Dear brothers and sisters,
For many months we have been looking forward to General Assembly 2020 which was to be held in Salina, Kansas, July 10-13, 2020. We have also been excited for the Global Team Retreat preceding General Assembly, bringing together our missionaries from across the world.
As you can imagine, Leadership Council and General Conference Board have been prayerfully monitoring the situation across the country and around the world to decide what changes, if any, should be made to our event plans. Some of the factors considered included:
- We do not know how quickly the coronavirus surge will last or how long “flattening the curve” will take. It is likely there will still be various “hotspots” in places across the country and around the world by the time of these events.
- Finances will be an issue as some of our attendees have been furloughed or laid off from their jobs, making the expense of General Assembly difficult.
- We expect many will have concerns about traveling in July. Additionally, we do not know if distance travel will be advised by that time.
- The current disruptions and the uncertainties we are facing do not allow the expectation of General Assembly to build and has made event planning difficult.
In light of these factors, it is with deep regret that Leadership Council and General Conference Board have decided that General Assembly 2020 will no longer take place as previously scheduled on July 10-13, 2020 in Salina, Kansas. Instead, we will hold a one-day, virtual General Assembly event on Saturday, July 11, 2020. Also, because the Global Team Retreat will no longer proceed as planned, the World Mission leadership team will be pursuing alternative options and developing new plans with our global workers.
What does that mean? How will we do it? Those details are still in the planning stage and will be communicated when they are finalized. Our preference, if possible, is to have centralized gatherings in each regional conference linked together with video simulcast. Time will tell if this option can even be a reality as many of us may still be living under stay-at-home orders come July.
We are disappointed that this decision has become necessary, especially as it has been over 70 years since a General Conference/Assembly was held in the Midwest Conference. However, we are pleased to announce that General Assembly 2022 will be held in Kansas. We look forward to returning at that time.
We will continue to communicate updates as they are available. Please be sure to visit our COVID-19 resource page for all updates. We have also posted a video that contains this and additional information that may be helpful to you during these challenging days. We encourage you to take time and watch the video.
If you have already registered for General Assembly 2020 in Kansas, we will be reaching out to you soon regarding the process for refunding registration fees. Transportation and accommodations were the responsibility of each individual and so the decision to refund those expenses will rest on those third-party companies.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Leadership Council, General Conference Board, and our World Missions leadership team as they seek to provide leadership and direction for the Church in these days. Please know that we also pray for you—our pastors, leaders, congregations, members, missionaries—as you seek to serve the risen King of Kings.