2017 AC Frequently Asked Questions

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Registrar Joy Mueller
 

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We have started this page of Frequently Asked Questions to help folks through the process of registering/preparing for the 2017 Annual Conference session.

We will update this page as new information becomes available.

See questions and answers from the Pre-Conference Briefings

Questions and Answers compiled from briefings in eight of nine districts

When is Annual Conference?

The 2017 session of the New England Annual Conference will be Thursday to Saturday, June 15-17. Some events including Preachers' Aid Society Clergy Luncheon, Board of Ordained Ministry meeting. And ordination rehearsal will be Wednesday, June 14. See schedule highlights

Where is the session?

Annual Conference will be at the Radisson Hotel Downtown, 700 Elm St., Manchester, NH. The plenary sessions and most events will take place in the Expo Center, connected to the hotel. See a floor plan of the Radisson Hotel Downtown.

Is everything happening at the Radisson?

All of the plenary sessions, worship services, Bible study and special group meals will take place at the Radisson. First UMC in Manchester will host a free dinner Thursday evening, June 15, at the church at 961 Valley St.

Where do I register for 2017 Annual Conference?

Here's the link to the registration form. Online registration for Annual Conference closes on June 1, 2017. There will be no online registrations accepted after that date.

What is the registration fee?

Registration is $100 for those registering and paying in full before May 1. It will be $125 for members registering after May 1. Online registration closes June 1.

How do I book a hotel?

Lodging is separate from the Annual Conference registration.

Here is a link to a page listing the hotels where we have reserved room blocks. Note the deadlines for each hotel. Hotels may fill up before the stated deadline. Click Here to Book Your Hotel Room (This link will also appear on the confirmation page once you have completed your Annual Conference registration). 

Again this year, we also have a budget-friendly option of dormitory housing at nearby Southern New Hampshire University. These rooms are available Wednesday to Saturday.

What you need to know about the dorms:

  • Rooms are $62/per night for single or double occupancy (two twin beds per room)
  • There is a two-night stay minimum.
  • You must bring your own linens (pillows, blankets, sheets, towels) or
  • rent linens (pillow, light blanket, sheets, 2 towels and 2 washcloths) for a one-time fee of $25.
  • SNHU is about 4 miles from the Radisson Downtown where Annual Conference is being held. See map.
  • There is free parking at SNHU and the Conference pays for your parking at the Radisson.
More rooms have opened up in the dorm; available on a first-come basis.
Click Here to Book a Dorm Room  Deadline to register for dormitory rooms is May 23. 
 

How do I find a roommate?

If you would like to share a hotel room with a roommate, email Registrar Joy Mueller at joyemueller@comcast.net and include your arrival and departure dates or check the box on the Annual Conference Registration.

Joy will email you back the contact information for another person seeking a roommate.  It will be up to the roommates to agree on who books the hotel, how expenses will be shared, and what will happen if one person needs to cancel.

What about parking? 

There is a municipal parking garage adjacent to the Radisson. Those parking there (as hotel guests or as commuters to the AC session) will have their parking validated for the dates of the session: Thursday to Saturday. Parking on Wednesday, June 14, will not be free. Those attending the Clergy Luncheon can get a discount on parking for that event (bring your parking ticket to the lunch.) 

NOTE: Parking tickets will be validated at the Annual Conference registration table; you must get your parking ticket validated during the hours Annual Conference registration is staffed (schedule TBA). 

The hotel registration desk will not validate parking for Annual Conference attendees. Parking could cost as much as $20 without validation.

Commuters, guests at other hotels please note: Unless you are staying at the Radisson, the Conference will be charged each time you re-enter the parking lot, so we encourage folks to leave your cars in the lot until you are ready to leave for the day or to carpool if you need to drive offsite during the day. Those who are staying in the overflow hotels with free parking – La Quinta and the Holiday Inn – are encouraged to carpool to the Radisson. 

Is there shuttle service? 

A free shuttle is available from the Hilton Garden Inn to locations within 5 miles of that hotel. The shuttle operates weekdays 5-11 a.m. and 3:30-11:30 p.m.; weekends: 9 a.m. to noon and 3:30-11:30 p.m. There is no other shuttle service available.

Click the link to find information and a map of other parking options in downtown Manchester, NH

What about meals?

Breakfast: You may pre-purchase tickets for breakfast buffet at the Radisson when you register for AC. Some overflow hotels offer free breakfast or have restaurants. In addition to the pre-paid buffet, the Radisson has a restaurant and will have a grab-and-go option.

Lunch: Again this year, First UMC in Manchester will be offering sack lunches Thursday to Saturday. Sign up for any or all days on the registration form. Sack lunches will be distributed in the small park in front of the Radisson.

First UMC pastor the Rev. Geisha Matos-Machuca reports that the proceeds will be used to support the church's mission shares, its mission team, and its Christmas Dinner ministry. 

On the AC registration form, guests may register and pay for lunch buffet Thursday-Saturday at the Radisson. The Radisson also has a restaurant on-site.

