As a Lay Member to Conference, What Should I Expect?

First, you need to get a copy of the Pre-Conference Handbook.  Once the pre-conference handbook is available online, an e-mail link will be sent to you. If you want to request a printed version, contact Anna Conklin by phone at 206.870.6803 or by Email, and one may be mailed to you for a fee.

The handbook will contain most reports, petitions, data and information that will be studied, considered and acted upon by the Annual Conference Session.  For questions relating to the contents of the handbook, contact Rev. David Valera by phone at 206.870.6806 or by Email.

As a lay member of the PNW Annual Conference, you serve as a conduit between the local church and the annual conference.  Thus, your key role is representing the congregation you are a part of AND interpreting the connectional work of the annual conference, and the global United Methodist Church, to your local church.

A. So once I have access to the pre-conference handbook*, what's next?

  1. Study the pre-conference handbook and other suggested materials, articles and online resources.
  2. Meet with your Pastor, Lay Leader and congregants to share and discuss issues that will be part of the business of the Annual Conference Session.
  3. Attend your District, Cluster and other pre-conference session meetings or gatherings.
  4. Learn how the Annual Conference conducts its business, ministries and connects with its mission field. Try reading previous journals, especially the section on Daily Proceedings (Sec. E).

B. If I don't know something, who do I ask?

Remember that you have a valuable partner in your pastor(s) and you will first want to turn to them.  If they are not available, you may always go to your District Superintendent or your district lay leader with questions. Superintendents usually seat on the aisle near the District signpost and the district lay leader should be in your section as well.

As laity, you have access to the Conference Lay Leader.  Feel free to ask them for assistance as well.

If you need to get an urgent message or question to someone in the conference during plenary, you may raise the card marked “PAGE" and one of the youth Pages will come to you and deliver your message or question.  The card may be found in the Plenary Card packet provided to each table at Annual Conference.

C. What can I discover/learn at AC Session?

  • Expect inspiring messages from Bishop Elaine Stanovsky and other leaders.
  • Discover how the United Methodist Church is reaching out and making a positive impact outside our doors locally and globally.
  • Understand the ways Conference agencies support the ministry of your local church or faith community.
  • Learn how you may serve by working with Conference Boards and Agencies.
  • Discern ways by which God is calling you to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • Find relevant resources to take back to the leadership of your local church.
  • Meet and network with lay members from other churches to share ideas and experiences.

D. What opportunities do I have access to?

  • The work of Boards and Agencies in the Conference display area.
  • Cokesbury’s bookstore will be present onsite.  Also, a used bookstore will sell gently used books, with proceeds benefitting the Ministry Education Fund.
  • Specially planned worship experiences. Take home ideas to share with your worship team.

E. What do I do after AC Session?

Schedule a meeting with your pastor within 90 days after Annual Conference to plan a creative and effective way to share information and learnings with the congregation.

Together, work to find a strategic time to report to congregation.  Sometimes that means after summer, when more congregants are present.

F. How do I keep connected after AC Session?

  • The Office of Connectional Ministries (OCM) regularly communicates about the ministries, events, and trainings designed to deepen our faith, strengthen our connection, and outreach to the communities we serve.

    Sign up and stay connected through the following:

    • PNW Conference Website, with a regularly updated calendar, staff listings, and downloads for local churches, organizations, or events.
    • Weekly News Digest containing news, views, and notices of upcoming events. Click here to signup!
    • A dedicated Blog sharing news from the PNW and beyond at
    • Finally, you can find us on Facebook and on Twitter  where we regularly share all of the above and more.

G. Other names you may ask more information from:

Nancy Davis | Conference Lay Leader | Email
David Reinholz | Associate Conference Lay Leader | Email
Rev. David Valera | Executive Director, OCM | Email
Brant Henshaw | Conference Treasurer | Email
Patrick Scriven | Director of Communications | Email
Anna Conklin | Office of Connectional Ministries | Email
Gretchen Engle | AC Session Coordinator | Email

Did you know that we'll be electing an Associate Conference Lay Leader this June?

The Lay Members of Annual Conference will elect an Associate Conference Lay Leader when they gather in Puyallup this June. The Associate Lay Leader serves on the Board of Laity and is required to attend 3-4 meetings per year (meetings are held on Saturdays) and must be available to attend Annual Conference. The Associate will work closely with the Lay Leader in leading the Board of Laity and filling other responsibilities. More information can be found in the PNW Conference Rules (Rule VI, Sec. 3. e.)  

If you feel called to serve the church in this way, please contact your District Superintendent for further information.  

The election will be held on Friday, June 22nd during the Laity Session. Nominees may submit a flyer to be included in the pre-Conference Handbook prior to May 1st.  Flyers received between May 1st and June 1st will be included in the packet received at Annual Conference.  Flyers should be submitted to Anna Conklin at:

Nominations may also be made from the floor during that session but note that all nominees must be present to be included on the ballot.

Need Help?

If you have questions about registration, please contact our AC Registrar, Gretchen Engle - (206) 870-6835.

PNWAC18 Session

Washington State Fairgrounds
Showplex Center | Puyallup, WA
June 22 to June 24, 2018 

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