Annual Conference

 AC

Join us in-person for Annual Conference 2022

June 8-11, La Vista Conference Center in La Vista, Nebraska

The theme for Annual Conference, "Reimagine Discipleship," is particularly important in this season of resetting our ministry baselines and relaunching with new missional energy and imagination for who we are called to be in the world as God’s people. In an effort to have rich and vibrant discussions about what that reimagining looks like for our mission fields, it is vital to have our Great Plains clergy and laity in one physical space.

We realize this shift from an online or hybrid model for annual conference to a fully in-person conference requires different logistics and planning to participate. But our troubled world and the challenges facing our denomination mean we have much to discuss. We see this as an opportunity for us to be in community together, affirming and strengthening our connections and relationships with each other — something that is more important now than perhaps ever before.

View information on workshops, schedule, childcare and lodging in the menu on the left side of this page.

Registration is now open and will remain open through Monday, May 23, 2022. Registrations received after May 9 have a late fee of $25 added to the registration. You will receive an email confirmation when you complete the registration. All participants are expected to register in advance so that appropriate plans are in place to facilitate our time together.

Read more about registration and the schedule in this letter from the Rev. Dee Williamston, director of clergy excellence/assistant to the bishop.

Read more about the shift from hybrid to in-person in this letter from Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. and Lisa Maupin, conference lay leader. Please note, voting and discussion of business items before the body will be only in person. A hybrid online option of the laity session will be available, allowing more laity beyond the voting members to participate.

All worship and business sessions will be streamed on our Livestream page during the event.

Watch for more updates in the GPconnect.

 

 

Annual Conference Workbook

The workbook for the 2022 session of the Great Plains Annual Conference is now available. Download and print your copy here. You may also order a printed copy for $25. The deadline to order a printed copy is May 31. Email Todd Seifert for details.

 

 

 

Speakers at Annual Conference

Keynote

Alex and Hannah Absalom have been in church leadership since 1994 (Alex was ordained in the Church of England), serving in a wide range of settings from church plants to megachurches. Since 2007 they have lived in the United States, called as a family of missionaries to the US. Together the Absaloms lead Dandelion Resourcing (dandelionresourcing.com), which focuses on naturally supernatural discipleship and mission. Hannah is committed to investing in Millennials, raising up women leaders, and helping families live as missionaries in their neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. Alex is an unusually practical (and funny!) teacher and coach, who brings strategic insight and much hard-won experience from the front lines. Currently they live in Long Beach, CA and have 3 cheeky but charming young adult sons.

Opening Worship

Robert Farr serves as Bishop of the Missouri Area of The United Methodist Church. Elected by the South Central Jurisdiction in July 2016, he was assigned to the Missouri Area beginning September 2016. The Missouri Conference includes 781 local churches, approximately 1,000 retired and active clergy and 72,000+ weekly worshippers, offering ministry through local churches, colleges, campus ministries, social services and mission projects throughout the world. Before his work as Bishop, Rev. Bob Farr has served as the Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence for the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church from 2007-2016, guiding 35 church starts into life and has overseen over 150 Healthy Church consultations in the Missouri conference. He led 128 individual church consults in 29 conferences across the connection, serving on the Cabinet, Mission Council and as a Conference Director. He offered oversight of new church planting, church transformation, language-based faith communities and shared in leadership development. From 2000-2007, he served as senior pastor of Church of the Shepherd in St. Charles, where he led the congregation through relocation that increased worship from 450 to 1,200 in worship attendance. Prior to that, Farr started Grace UMC in Lee’s Summit in 1990 and Hope Church in Lone Jack, a daughter congregation of Grace, in 1998. Farr was ordained deacon in 1983 and elder in 1987 after attending seminary at Perkins School of Theology, where he served student appointments of Celeste, White Rock and Kinston charge and as student associate at Wesley UMC in Greenville, Texas. As a writer, he has co-authored several books with Kay Kotan, published by Abingdon Press, including: "Renovate or Die –10 Ways to Focus Your Church in Mission (2011)," "Get Their Name-Grow Your Church by Building New Relationships (2013)," "10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church (2015)," and, "The Necessary Nine (2015)." His latest book, "Obvious Wisdom," was published by Market Square Publishing in 2018. He has contributed chapters to "Understanding Your Call (2018)," "Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness (2018)" and, "Where Do We Go From Here?: Honest Responses From Twenty-Four United Methodist Leaders (2019)." Farr has also had the opportunity to share learning across the connection through the Healthy Church Initiative, School of Congregational Development, Path One and South Central Jurisdiction new church planting trainings. Bob helped form Route 122, a transformational church network, and is a regular guest speaker across the connection. He is a certified Fire Chaplain through Global Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Farr’s passion for the global church has taken him to India, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, China, Haiti and Mozambique. For the past five years, he and his wife have helped support Nhachengue UMC in southern Mozambique, including the drilling of a deep water well. He and Susan have been married since 1979 and have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Memorial Service

Rev. Hyemi Lee Jones grew up in South Korea and studied English Literature in college. She came to America to study theology at Drew Theological School and Yale Divinity School. Her calling to ordained ministry had started as a hospital chaplain, then became an elder. She is currently serving at Monticello United Methodist Church in Shawnee, KS. Rev. Hyemi is married to Jeremy Jones, with whom she is raising two beautiful children: Connor (8 years old) and Yuna (6 years old).