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Plans underway for 2023 Annual Conference

By: Doreen Gosmire, communications director, Dakotas UMC

The thirtieth session of the Dakotas Annual Conference will be held June 8-10, 2023, at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The gathering will include inspiring worship, business, conversations about who and where we are, and celebrating clergy milestones.

We are ready to gather as one body at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.  Here are some of the details for our time together.

Theme: Drawing on Luke 24: 13-35, the theme of this year’s gathering is “Encounter. Transform. Respond. The Emmaus Experience.” This is post-resurrection story where everything has changed. The two men travelling on the road to Emmaus do not recognize the presence of Jesus as they journey together. They encounter the living Christ are transformed and respond by telling others. We too are seeking to encounter the living Christ, even amidst the challenges of our world today, we seek to be transformed and respond by transforming the world.

Bishop's Episcopal Address: Bishop Lanette Plambeck will deliver the 2023 Episcopal Address, during opening worship, on Thursday, June 8.

Launching Fresh Expressions: Our guest speaker, Rev. Michael Beck, will offer practical ways that churches can connect to their communities and reach new people that are lay-led, low-cost, highly relational, and contextual. Beck co-pastors two Florida churches where he directs addiction recovery programs, a jail ministry, a food pantry, an interracial unity movement, and house a faith-based inpatient treatment center. The churches are traditional congregations and a network of 13 fresh expressions that gather in tattoo parlors, dog parks, salons, running tracks, community centers, burrito joints, and digital spaces. Beck is also director of re-missioning at Fresh Expressions, an organization that makes space for church leaders to use both traditional services as well as innovative forms of church to live out Christ’s mission, the idea being that one does not replace the other, but rather creates a mutual benefit for both—a “mixed economy of church

Missional Report: The 2022-2023 Missional Report will highlight the ways we have been in ministry together and are journeying with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

Recognizing milestones in ministry: At a Celebration of Life in Ministry worship service Friday evening, we will honor friends and colleagues who have died over the past year, retiring clergy, celebrate clergy being commissioned, elders being ordained, newly assigned licensed local pastors, and licensed local pastors completing their educational requirements.

Legislation: Voting members will consider legislation put before them during the thirtieth session of the Dakotas Annual Conference including: the 2024 Budget Proposal, the Report of the Nominations Committee, Board of Pensions Report, resolutions, and petitions. 

Miracle Offering: Our 2023 Miracle Offering, will soon be announced. We will collectively gather our resources to make an impact.  
It is time to get ready for our gathering in Sioux Falls. Book your hotel rooms now. Submit any legislation and nominations for awards by 5 p.m., March 31, 2023. 
Registration will open on Monday, April 17, 2023


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