A remote annual conference session will be held on October 5 and 6.

Greater New Jersey Annual Conference Members voted overwhelmingly at the end of July to hold a virtual Annual Conference Session in October due to the safety considerations of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After emergency orders were issued by the Governor of New Jersey in March, GNJ moved their annual conference from May to October 5 and 6 in the hopes of holding an in person conference once the pandemic subsided.  This summer, as cases continued to spike, the Rules Committee investigated the issue and, in coordination with the Board of Trustees recommended a new rule (26) to allow the rescheduled October session to be held virtually.

GNJ Conference rules required a mail-in ballot to authorize this change and instructions for balloting were set to all conference members on July 23.  Rev. Shelley Smith, the acting Conference Secretary reported the results of the votes:  258 votes affirming the addition of Rule 26 to allow a remote annual conference session and 6 votes against.

Present and counting the votes on Thursday, August 6 were the acting Conference Secretary, a conference teller, a member of the GNJ Board of Trustees and a member of the Council on Finance and Administration.

A remote annual conference session will be held on October 5 and 6. The pre-conference journal will be available online August 20 and the printed journal should arrive at people’s homes by September 20.

Registration for the annual conference session will open August 20. Any member to the annual conference that may have difficulty participating online can indicate their needs on the registration form and conference officials will work with them so that they can fully participate.

To assist the process, GNJ will hold will hold electronic information sessions that will assist conference members in how to participate and vote as well as review legislation for the annual conference session. In addition, a FAQ page will be available on the GNJ website to answer questions on legislation in advance.

Remote Participation Annual Conference – In a situation which a state of emergency has been declared by the Governor of New Jersey or other applicable governmental authority, or in extraordinary circumstances as declared by the Bishop, Cabinet, Conference Trustees and CFA, the regular Annual Conference session, or a Special Annual Conference session, or parts of either, can be held by means of remote participation.  Notice of such a session and all such means of remote participation shall meet all requirements of the Discipline, applicable state law, and the Rules of Order, including without limitation:

a.  authorization and prior notice of the meeting and means of participation;
b.  verification of membership and voting credentials;
c.  reasonable opportunity to concurrently see, read or hear, participate and vote; and
d.  record and maintain a record of any votes or other actions.