2016 AC Frequently Asked Questions

We have started this page of Frequently Asked Questions to help folks through the process of registering/preparing for the 2016 Annual Conference session.

We will update this page as new questions arise.

Information about all aspects of Annual Conference and the online registration form can be found at www.neumc.org/acsessions.

If you have a question, send it to Registrar Joy Mueller at joyemueller@comcast.net, and we'll get an answer for you.

When is Annual Conference?

The 2016 session of the New England Annual Conference will be Thursday to Saturday, June 16-18. Some events including Preachers' Aid Society Clergy Luncheon, Board of Ordained Ministry meeting. And ordination rehearsal will be Wednesday, June 15. See the full schedule

Will the session be live streamed?

Yes, the plenary sessions and worship services will be streamed live on our website here: http://www.neumc.org/AClivestream The live stream will begin with the Laity Session at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 16.

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 with locations of events and activities.

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 16, at the church at 961 Valley St.

Sack lunches will be distributed in the small park in front of the Radisson.

Where do I register for 2016 Annual Conference?

Here's the link to the registration form. Online registration for Annual Conference closes on June 1, 2016. There will be no online registrations accepted after that date.

What is the registration fee?

Registration is $100. It will be $125 for members registering after May 1.

How do I book a hotel?

Lodging is completely separate from the Annual Conference registration. Here is a link to the hotel reservations site: Click Here to Book Your Hotel Room (This link will also appear on the confirmation page once you have completed your Annual Conference registration). We have the option of rooms at four hotels. The Radisson is sold out for Thursday, June 16. Deadline to register for hotels is May 24.

This year, we also have a budget-friendly option of dormitory housing at nearby Southern New Hampshire University. These rooms are available Thursday to Sunday (not Wednesday night). Guests provide their own linens (there is no a/c). Rooms with shared baths on each corridor are $60/night, based on double occupancy, with a two-night minimum stay. Adults only are allowed on campus at SNHU. Click Here to Book a Dorm Room Deadline to register for dormitory rooms has been extended to June 1. 

Can I book a room directly through the Radisson?

No; all hotel rooms should be booked with Connections Housing using this link: Click Here to Book Your Hotel Room

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. NOTE: Parking tickets will be validated at the Annual Conference registration table; you must get your parking ticket validated during the hours the Annual Conference registration is staffed (see the schedule). 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 from 4-10 a.m. and 3:30-11:15 p.m. and on Saturday from 9-11:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 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 during registration. 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. Some groups have prearranged to host meals at the hotel and you can also sign up and pay for these during registration. In addition, 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. 

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 served basis. 

Several groups will be hosting meals during AC 16. Those meals are listed as part of registration as well and include:

  • Preachers' Aid Society Clergy Luncheon – Wednesday, June 15; $25 per person
  • Duke Divinity Alumni Lunch (alumni and family only) - Thursday, June 16; $15 per person
  • COSROW lunch – Friday, June 17; $24 per person
  • Methodist Federation for Social Action lunch – Friday, June 17; $24 per person
  • Extension Ministry Lunch – Saturday, June 18; $24 per person (invitation only)
  • Boston University School of Theology Alumni lunch – Saturday, June 18; $24 per person

Are there opportunities to volunteer at Annual Conference?

Yes, volunteers are being sought to serve:

As Greeters Wednesday and Thursday, June  15 and 16, at the Radisson. If you'd like to help out, please contact the New Hampshire District Office at (603) 225-3455 or nhdistrict@neumc.org.

As Teller/Ushers Frances Camacho, head teller/usher at Annual Conference, is recruiting Teller/Ushers for this year's session. We have 10 signed up – thank you! And we could use five or six more volunteers. If you are willing to volunteer to be a teller/usher, contact Camacho via email at Frances.Camacho@ppsd.org   

As Medical Volunteers We are seeking volunteers with medical training who are willing to be “on call” during the Annual Conference session in case of a medical emergency. Nurses, EMTs or others with medical training who are willing to volunteer during the session are asked to contact Sessions Committee Chair Mark Monson Alley at markmonsonalley@gmail.com.

Where do I find the Pre-Conference Booklet and other materials?

As part of the Conference's commitment to "going green" and being good stewards of our natural resources, the Annual Conference session is seeking to be as "paperless" as possible.
The Pre-Conference materials are available for free as a PDF to download or print on your own.They are also available as a spiral-bound booklet delivered to the address you choose from on-demand printer LuLu.com. The cost is $9.94 plus shipping.
Get links to both versions here: www.neumc.org/preconferencematerials
Members are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the information and proposed legislation contained in these documents prior to arriving at the session.
NOTE: There will be no "late-breaking document" this year. All materials submitted after the April 1 deadline must be printed by the submitters and will be distributed at the Annual Conference session.
The Nominations Slate from the Committee on Leadership/Nominations is a work in progress. The most current version (updated since the Pre-Conference Materials were published) can be found by clicking the link below:
Explainer videos

Who will be leading worship and music?

