By Lawrence Rebelo
When all of the hymns have been sung during Sunday’s worship service at Annual Conference and the benediction has been given, it will mark the end of Rev. Mark Conner’s time as the leader of the Worship Planning Team.
Mark began working with the team in 1984, participating in various roles and positions. Mark said of his time as team leader, “It has been amazing to watch the process. It is a beautiful, spirit-filled process.” Mark also enjoys the collegial work he gets to engage in with the entirety of the team.
Rev. Krysta Rexrode Wolfe said, “Mark is a gifted pastor whose humor, diligence, and institutional memory have made the programming and worship planning for Annual Conference a joy…his retirement, while much earned, is a sad occasion for those of us who have had the honor to walk alongside him in his work.”
The worship theme of this year’s Annual Conference is “Invitational.” Krysta, who will be the leader of the Worship Planning Team for the upcoming year, said, “The theme allows Christ’s followers to be both guests at Christ’s table and hosts to the hope and life of the gospel.”
Every year the Annual Conference theme changes but the focus is always a reflection of the Annual Conference’s mission, which is to discover, develop, and deploy spiritual leaders who make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Alongside their citations this year, the Worship Planning Team included margin notes in the Conference Workbook which explain the “why and what of the worship services we planned,” said Krysta. The hope of both Mark and Krysta is that local churches will be able to use the workbook citations and notes to implement elements and practices from worship at Annual Conference in their local churches.
The schedule of worship can be found on pages 10 and 11 of the Conference Workbook.