Bishop announces annual conference to be hybrid event


Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. issued the following letter Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, to all clergy and lay members to annual conference informing them that this year's session will be a hybrid event. Many logistical details are being worked out, so please watch your email and the weekly GPconnect email newsletter for details as they become available.

Download a printable PDF of the letter.

Dear Clergy and Lay Members to the Great Plains Annual Conference:

Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ who commissioned his followers to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that He commanded (Matthew 28:18-20).

Our 2022 Great Plains Annual Conference will be conducted as a hybrid event — both in-person and online.

The dates for the 2022 Annual Conference session are June 8-11, 2022, at the La Vista Conference Center in La Vista, Nebraska,

Your annual conference planning team is working to coordinate the logistics, technical needs, and protocols for our gathering and will soon send out more information.

The theme for this annual conference session is: “Reimagine Discipleship.” The fact is that our churches find themselves in a very different place than we were only two years ago. Our approach and strategies for making disciples are shifting in light of the emergent norm, hybrid church, and decreased in-person worship attendance. Carey Nieuwholf, in his blog, “12 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2022 (And the Post Pandemic Era),” says that applying approaches to the church today that haven’t been effective for decades will not turn things around. But, if not, what will? Deeper discipleship!

Alex and Hannah Absalom will be our conference keynote speakers. Alex is the co-author of “Discipleship that Fits: The Five Kinds of Relationships God Uses to Help us Grow.” Their approach challenges our assumptions about disciple-making. They will share some fresh paradigms that combine scripture, church history, and insights from the social science of how people gather. Their disciple-making processes will intentionally form more disciple-making disciples of Jesus the Christ for the transformation of the world.

Both Alex and Hannah have been in church leadership since 1994 and have served in various church settings, from church plants to megachurches. They lead Dandelion Resourcing, which focuses on discipleship and mission.
On another note, information is coming soon about submitting petitions, laity and clergy sessions, worship services, voting technology, guidance on floor debate, and voting on resolutions that come before the body. Please keep an eye on your email and our weekly GP Connect newsletter for more details as they become available.

We cannot precisely predict what’s ahead, but we acknowledge emergent trends that must inform our disciple-making processes. The critical thing to remember is that Jesus promises to be with us – while we go about the mission of making disciples for him – until the end of the age.

In closing, I like to say thank you to all the clergy, laity, and congregations for your many fruitful and compassionate ministries across Kansas and Nebraska. Your outreaching ministries and missions on behalf of the risen Christ bless your communities and make real God’s love, mercy, and justice. 

See you at the annual conference! 


Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.


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