Last year we introduced our virtual session of Annual Conference with the acknowledgement, “We’ve Never Done It This Way Before.” This year’s session will be more like, “Didn’t We Do Something Like This Last Time.” Our amazing Tech Team helped to develop a list of Frequently Asked Questions to make this year’s session easier for you. Of course, you can find everything you need related to Annual Conference 2021 on our webpage at https://www.txcumc.org/tac2021.
Now for the FAQ’s:
Q: My spouse and I share an email account and we are both delegates to annual conference. Can we register together?
A: No. Every delegate needs to have a separate email address (delegates, you cannot share an email address). Email addresses are available at no-charge through gmail, yahoo, and often your internet provider (Suddenlink, Comcast, etc.)
Q: Do I need to have a Zoom account to participate in TAC 2021?
A: Yes. Every delegate needs to have a separate Zoom account (delegates, you cannot share a Zoom account with another delegate). Your Zoom account will require a password that you should write down and be sure it is accessible for Annual Conference Sessions.
Q: Since TAC 2021 is virtual, do I still need to register?
A: Yes. The Zoom sessions are limited to Lay and Clergy Delegates of the Texas Annual Conference. So, registration is required.
Q: How do I register for TAC 2021?
A: All elected delegates will receive an email to register that will include links for registration. This email will be sent by the end of March. Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with a link for the session.
NOTE: Often times your spam filter will send this to Junk or Clutter because it will come through a zoom.us email that your inbox does not recognize. Please monitor you “Junk," “Clutter," and/or “Spam” folders carefully for up to three days after you register for the event. If you do not find the invitation link, please email Jan Ervin at email@example.com. Jan will be able to address the situation for you.
Delegates will receive an email that says: Welcome to TAC 2021! This year’s Virtual Annual Conference will utilize one link for connecting to all of our meetings. The one exception is the Clergy Session. Clergy, you will have an additional and separate link for the Clergy Session.
These links will have a unique passcode. You will probably not need this as most hotlinks have that imbedded in them. However, if prompted, pay close attention as to whether you are being asked to provide the passCODE for the meeting or the passWORD for your personal Zoom account. Please keep this email and click on the appropriate link to join the particular segment of TAC 2021.
Q: How do I access the polling feature for voting? Last year I was not able to see the polling feature. Pop-up blockers sometimes do not allow things like the polling feature to appear.
A: Pop-up blockers sometimes do not allow for the polling feature to appear. Please make sure your browser allows for pop-ups when you are connected to Zoom. If you don’t know how to do this, come to the pre-conference meetings. Tech support will be on hand at the pre-conference meetings to help get with this.
Q: Why should I attend the Pre-Conference Meetings?
A: Delegate who attend the Pre-Conference Meetings say they are much better informed on the issues when they get to the Annual Conference session. By attending a virtual Pre-Annual Conference meeting, you will learn about every single issue that we will be voting on, how to vote, and even get a short lesson on how to access the Guidebook App. The Guidebook App is where delegates can find the Pre-Conference Journal, resolutions, the schedule and so much more.
Q: When are this year’s Pre-Conference Meetings and how do I access the meeting?
A: Our pre-conference meeting schedule is:
- Sunday, April 25th at 6:30 pm for Central North, Southeast, and North Districts (includes Closed Captioning and Spanish interpretation)
- Monday, April 26th at 6:30 pm for Central South, East, and West Districts
- Tuesday, April 27th at 3:00 pm for Northwest, South, and Southwest Districts
If delegates are unable to attend the Zoom Meeting for their district, they may attend one of the other Pre-Conference meetings.
Please click the Zoom link below, this link is good for all of the Pre-Conference meetings:
Q: Will this year’s chat feature be different at Annual Conference 2021?
A: Yes, we did hear that a number of delegates were distracted by the chat feature last year, so during the Business Sessions of Annual Conference the chat feature will be inactive. This was framed as our water cooler conversations but discovered that it was more like the water cooler being mic’d with a feed going into the main meeting.
Q: Will there be a Q&A if I have a question and what kinds of questions are asked in the Q&A?
A: Yes, the Q&A feature will still be available for questions for clarifications and extemporaneous exchange, such as requesting to speak to an issue being presented.
Q: Will live tech support be available during The 2021 Session of the Texas Annual Conference?
A: Yes, last year our tech team was overwhelmed by the volume of calls and yet did an amazing job connecting folks. This year that team has expanded to where we will have tech support in every district during TAC 2021. Contact information will be provided as we get closer to TAC 2021 at www.txcumc.org/tac2021.
Q: How will non-delegates be able to watch worship services and business sessions?
A: Family, friends, fellow church members who are not delegates will be able to connect to all sessions on the front of our webpage: https://www.txcumc.org.
For now, if you are a lay or clergy delegate, please follow these six steps in order:
- Make sure you have a separate email address (not shared by any other delegate).
- Make sure you have a separate Zoom account (not shared by any other delegate).
- Register for Texas Annual Conference 2021. A letter will be sent to all delegates by email with links for registration at the end of April.
- Locate your confirmation email as a registered delegate with links that you will use to connect.
- Enable pop-ups for Zoom.
- Attend one of the Virtual Pre-Conference Meetings
Thank you again for your grace and participation in this year’s session of The Texas Annual Conference, whose real theme is not, “Haven’t We Done Something Like This Before,” but more appropriately, “Faith, Hope, and Love.”
Kip R Gilts
Assistant to the Bishop