Survey response for 2019 Annual Conference outlines values, improvements for next year

July 12, 2019
Written by the Rev. Annie Arnoldy
Superintendent of Leadership Development and Director of Connectional Ministry
Mountain Sky Conference 

As a body, we gathered in Billings, Montana for Annual Conference one month ago. Since then, we've gathered survey feedback from approximately 30 percent of attendees (which is a great return-rate, as far as surveys go). Thank you for your feedback! The Annual Conference Planning Team met via Zoom to talk through the survey topics and all of the additional commentary. In order to be sure we've heard you accurately, I want to share some of the takeaways that the planning team will use for next year.

The values we hold as a Mountain Sky Conference for our Annual Conference sessions:
  • We are a relational people - we value time for connection and conversation
  • We lift each other up - during elections, and even in legislation, we value teamwork and empowerment
  • Everyone felt nourished by worship - we long for spiritual connection and inspiring voices
  • The Tug-o-Love is a "must-keep" - this is a fun way of giving our support to mission and ministry
  • We need accommodations that are accessible and that offer respite after long days of meeting together
  • As much as possible, our meeting spaces need to be in one central location
  • We need to provide as much information as possible about our conference location for planning around distances, meeting spaces, and transportation options
  • We need a schedule that allows for business, connectional time and space, for deeply-engaging worship, for serving together, and for honoring our clergy at the Memorial Service and the Ordination Service
  • We need to honor people's time by sticking to the schedule, and honor people's resources by making conference as cost-effective as possible
In looking toward Annual Conference 2020 in Gillette, Wyoming, we can already give you this info:
  • The Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facility is where our meetings will be held
  • We have the flexibility of bringing in our own food options - coffee carts, food trucks, restaurants and caterers
  • There is a large park just outside for grilling and gathering
  • Most hotels are 1 to 2 miles from the meeting site, but we will have several smaller buses for transportation between locations
  • We will be looking at all aspects of the schedule to ensure a true time of Holy Conferencing
  • The planning team will be asking for organization of groups, meals, and requests in January or February so as many details can be released as possible when registration opens
Thank you for the time and dedication you give toward making the Mountain Sky Conference a Beloved Community!