The guest worship designer and leader again this year is Dr. Marcia McFee of Worship Design Studio.

Learn more about her

Music leader for Thursday and Friday will be Mark Miller, Assistant Professor of Church Music at Drew Theological School and Minister of Music at Christ Church in Summit, NJ.

Learn more about him

Music on Saturday will be provided by Electric Praise from Wesley UMC in Concord, NH. Hear them play "Beautiful Things."

Will there be a Conference Choir this year?

All are invited to join the Conference Choir that will perform during the Service of Ordination and Commissioning.The service takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 17. The first rehearsal of the choir will take place at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, (or after the Ordination/Commissioning Service rehearsal) in the Expo Center (the main plenary hall). A second rehearsal will be at noon on Friday. 

Who will be leading Bible study?

Rev. Anne Robertson will lead Bible study on Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18, as well as at Thursday's Laity Session. A member of the New England Conference, Rev. Robertson is the author of “Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series” and executive director of the Massachusetts Bible Society. We talked with Rev. Robertson about the importance of biblical literacy. Read more 

Who is this year's Conference preacher?

Dr. Greg Jones who was scheduled to be this year’s Conference Preacher, is unable to join us due to work commitments around his new position as Executive Vice President and Provost of Baylor University. Watch the e-news and this page for updates about worship at Annual Conference.
Also preaching will be Bishop Violet Fisher
Bishop Violet Fisher, retired, will be the guest preacher at the 2016 Memorial Service at Annual Conference. The service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 16. It will be streamed live on the Conference website here. Bishop Fisher was elected to the episcopacy in 2000 and was assigned to the former New York West Area (Now part of Upper New York). She retired in 2008. She graduated from Eastern Baptist Seminary in Philadelphia in 1988, and was ordained as a deacon that same year; she was ordained as an elder two years later. A former public school teacher, Bishop Fisher has a bachelor’s degree from Bowie University and a master’s from George Washington University.
Here are some additional details about Circle Process: The topic has not yet been announced, but will be before we get to Annual Conference. The plan is for each speaker in the circle to be allowed 3 minutes to speak - a time keeper at each table will give them a warning at 2.5 minutes, and if they run over 3 minutes the facilitator will (politely and firmly) remind them to stop.  If there is time at the end of the first circle, the talking piece may go around again and those who wish to add to what they’ve said - or speak if they chose to pass the first time - will be given another opportunity, again 3 minutes long. We’re asking people to be succinct and we’ll keep the allotted time as even as possible, but it’s possible one person may have a few minutes more than another depending on who decides to speak when. However, no one person will be able to dominate the full conversation.
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: NE Justice for Our Neighbors; Episcopal Evening: Mission of Peace and Taize; Ordination/Commissioning: Ministerial Education Fund, and Saturday morning worship: Imagine No Malaria.
Can I get my Quest Blueprint for Wellness screening done at Annual Conference?
Yes. Quest Diagnostics will be at the 2016 Annual Conference session on June 16 and 17 in the Spaulding Room at the Radisson. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. Register by May 31. 
Are there any donation items being collected at this year's session?
  • First UMC of Manchester, NH, takes mismatched bulletin covers and matches them according to the theme of the day to help save trees and money. They will be distributing pre-paid sack lunches on the front lawn of the Radisson Hotel Thursday to Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on each of those days, and will have a table on which you can leave any donated bulletins. 
  • Safe Havens will once again be collecting old cell phones. Learn more.
  • Glasses will not be collected this year.

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 the following hours: 2:30-5 and 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m. Thursday and 8 to 9:30 a.m. and 4:30-9 p.m. Friday or 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday.     

At other times, completed kits can be dropped off at the Health Kit assembly area – outside of Salons A and D at the Radisson. (See a hotel floor plan).  

 Learn more about how to make kits.

New this year: Throughout the Annual Conference session there will be an opportunity to create health kits. When Greg Forrester, UMCOR Assistant General Secretary for Disaster Response in the United States, spoke to the Cabinet earlier this year, he said UMCOR is currently most in need of health kits. All the materials will be provided. We have set a goal of packing 1,000 kits. Folks will be able to stop by the assembly table any time to spend 10-15 minutes packing a kit or two. Learn more about this mission project.

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

If you have registered for Annual Conference but find you cannot attend, you can receive a refund of your registration fee and any additional charges included with your registration. There is a $10 cancellation charge that will be deducted from your refund. Refunds will not be paid until after the session. 

NOTE: If you cancel after June 10, any charges for meals cannot be refunded.