Good day everyone. I hope this article finds each of you healthy and well. The annual Great Lakes Conference is right around the corner. In the following article I will cover the details of the Conference and encourage everyone to attend either in person or virtually. The Conference will be at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Elk Grove Illinois a Northwest suburb of Chicago.
In recognition of the continuing issues with Covid these are the protocols we will follow. To begin, we will align with any facility, or governmental mandates and recommendations. Currently there are no mandates in place, but everyone is encouraged to follow their inner guidance concerning their vulnerability. The Great Lakes Conference teams will provide masks, if asked, hand sanitizer, and the facility is large enough for appropriate social distancing as requested. Those who are vulnerable or who choose to not attend we have an online option to attend the keynotes and business meeting including the town hall meeting with the Unity organizations.
In recognition of the issues, we had last year with the virtual attendees the Great Lakes Conference Team contracted with an outside professional organization, MPAKT Music and Media LLC, to provide all our technical services. The virtual service is reasonably priced, and we encourage the Boards and staffs of our local centers to take advantage of the service.
The annual business meeting will be held over two days. Tuesday we will have reports from our staff, vote on new Board members and a recommended bylaw change, and hear a state of the Region from our Board president Cindy Yamamoto. Wednesday we will have a town hall style meeting with Unity World Headquarters, Unity Worldwide Ministries, and The Unity Urban Ministerial Schools. In the interest of time, all reports from staff and the field will be available, prior to the Conference, on our website.
This year’s conference will feature three keynote speakers rather than the typical one speaker for the entire conference. Rev Toni Boehm will start the conference off on Monday evening talking about ministry of the future and the trends that are becoming apparent. Tuesday Kathy Harwood-Long will present Earth as Ally, Your Future Ministry Now. Wednesday Joni Lorraine, program coordinator for the Unity Spiritual Directions Program, will talk about spiritual direction and the new UWM spiritual direction program. Finally, of Thursday Rev Toni and Rev Diane Venzera will close the conference with Ministry for the Future 2: What if I did Decision Making.
Included in the Conference will be an exciting interactive open ceremony, a memorial service honoring those who have made their transition, an evening banquet and concert from our guest musician Kim-Char Meredith, and time set aside to socialize and connect with friends and colleagues.
WE hope to see you all at Conference. Have a wonderful month and stay safe.