Dinner: There will be buffet dinners at the Radisson on Thursday and Friday; those are also featured on the registration form.

First UMC in Manchester will host a free dinner Thursday evening, June 15, at the church at 961 Valley St. 

There are also many restaurants (a variety of cuisines and price ranges) within walking distance of the Radisson. Here’s a list.

NOTE: You must have pre-paid tickets for the buffets served at the Radisson. Your registration packet will include a list of the meals you have registered for as well as meal tickets to be presented at mealtime for the buffets and to receive sack lunches. Any extra meal tickets will be at the registration table available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Several groups will be hosting meals during AC 17. You can register and pay for these meals using the Annual Conference registration form. Cost is per person:  
Wednesday: Clergy Luncheon hosted by Preachers' Aid Society ($25)
Thursday: Wesleyan Covenant Association Informational Lunch ($24)
Friday
  • Duke Lunch (for Alumni and family members only) ($15)
  • Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) Lunch ($24)
  • Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) Lunch ($15)
  • Extension Ministers Lunch (by invitation only) ($24)
  • Black Pastors’ Fellowship Dinner ($30)
Saturday: BU Alumni Lunch ($12)
 
 

What if I have to cancel? Will I get a refund?

If you have registered for Annual Conference but find you cannot attend, you may be able to receive a refund of your registration fee and any additional charges included with your registration. 

Cancellations must be made through the registrar. Cancellations received on or before May 1, 2017 will receive a 100 percent refund. Cancellations received between May 2 and June 1, 2017 will be assessed a $25 cancellation fee per registration. No refunds for registration or meals will be given after June 1.

Can I get my Quest Blueprint for Wellness screening done at Annual Conference?
Yes. Quest Diagnostics will be at the 2017 Annual Conference session Thursday and Friday, June 15 and 16, in the Spaulding Room at the Radisson. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. Registration is open now; deadline is June 2. 
 
Who will be the music leader?
Music leader will be Mark Miller, Assistant Professor of Church Music at Drew Theological School and Minister of Music at Christ Church in Summit, NJ.
 
Who is this year's Conference preacher?
The guest preacher for the 2017 Annual Conference is Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi. Bishop Moore-Koikoi was elected in 2016 and assigned to the Pittsburgh Episcopal Area (Western Pennsylvania Conference). Learn more about her
 
Who will be leading Bible study?
The 2017 Annual Conference Bible study leader is Javier Viera, Dean of the Theological School and Professor of Pastoral Theology at Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ.
 

Will we be using Circle Process at 2017 Annual Conference?

Yes, as we did in 2016, we will be using Circle Process during the AC session; this time we will use the table discussions to explore our 2017 theme: "Vital Conversations: Race."

The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) has created video and print resources for its series “Vital Conversations on Realities of Racism.” These resources will form the basis for our Circle Process discussions at the 2017 Annual Conference. Circle Process is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in the Expo Center.  

Learn more about Circle Process at Annual Conference and these GCORR resources  here.

Watch a video that explains Circle Process

What about the proposed amendments to The United Methodist Church's constitution?
Annual Conference voters will consider changes that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability.To be ratified, a constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds vote at General Conference, which happened in May 2016. Then, it must win at least a two-thirds majority of the total voters at annual conferences around the world.
 
What are the offerings being received this year?
There will be four offerings received during worship services at this year's Annual Conference.
Memorial Service: Nicaragua Covenant
Episcopal Evening: Mission of Peace
Ordination/Commissioning: Ministerial Education Fund
 
Can we bring relief-supply kits for donation to UMCOR?
John Blackadar will again have a trailer in the Radisson Hotel employee parking lot (same location as last year) to collect completed relief-supply kits. Completed relief-supply kits can be dropped off at the trailer during scheduled times (TBA). At other times, completed kits can be dropped off at the Health Kit assembly area – outside of Salons A and D at the Radisson.
 
Will we be packing health kits this year?
Yes. The goal is to assemble 1,000 kits. The assembly station will be open each day at 8 a.m. beginning Thursday until the kits are completed. The health kit assembly area will be in the same location as last year, outside of Salons A and D at the Radisson. All the materials for the kits will be provided. People can stop by as they are able to build one kit or as many as they have time to complete. No experience necessary; our UMCOR-trained HUB leaders will be on hand to guide the assembly process.
 
Will we be collecting cell phones at Annual Conference this year?   
The New England Annual Conference, in conjunction with Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse (a Conference Advance Special), is collecting used cell phones during Annual Conference. We know that you could drop that phone in a bin at the phone store, but how about making it do good work in the world instead – work that reflects your values as a United Methodist to strengthen families, support justice, and establish peace? Newer phones are reprogrammed to allow victims of domestic violence and elder abuse to dial 911 in an emergency. Older phones are sold for parts, and the proceeds support Safe Havens’ work. You can donate ANY type of cell phone or battery at Annual Conference.
 
Will assistance be available for those with hearing impairments?
There's no reason to miss a word of the 217 Annual Conference session. Hearing assist devices will be available for the session. Those who would like to use hearing devices should inquire at the Annual Conference registration desk when they pick up their packets.