2020 AC Session District Satellite Guidance


Thank you for hosting your district’s members of the 2020 Session of The Mississippi Annual Conference Monday, July 27, 2020.
The purpose of the attached document is to outline all the logistical plans and considerations for which you need to be aware. We will hold a Zoom call Thursday, July 2 at 10:30 a.m. to address any clarifying questions that you may have. The meeting details and information needed are listed below.

  • Join Zoom Meeting at:  https://zoom.us/j/98389883415
  • Meeting ID: 983 8988 3415 and dial by phone: +1 301 715 8592
  • During this call, we will validate three contact names for each site:
  1. Confirm primary satellite location contact on attached roster (p. 10)
  2. Confirm who will perform the following roles at the following link: https://mississippi-reg.brtapp.com/2020MSACSatellites
    1. Technical AV / Media contact
    2. Worship service facilitator contact
This year’s session will be a different experience for all of us. Attached is a large amount of information that you will find helpful as you prepare for our session. Since this session will be a four-hour meeting, we obviously will not be covering everything that normally happens during our time together. The following three events have or will be taking place at a separate time; therefore, they will *not* be addressed in this document: 
  • Clergy Executive Session – was held Tuesday, June 2.
  • Laity Executive Session – scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 3:00-4:30 p.m. via Zoom Webinar.
  • Ordination Service – scheduled for Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church. Pre-registration is required. Anyone can watch the ordination service via Facebook Live or Livestream.
If you have received this email and you are not the correct contact person (or you have designated someone else to oversee these details) please reply to this email and give us that person’s name and contact information and we will be happy to email this information directly to them. It is important that we have the accurate contact information as we move forward with plans that seem to be ever-evolving in these days of COVID-19.   

All worship and business sessions on July 27 will be livestreamed from Christ UMC and will be available for each satellite location. This is what those present will be viewing. For feedback to Bishop Swanson or presenters, the head teller at each satellite location will have a laptop connected to the annual conference session Zoom webinar. It is through the webinar that feedback, questions, etc. will be communicated to the bishop and/or presenters at Christ UMC. This head teller will be chosen by the conference secretary and the district superintendent.   
If you are the primary site, you can go ahead and make plans to host persons from your district in consultation with you district superintendent. If you are the secondary site, the district superintendent will be in contact with you by July 13 about whether your church will be needed on July 27. This decision will be made considering the current recommendations by government and healthcare professionals. 
You will find attached to this email the following items in a format that will allow you to distribute to the appropriate persons: 
  • Checklist for needed items 
  • Technology requirements 
  • COVID-19 protocols 
  • Worship details 
  • Administry details 
  • Excel spreadsheet of all sites, contact person and contact information 
  • Contact information for questions 
In addition, all decisions/questions that arise on site July 27 during the session will be under the authority of the district superintendent or their designee.  
Specific items needed at each site:
  1. Bottled water for members and guests – retain receipts and submit to jmcgough@mississippi-umc.org by August 15 for reimbursement
  2. Prepackaged snacks for members and guests - retain receipts and submit to jmcgough@mississippi-umc.org by August 15 for reimbursement
  3. Bottled water (small bottles if available) for use at Love Feast during opening/memorial service - retain receipts and submit to jmcgough@mississippi-umc.org by August 15 for reimbursement
  4. “Captain’s Wafers” for Love Feast – delivered to each site the week of July 20
  5. Votive candles for opening/memorial service – delivered to each site the week of July 20
  6. Signage for outside the door that people will be entering as well as inside – delivered to each site the week of July 20
  7. Envelopes for offering - delivered to each site the week of July 20
  8. Hand sanitizers available at multiple locations
  1. Check-in area with ample space for district secretary and social distancing along with table for laptop and electrical connection
  2. A dedicated entrance to the building
  3. Masks will be required unless a medical condition exists. Separate seating areas will need to be arranged and available for those without masks or who cannot wear a mask.
  4. Mark off seating in sanctuary or fellowship hall to allow for social distancing.
  5. Tech people present to set up and facilitate the livestreaming from Christ UMC (more details in tech section of this email blast)
  6. Space with table for laptop (provided by head teller) and head teller to facilitate Zoom Webinar
  7. Provide a space in chancel area for approximately 60 small votive candles for opening/memorial service
  8. Provide a dedicated space for families who are present for memorial service – if needed – a list of who to expect will be provided for you
  9. Additional overflow/no mask areas for viewing the livestream
  10. All COVID-19 protocols previously shared will be followed (social distancing, masks, hand sanitizers, etc.)
Personnel/staffing needs:
  1. Volunteers to offer directions and parking assistance, if needed
  2. Person designated specifically to handle worship participation at site – submit to Renee Baldwin by July 10
  3. Ushers to help with seating logistics
  4. Worship participants: candle – lighters, assistants for Love Feast
  5. Hosts for additional spaces, if needed
  6. Tellers will be named by the district superintendent - two per area in addition to the head teller which will be monitoring the Zoom Webinar.

System Check / Rehearsals
  1. Satellite location systems test no later than July 13. As outlined on the “Satellite Location Technical Requirements” section below, each location must conduct an internet speed test and record the upload and download speeds at the church. Also confirm that you can stream a video with adequate audio and video quality from: https://www.mississippi-umc.org/reflections. Submit the test results and streaming quality confirmation to Darrell Marecle at tech@mripro.com.
  2. Head teller rehearsal with Trey Harper and James Mason will take place the week of July 20. Details will be sent directly to the head tellers.
  3. Final systems check and worship leader rehearsal with Darrell Marecle and Renee Baldwin. This test/rehearsal will take place on Sunday, July 26 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Points of contact for various areas of responsibility:
Tech – Darrell Marecle - tech@mripro.com or 662-372-1049
Worship – Renee Baldwin – worship@mississippi-umc.org  or 662-871-0354
Offering - David Stotts - dstotts@mississippi-umc.org or 601-955-3912
Zoom Webinar – James Mason - jmason@mississippi-umc.org or 601-473-9332
Conference Secretary – Trey Harper - tharper@mississippi-umc.org or 662-392-2010
General Information – Vickie White - vwhite@mississippi-umc.org or 662-466-0080
Satellite Location Technical Requirements
High Speed Internet Connection. A hardwired internet connection with an ethernet (cat5) cable rated at a minimum of 20Mbps download speed is required. You can test your connection at https://www.speedtest.net/ Be sure and use the ethernet cable for your test and that you are able to turn off the Wi-Fi at your location or temporarily change the password. Turning off the Wi-Fi will enable all available internet capacity to be dedicated to the live stream and teller connection with the Zoom webinar session.
Back-up Internet Hot Spot.  In the event of an internet outage, a dedicated hot spot with strong cell service at the location will be needed for both the primary live-stream and the teller’s laptop.
Teller Work Area. A six-foot cable and two chairs are needed to support a teller laptop computer which will connect with the Zoom webinar.
Computer.  A personal computer that can access the live-stream URL and/or www.facebook.com and has a built in Ethernet connector, 3.5 mm headphone connector, HDMI connector or
VGA connector to the projector on older computers and projectors.
Projection.  Video projector and screen or a TV large enough to allow viewing by the size group you expect. They must have an HDMI input or appropriate adapters to connect by VGA to older computers, projectors and TVs.
Audio Components
  1. Audio sound system that can cover the size group you expect at your location.
  1. HDMI Cable long enough to connect the computer to the projector or TV
  1. Ethernet cat5 cable long enough to run from your internet router to the computer.
  1. 3.5 mm TRS male cable to ¼ inch male mono cable long enough to connect the computer to the audio sound system
Staff Support.  A dedicated tech person that can operate and troubleshoot the equipment for the duration of the meeting will be required. Submit this person’s name and contact information at: https://mississippi-reg.brtapp.com/2020MSACSatellites.
System Checks.  Setup and test your system with a Facebook Live prior to conference and participate in scheduled rehearsals. There will be a Facebook Live test from the conference starting at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, July 26 that can be accessed to assure that your system is operating correctly with the conference live streaming.
Direct all questions to:  Darrell Marecle, MRI Productions at tech@mripro.com or 662-372-1049 (cell).  Please include your name and church location when you make contact.

Offering Guidance from Administry

As in the past, we will be receiving a mission offering which Bishop Swanson has designated for the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) ministry and UMCOR Recovery. 
We are offering the following directions for receiving the offering at the satellite sites:
  1. Provide baskets / offering plates at each door so that the donor may place the offering in the basket. Someone should always be standing with the basket. 
  2. When the session is over, at least two people wearing protective gloves and a mask, shall place the offering intact (exactly as you received it—do not open any individual offering envelopes given). Seal the envelope (no need to count the offering) and each person will sign over the seal. This envelope will be delivered to your location the week of July 20. This envelope will be delivered along with the other conference-provided worship service materials (candles and love feast crackers). 
  3. After the session, deliver the sealed envelope to the district superintendent who will bring it to the conference treasurer at the ordination service on July 28.

Teller Guidance from Spiritual Leadership
Every satellite location should have the following:
  1.  Head teller:  Responsible for bringing their own laptop with which they will connect to the AC Zoom Webinar. The head teller will be responsible for transmitting to the AC Main Stage any questions, motions and every vote tally for that satellite location.
  2. Recording teller:  Responsible for maintaining written record of all motions and questions submitted from that location, as well as vote counts. These will be emailed and mailed to the conference secretary following the session.
  3. Two tellers PER ROOM (larger rooms may wish to have more at the discretion of the district superintendent):  For every room in which members gather for the session, there should be two tellers who will monitor the room and take vote counts and report needed information to the head teller for transmission to the AC Main Stage. 
TELLER ELECTION:  District superintendents, in consultation with the conference secretary, will provide the names of the tellers at each satellite for addition to the pre-conference journal by July 10, 2020 for proper election.
VOTE COUNTINGVotes will be counted in the traditional manual form at each of the satellite locations. When a vote is taken the tellers will submit the total for the room for which they are responsible to the head teller. The head teller will tally the votes and submit through the Q&A feature on the Zoom Webinar with the name of the location and the count (i.e. “West Jackson Anderson - 62.”). The person monitoring the Q&A will get each count to the conference secretary for a final tabulation. Final tabulations will be read from the AC Main Stage.
At satellite locations that have more than one gathering space at the same location, the head teller and room tellers will create a way of texting the vote count to the head teller for efficient submission of the tally.
MOTIONS AND OR QUESTIONSAnyone wishing to speak for a motion or question should get the attention of a room teller who will usher them to the head teller’s table for submission.
The recording teller will make a written record of the question or motion while the head teller submits the information through the Q&A feature of the Zoom Webinar “West Jackson Anderson – QUESTION – text of the question.”  The person asking the question or making the motion should stay at the table for any additional communication that is necessary until that question or motion is resolved. Then they will be ushered back to their location.
Worship Service Guidance from Renee Baldwin
There will be two worship services this year:
  1. Opening/Memorial Worship, which will include lighting candles as we name those who have gone before and conclude with a celebration together using the model of the “Love Feast.”  
  2. Closing Worship, in which Bishop Swanson will both challenge and encourage us to go forth – The Mission Continues!
WORSHIP CHECKLIST:   Please use this checklist to prepare for worship:
  • DESIGNATE A WORSHIP POINT PERSON: This may be the local site pastor or other designated person at the local site; may serve as assistant in the worship service and ensure set-up needs are in place. Submit this person’s name and contact information as mentioned earlier at: https://mississippi-reg.brtapp.com/2020MSACSatellites.
    • Votive candles for memorial portion of worship
    • Captain Wafers for the Love Feast
    • Small bottles of water for Love Feast 
    • Altar table: please include a “Christ Candle”
    • Additional table for memorial candles. There will be approximately 60 votive candles provided for the memorial names; you may place them on the altar or provide an additional table to accommodate the number of candles - whatever works best in your location.
    • Processional:  We will have a processional in opening worship. We invite each district site to participate in worship with a processional as well, which will include an acolyte, crucifer, district superintendent and assistant. 
    • District superintendent:  processional; light candles as memorial names are read 
    • Assistant: processional; light candles as memorial names are read
    • Acolyte:  processional - light the Christ candle 
    • Crucifer:  processional

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