Hopefully by now you have heard the news that the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors voted to hold a one-day, abbreviated annual meeting this year, which will be held Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 1-5 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Charlotte.
According to convention bylaws, the board of directors is the only entity that is authorized to change the time or location of the annual meeting, and the board approved the change during a meeting held Monday, Sept. 28. The annual meeting had previously been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 9-10, in Greensboro.
This year’s annual meeting will include familiar items like worship, preaching, ministry reports and business sessions, but it will also be unlike any other annual meeting that we’ve had in recent memory. In light of that, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some important information about the meeting with North Carolina Baptists.
One significant change is that registration for messengers and visitors will take place online this year. Churches that have an email address on file with the convention should have received registration instructions via email on Oct. 1. A letter outlining the registration process has also been mailed to every N.C. Baptist church. Registration details are also available on the annual meeting website at ncannualmeeting.org/register.
We are also asking everyone who plans to attend – both messengers and visitors – to please register online in advance to help us gauge what attendance figures might look like. Doing so will help us adhere to social distancing and other health and safety protocols that will be in effect.
As part of the registration process, we are also asking that individuals select a specific time to check-in on the day of the meeting to avoid overcrowding. On-site check-in will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. As part of the enhanced health and safety measures, temperature checks will be conducted as people enter the facility, and face coverings will also be required.
We realize that some people might not feel comfortable attending the meeting. For those who don’t feel comfortable, the meeting will be broadcast on the internet through a livestream of the event. For those tuning in online, convention bylaws do not permit electronic voting on business matters, but you will still be able to follow all of the proceedings as they happen.
This year’s meeting will not include an exhibit area, nor will there be any ancillary meetings that are normally held in conjunction with the meeting. We will, however, provide a series of prerecorded virtual breakout sessions that offer practical training and equipping in a variety of ministry areas. The sessions will be made available for viewing online beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, the day prior to the meeting. To learn more about these breakout session offerings, visit ncannualmeeting.org/breakouts.
Given the events of 2020, this year’s annual meeting theme of “God’s Great Hope” is especially fitting. For the most up-to-date information, schedule, and other resources and materials related to this year’s meeting, visit ncannualmeeting.org.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” — Romans 12:12 (ESV)