A circulator van will pick up volunteers, from the selected parking lots, and take them to volunteer locations.  

Will meals be provided? All expenses related to travel, lodging, and meals are the responsibility of the volunteer. No compensation will be provided for these expenses.

I don’t live in the Twin Cities, are there hotel options?  A negotiated rate of $99 a night will be available the following hotels: 

  • Moxie Minneapolis, 1121 W Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408
  • Hampton Inn, 10600 Wayzata, Boulevard, Minnetonka, MN, 55305
  • Holiday Inn Express, 2715 Long Lake Road, Roseville, MN 55113
  • Holiday Inn Express, 6051 Golden Hills Drive, Golden Valley, MN, 55416
  • Moxie Minneapolis, 1121 W Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408

From your hotel, there will be a park and ride available that will take you to your volunteer location. 

Is there a minimum age to volunteer? Volunteers must be 16 years old or older. Volunteer drivers must be 25 years old or older. 

Can I observe after I volunteer? You must register as an observer and be credentialed to observe. Registration for General Conference 2020, as an observer, is not currently open. Watch this website for details on registration. 

Russell encourages everyone to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. “Really big things happen when General Conference takes place in the Midwest,” says Russell. “The last time General Conference happened in the Midwest we decided to ordain women!"

UMC

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