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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: Behind the Scenes

    Behind the Scenes of Annual Conference: Printed Material

    May 8, 2017 / By UNY Communications / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Publishing the printed materials for the Upper New York Annual Conference is a year-round effort.

    Our largest publication is the Journal, which is published in two volumes. Vol. I of the Journal is published before Annual Conference and Vol. II of the Journal is published after.

    The first piece for Vol. I of the Journal was the narrative budget, which was published to the Conference Website in January. This was later turned in to the Budget Booklet for members to read prior to the Budget Listening session in the spring and at Annual Conference. The hope was that the Budget Booklet would answer most questions about the Conference Budget prior to Annual Conference. Feedback obtained from the spring listening sessions resulted in an updated narrative budget for inclusion in Vol. I of the Journal (formerly the Pre-Conference booklet).

    Each year, petitions and resolutions are submitted by February 1, so that they can be proof-read and prepared for inclusion in Vol. I of the Journal.  Team reports and action items of the Annual Conference are due on March 1.

    Deadlines, for each portion of Vol. I of the Journal, are very important because the goal is usually publish it by mid-April so that people have a copy to use when watching the Pre-Conference Briefing (which beginning this year is a video available for all to watch at their convenience).  

    After collecting all of the items that will make up the Journal (Vol. I), they are formatted, checked, proof-read, and turned into a PDF document, to be sent to online publisher, Lulu.com. There, members can order a printed copy from Lulu, or they can download a free copy to print out on their own from the Conference website.

    It is always a big relief when the Journal Vol. I is published, however, the work is not done yet. Outside printing must be done for members to have their copy of the ordination booklet, large print worship booklets and, the Annual Conference Guide, and other materials used at Annual Conference. Numerous printed materials are created, edited, approved, and then quotes must be obtained. Always on a deadline, the materials are produced for months leading up to Annual Conference and usually delivered sometime in May.

    Just before Annual Conference, in mid-May, packets for Annual Conference are put together for attendees to receive once they arrive. These packets can include: a the nominations report, flyers of upcoming events, a map of the Annual Conference venue, Annual Conference agenda, a list or nearby restaurants, materials that didn’t make it into Vol. 1 of the Journal, an evaluation form, and much more.

    After Annual Conference has concluded, July 1 is when new appointments go into effect. At that point, production starts on the Directory, which include all clergy, lay members of Annual Conference, surviving spouses, and church information. This information used to appear in the Journal, but in recent years has been published separately for convenience. The information is pulled from the Conference databases and spreadsheets from registration. The goal has been to publish the Directory in the summer so that the focus can turn to Vol. II of the Journal.

    For Vol. II of the Journal Information, such as the Business of the Annual Conference (BAC), daily proceedings, pastoral service records, stat tables, memoirs, and much more is gathered from many individuals and ministry areas for formatting, proof-reading, and publication. Vol. II of the Journal is usually published in the fall.

    As you can see, getting ready for Annual Conference is a year-round project, with many facets and pieces. The work is never really done, but it is rewarding because without it, Annual Conference would not be possible. 

    TOPIC / Behind the Scenes


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."