Countdown to Annual Conference


Arise! Shine!

Live in the Light

June 11-14, 2006,

Christ UMC, Jackson


Believe it or not, Annual Conference is just around the corner. Here’s some useful information to keep in mind.


Members who registered at the pre-conference briefings can just stop by their respective district table to check in and receive a name badge at Annual Conference. Anyone who did not register at a briefing can register on-site. Please complete your registration card before attempting to register.

On Sunday, clergy will register at Anderson United Methodist Church, site of the clergy executive session, and laity will register at Christ UMC. Registration opens at 2 p.m. On Monday, registration will resume at 8 a.m. at Christ UMC.

Special sessions

Lay members will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Christ UMC sanctuary, while the Clergy Executive Session and Clergy Spouses business meeting both begin at 5 p.m.

Get your shine on!

All members are encouraged to wear their “Arise! Shine!” lapel pins. Replacements will be available at Hospitality.


Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa of Zimbabwe will preach the opening worship service of Annual Conference at 8 p.m. Sunday evening as the conference celebrates its Chabadza Covenant with Zimbabwe and collects the mission offering. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward has designated this year’s offering for the Chabadza partnership. Gifts will open a conference communications center in Harare, Zimbabwe, support students and programs at Africa University, and assist the ministry and outreach of the Zimbabwe Area. “Chabadza” is a Shona word that means helping someone who is already at work.  

Come and worship

Worship is an important part of Annual Conference, and this year noted worship leader Dr. Marcia McFee has designed all the services. The schedule of worship services in addition to the Chabadza celebration:

  • Morning Worship, 8:309 a.m. Monday and Tuesday – Preaching and teaching by Bishop Tom Bickerton of the Pittsburgh Area.
  • Memorial Service with Holy Communion, 11 a.m. Monday.
  • Congregations for Children service, 7:30 p.m. Monday.
  • Celebration of 50 years of full clergy rights for women, 10:45 a.m. Tuesday
  • Service of Ordination, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Love Feast, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday

Emergency number

The main telephone number at Christ UMC is 601-956-6974. During conference, calls to this number will be answered live from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m.


Don’t want to fight the traffic at meal times? Concessions will be available on site Monday through Wednesday.

Breakfast foods, coffee, and soft drinks will be available at the fellowship hall serving line just off the Great Hall from 9:30 -11 a.m. Monday; 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, and 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesday.

Box lunches will be served in the courtyard on Monday and Tuesday. The lunch will include sandwich, chips, drink, and cookie for $8.

Snacks will be available Monday and Tuesday afternoon at the fellowship hall serving line just off the Great Hall.

Special meals

Many groups are having special breakfasts, luncheons, or dinners during Annual Conference. The special meals schedule is available at

Rust dinner

Rust College will host its annual Alumni and Friends Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Christ UMC. Tickets are $12 and will be available at the Rust display table on Monday from 9 a.m. until noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Call Emma Miller at (662) 252-8000, ext. 4915, for more information.

Health check

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare personnel will offer free blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol screenings out of the Le Bonheur mobile unit Sunday and Monday at Annual Conference.

Youth celebration

Youth members of Annual Conference will host a Celebration of Youth Ministries banquet from 6-7 p.m. on Monday at Madison UMC. The event will highlight youth ministries across the conference, and Bishop Nhiwatiwa and Bishop Ward will speak. Pastors with a small number of youth in their congregations are especially encouraged to attend. Tickets, available from district offices or youth coordinators, are $15 each or $25 per couple.

Per diem

Members who may receive per diem from the conference are listed on page 318 of the 2005 Journal, Volume 1. Members eligible for per diem should keep in mind:

  • As in 2005, per diem will be paid at Annual Conference. No payments will be issued prior to conference.
  • Eligible members will receive a signed per diem authorization form from one of the following: district superintendent (district officers and equalizing delegates), conference liaison officer (retirees and surviving spouses), or director of Connectional Ministries (conference officers).
  • Per diem recipients shall bring their completed forms to conference and turn them in at the on-site treasurer’s office by noon, Monday, June 12. Do not mail forms to the conference office; they will be returned.
  • Checks may be picked up Tuesday night, June 13, after worship or any time Wednesday, June 14. Per diem recipients who must leave conference early may make arrangements with the treasurer’s office to get their checks early.
  • No checks will be mailed.

Come away and pray

The Center for Ministry will host the Prayer Room during Annual Conference. You will find a peaceful setting for a few moments of prayer and quiet reflection, with guides for several prayer practices available. If you desire someone to pray with or for you, you may indicate that on cards available in the Prayer Room. If you are interested in receiving spiritual direction or learning more about it, you may indicate that as well.

“We offer this space as a way for Annual Conference participants to respond to Jesus’ invitation to ‘come away for awhile and rest,’” said Rev. Rebecca Youngblood, Center for Ministry director.

Life-saving soup

Ray Buchanan, president of Stop Hunger Now, will present a workshop on SHN’s newest initiative, Operation Sharehouse, during the breakout time on Tuesday. 

Operation Sharehouse engages volunteers in the actual preparation of high-protein dried soup mix that is a life-saving resource in food crises.

Currently in its seventh year of operation, Stop Hunger Now provides direct food relief in crisis areas and in areas of chronic hunger and malnutrition. The organization has provided over $100 million of aid in more than 55 countries to date, recently providing 10 tons of rice to aid  earthquake victims in Indonesia. SHN’s innovative model of developing international partnerships, as well as working with indigenous organizations, has created a responsive, timely method of distributing needed resources. 

Mike Ward, husband of Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, chairs the board of Stop Hunger Now.