General Information

Plenary sessions and worship services for the 2017 Great Plains United Methodist Annual Conference Session will be located in Grand Island, Nebraska at the Heartland Event Center (700 E Stolley Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68801) on June 7-10. The event will begin with the Opening and Memorial service at 7:00 p.m. inside the arena.

Facility Map

Click here for a facility map that details space usage, registration area, main entrance, parking, handicap parking, booths and more.

Pre-conference Video

We invite you to watch a pre-conference video focusing on where the Annual Conference Session events will be held. This video will take you on a tour of Annual Conference locations and offers helpful information to aid in your preparations. The video will be ready for viewing in early April.

Laity and Clergy “Meet and Greet” 

Laity and clergy are invited to an optional “Meet and Greet” happening after the opening worship service on Wednesday, June 7 at 8:30 p.m. This casual gathering is set up for laity and clergy to have a chance to get acquainted with others in attendance and get to know people from other areas of the Great Plains Conference. All are welcome and refreshments will be provided. The gathering will take place onsite at the Heartland Events Center in the Bosselman Conference Room.

Registration for Annual Conference Session

All attendees are required to pre-register by Tuesday, May 23. Registrations received after May 23 will incur a $25 late charge. The final deadline to register is Tuesday, May 30. Meals will no longer be available for purchase after this date. Youth register separately.

Online registration is preferred. Click here to register now.                                                                                              

Refunds

If you register and find that you are unable to attend, refunds will be issued for the registration fee. Meal refunds will also be issued up until the date of Monday, May 29. If contacted regarding a cancellation after May 29, meals costs will not be refunded because the meal order is final at that time.

Meals

The conference has multiple planned meals available. These meals must be purchased when you register prior to May 30. Meals are not available for purchase onsite. If you already registered and realize you need to sign up for a meal, contact Dana Reinhardt at 402-464-5994 ext. 105 prior to May 30.

If during the Annual Conference Session you realize you cannot attend a meal that you pre-purchased you may alert the registration desk that you will not be attending. There will be no refunds. If during conference you realize that you need to go to one of the planned meals but didn’t pre-register, check the registration desk to see if there are any extra spaces because someone else isn’t able to go.

There will also be a concession stand open at the Heartland Events Center during breaks and lunches on Thursday and Friday only.

Conference Workbook

Please print the conference workbook and bring with you to the Annual Conference Session. If you would like a copy printed for you, contact Roxie Delisi at 402-464-5994 ext. 107 by Monday, May 29. The fee for printing and mailing is $25. Workbooks will not be mailed until payment is received.

The conference workbook will be ready for download/printing in early May.

Computers/Wireless

The Heartland Events Center has enough bandwidth to support a group of our size. Please refrain from using personal wireless hot spots to avoid disruption of the wireless services provided for everyone’s use. We also ask that you not stream videos or have multiple gadgets connected at one time. Just in case, you should still download the workbook if you are referring to it from your computer.

Please charge your computers and gadgets prior to attending each day.

Parking

Parking is available at no cost surrounding the Heartland Events Center.

Lodging

Hotel reservations must be made by Monday, May 1 to receive the discounted rate. A listing of suggested hotels can be found on the Annual Conference Session website. To view a list of available hotels, click here.

Youth Registration

For information contact Shane Hinderliter, shane@greatplainsumc.org.

Childcare

A parent’s room will be provided onsite at the Heartland Events Center when conference is in session and during worship. No registration is required for the parents’ room. This room will not have view of the plenary space. Instead we will live stream the event to the room on a TV.

A nursery for infants and toddlers and an option for elementary-aged children will also be provided at the Heartland Events Center. The cost is $50 for the first child, $50 for the second child plus $25 for each additional child registered. Lunches for children are available for purchase at $7 per lunch.

On Friday evening, June 9, childcare will close for the evening when the conference breaks for dinner and will reopen at 7:00 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. for the Ordination Service.

In addition to childcare, Camp Comeca is partnering with the Annual Conference to offer an overnight camp for children going into 3rd grade through 8th grade entitled "Annual Conference Camp." The camp will be June 7-10. Children interested must be registered on the childcare registration form as well as the Camp Comeca registration form. More information about this option can be found on the registration form.

Please register for childcare online, click here to register now, by Wednesday, May 3. If you have questions or are interested in working in the childcare area, please contact Rev. Emily Spearman Cannon at ecannon@greatplainsumc.org. 

Offerings

Three offerings will be taken during the conference. Checks can be made out to the Great Plains Conference with the specific offering or offering breakdown listed in the memo.

June 7, Opening & Memorial Service – School Partnerships, to support matching grants for local churches who establish or strengthen a partnership with a local public school.

June 9, Ordination Service – Refugee Support, to support the physical and spiritual needs of refugees making their new home in the Great Plains.

June 10, Youth Service – Youth Service Fund

Onsite Registration Check-in – begins Wednesday, June 7 at  3:00 p.m.

All attendees are asked to check in and register before attending the first session. Registration check-in for all registrants will take place in the Heartland Events Center lobby. The first gathering is the Opening and Memorial worship service on Wednesday, June 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Resolutions

The deadline has passed for resolutions to be included in the conference workbook. All late items for action may be included in the packet distributed at registration if approved by the Annual Conference Sessions Planning Team. To receive approval, submit your resolution to conferencesecretary@greatplainsumc.org.

If approved, the person or group submitting the late item shall supply 1800 copies printed on 8 ½ x 11” paper and punched with three holes. The copies must be mailed Rev. Russel Anderson at Grand Island Trinity UMC (511 N Elm, Grand Island, NE 68801) so that they are received no later than May 24. The box should be clearly marked “resolutions”.

In addition, the person or group must submit an electronic file to the Conference Secretary prior to the beginning of annual conference.

Flyers for Packets

We are limiting the amount of material included in the packets distributed at Annual Conference. The flyer guidelines can be found by visiting this link

Exhibit Booths/Cokesbury

Exhibit booths and the Cokesbury bookstore will be located in the Heartland Events Center Fonner Concourse throughout the event.

Fragrance Free Section

A section in the plenary/worship area will be reserved as an allergen-free zone for those who are sensitive to odors such as perfumes, aftershave, food smells, etc. This area will be marked.

Hospitality

Hospitality volunteers in green vests will be present throughout the conference to help you find your way around and to answer questions about the annual conference session.

-It is recommended that you bring clothes for layering in case the temperature is not to your liking.

-It is also recommended that you pack an umbrella and/or raincoat in case of bad weather.

-Please keep phones on vibrate or silent during public events.

-Please refrain from using strong colognes or scents which may trigger allergies in others.

-Closed captioning will be included on the screens inside the Convention Hall.

-There will be no tables in the plenary sessions, only chairs. Plan to bring something to write on if needed.