General Information

Plenary sessions and worship services for the 2018 Great Plains United Methodist Annual Conference Session will be located at the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center (225 W. Douglas Ave) as well as the Hyatt Regency (400 W. Waterman) in Wichita, on June 13-16. The event will begin with a service of remembrance at 7 p.m., June 13, inside the arena.

Facility/Parking Map

View maps that details space usage, registration area, main entrance, parking, handicap parking, booths and more.

Pre-conference Video

Watch for videos on the annual conference page of the website for links to videos about the venue, tips for first-time attendees, our keynote speaker, workshops and more throughout April and May.

Listening Session 

There will be a listening session, 2-4 p.m., Wednesday, June 13, in the Eagle Ballroom in the Hyatt. This is an optional event and will be a time of worship, prayer, listening and dialogue in preparation for the special session of General Conference in February 2019.

Laity and Clergy “Meet and Greet” 

Laity and clergy are invited to an optional “meet and greet” happening after the service of remembrance at 8:30 p.m.,  Wednesday, June 13,  following worship. This casual gathering is an opportunity for laity and clergy to get acquainted with people from throughout the Great Plains Conference as well as connect with friends. All are welcome and refreshments will be provided. The gathering will take place onsite at the Century II in the Expo Center.

Registration for Annual Conference Session

All attendees are required to pre-register by Thursday, May 24. Registrations received after May 24 will incur a $25 late charge. The final deadline to register is Thursday, May 31. Meals will no longer be available for purchase after this date.  Register now.

Youth register separately, contact Shane Hinderliter, shane@greatplainsumc.org for more information on youth registration.

Refunds

If you register and find that you are unable to attend, refunds will be issued for the registration fee up to June 11. Meal refunds will also be issued up until the date of Thursday, May 31. If contacted regarding a cancellation after May 31, meal 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 31. These meals are not available for purchase onsite. If you already registered and realize you need to sign up for a meal, contact Regina Bergman at 402-464-5994 ext. 128, prior to May 31.

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 Century II Center during breaks and lunches on Thursday and Friday only.

Lodging

Hotel reservations must be made by Monday, May 22 to receive the discounted rate. A listing of suggested hotels can be found on the Annual Conference Session website. View a list of available hotels.

Conference Workbook

The conference workbook will be ready for download/printing in early May.  Please print the conference workbook and bring with you to the annual conference session or download it to your electronic device. Internet accessibility will be limited in the convention center. 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.

Computers/Wireless

There is limited wireless connection. It is recommended that you download the conference workbook to your computer, tablet or phone if you don’t plan to bring one in print to prevent system overload. Please charge your computers and gadgets prior to attending each day. There will be one small charging station available. Please refrain from using personal wireless hotspots 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.

Parking

Parking will be available at lots and garages around the Century II. A parking map is available to download on the conference website with details regarding parking fees, etc. View parking mapBring quarters because many lots are metered as noted on the parking map. Carpooling is advised.

Handicap parking Half of the parking lot directly west of the Century II will be devoted to handicap parking. Handicapped parking spaces are also available in some other lots and garages around the facility. Please view the parking map included in these materials.

If you have mobility concerns or challenges, golf carts will be available to hop on and ride to and from the Century II/Hyatt Center. Mobility scooters are also available to rent for the conference on the registration form.

Youth Registration

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

Childcare

A parent’s room will be provided onsite at the Century II Center when conference is in session and during worship. No registration is required for the parents’ room. This room will not have a view of the plenary space, but the event will be live streamed 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 Hyatt Regency connected to the Century II. 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 15, 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 onsite childcare, Camp Horizon is partnering with the conference to offer an overnight camp for children going into third grade through eighth grade titled "Annual Conference Camp." The camp will be June 13-16. Children interested must register for this through Camp Horizon. More information about this option can be found on the registration form.

Please register for childcare online by Friday, May 4.  Register now. If you have questions or are interested in working in the childcare area, please contact the 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 13, Christmas Camps. 

Your offerings to Christmas Camps support a ministry outreach program where six Great Plains camps work to bring a merry Christmas to children who otherwise might not have one. Our camps work with churches and schools to identify children in need and staff work with parents to enroll the campers and provide a special surprise for them. Often the gift of Christmas camp is the only present these children get.

Through this ministry, campers are finding Christ, church and camps are building relationships, community members are learning more about the United Methodist camps and churches. Some churches have even seen new youth and adult members come through this program.

Your offerings for Christmas Camp will be shared equally among our six Great Plains Camps to support this ministry.

June 15, Youth Service Fund.

Your offerings to the Youth Service Fund (YSF) supports the global United Methodist mission led by our youth. Through YSF, United Methodist teens raise money for other teens doing ministry in their churches and communities impacting poverty, illiteracy, absenteeism and social justice.

The Youth Service Fund is a unique ministry because it is run completely by, with and for youth. Youth contribute the money, they decide what projects receive the money, and the projects supported are youth-designed, youth-led and youth benefited.

For this offering, 70 percent is retained within the conference to be administered by the Council on Youth Ministry for projects it approves. The remaining 30 percent is forwarded to the United Methodist Youth Organization (UMYO) for the support of its program.

June 15, Ordination Service.

Your offerings duringing the ordination service will give seminary students a mercy and justice learning opportunity

Onsite Registration Check-in

Begins 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 13

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 Century II Connecting Lobby.

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 gpsecretary@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 to Ann Manske, Great Plains Conference Office, 9440 E Boston St., Suite 110, Wichita KS  67207 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 the annual conference session.

Fliers for Packets

We are limiting the amount of material included in the packets distributed at Annual Conference. View the flier guidelines.

Exhibit Booths/Cokesbury

Exhibit booths and the Cokesbury bookstore will be in the Century II Expo Hall 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 fluorescent 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.
Therefore Go 5K Run/Walk

In conjunction with the 2018 Great Plains Annual Conference Session is hosting Therefore Go 5K, June 16 in Wichita. The fun run or walk is perfect for everyone and it is only $15 to register. All participants will receive a shirt, medal and race themed bib.

The fun run/walk race will start at 7 a.m., on the grassy knoll near the bike path close to the Hyatt Regency, 400 W. Waterman in Wichita. Register early and bring a team. This race will start early, is the lowest cost 5K around featuring a flat and fast course. View more information and register.