After consulting with the Coordinating Cabinet, Conference Secretary John Wilson and Conference Sessions Chair Alan Morrison, I have decided to postpone the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference session scheduled for June 11-13, 2020 at Grove City College. Our celebrations and the business we must care for will be done in different ways and at different times.
While much about the spread of coronavirus is still not known, including whether stay-at-home orders will still be in place in June, we decided to change our plans now. Concern for the health and safety of our Annual Conference members, many of whom are among the most vulnerable populations, was the most important factor in my decision.
Rev. Morrison has made alternate arrangements that will allow us to care for all the necessary business of the Annual Conference at a special Annual Conference session.
- The one-day Annual Conference session will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center. We hope to arrange for blocks of hotel rooms at special rates for voting members who want to stay overnight at their own expense.
- The Clergy Session will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Ingomar United Methodist Church.
I have already begun working with the Appointive Cabinet and Rev. Eric Raygor and Rev. David Janz, who co-chair the Board of Ordained Ministry, to care for regional ordination services to be held in the late summer and fall.
Appointment changes and retirements will still be effective July 1.
Reports and legislation that will come before the Annual Conference have been posted on the Conference website at www.wpaumc.org/AC. Note in the reports that the 2021 session of the Annual Conference also will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center.
As more decisions are made, additional information will be posted on the wpaumc.org/AC webpage and included in the weekly Conference e-newsletter. (If you don’t receive the enews, subscribe at wpaumc.org/subscribe.) A FAQ list also will be developed and posted.
Clergy and voting members will be notified when registration opens for the Clergy Session and the one-day Annual Conference session.
District Conferences will be rescheduled. Your District Superintendent will send additional information soon.
These are indeed uncertain times. Because of the anxiety some are experiencing over the uncertainty of Annual Conference, I felt it important to make a decision at this time.
We will get through this together with God on our side.
Peace and blessings,
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi