Information for Annual Conference Lay and Clergy Members to the Special Session on April 22
- Log in information to the Annual Conference session will be sent to Annual Conference member emails on April 19 and will be re-sent Saturday morning, April 22. These credentials will allow members to join both the optional 9:30 am Q&A session and the 10 am special session.
- To access the Annual Conference special session, each voting member needs to have his/her own unique email address. (Voting members cannot share an email address and both vote at the Annual Conference session). Email addresses will be verified by district offices.
- Watch for the April 22 Special Session Guide here. This guide will include the agenda for the Annual Conference special session, the list of 55 disaffiliating churches and their statistics, and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about disaffiliation and will be released the week prior to the special session.
- The Annual Conference special session will be using the Zoom Webinar platform. All devices capable of accessing this platform will be able to log on and vote during the session whether Apple or Android phone app, tablet or laptop/desktop devices. Phone callers will not have the capability to vote.
- Members should contact Zoom Support during the April 22 Annual Conference should they need technical assistance.
- A livestream will be available to non-members to view the proceedings. Click here to go to the livestream page.
- Persons wishing to make a motion during the Annual Conference should submit their full motion into the Q& A feature of the Zoom webinar during the session. Only voting members are permitted to speak/make a motion.
Special Virtual Session April 22, 2023
Dear 2022 Lay Members of The Florida Annual Conference:
Pursuant to ¶603.5, Bishop Berlin has called a special virtual session of the annual conference for April 22, 2023 to deal with the matter of churches seeking to disaffiliate from The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. Because we are having a special session prior to the regular 2023 Annual Conference session, the lay members for the special session will be the lay members or alternates “last seated," meaning seated at the regular 2022 Annual Conference session. This includes district at-large lay members. This will only apply to the April 22, 2023 special session.
Because this is a special session of the annual conference, there are some unique lay member considerations that must be observed. Paragraph 602.5 of The Book of Discipline states that the lay members for a special session of the annual conference shall be the lay member or alternate last seated by the annual conference:
¶602.5 5. The lay member or alternate, whoever was last seated in the annual conference, shall be seated in a special session of the annual conference when convened, provided that no local charge shall be deprived of its lay member due to death, serious illness, or cessation of membership. Under such circumstances, another lay member may be elected by the charge conference.38 (See ¶ 32.)
If you are the person from your local church (or a district at-large lay member) who attended the 2022 annual conference session as a seated or alternate delegate, you are the person who should plan to attend the April 22 special session.
If the 2022 seated lay member is unwilling or unable to attend the April 22, 2023 special session, the elected alternate member will attend instead.
Paragraph 602.5 states that no church will be denied its chance to send a member to the special session, if the lay member is unable to attend due to “…death, serious illness, or cessation of membership.” Should one of these be the reason that a lay member is unable to attend, then the church will be able to elect another lay member to represent the charge at the special session of the annual conference.
This list of scenarios can be a helpful resource if you or your church have questions about who should attend. Should you have additional questions, please email email@example.com.
Please watch your email and our website for information on accessing the special session via Zoom on April 22, 2023.
**Pastors: please be sure your lay member has this information**