Though circumstances have dictated that we must come together virtually via a Zoom Webinar, and our processes and procedures will be different than anything we’ve done before for an Annual Conference meeting, all involved have worked and continue to work diligently to make our online gathering as easy and familiar as possible. In that spirit, please see the following important information to assist you in having a positive and productive AC20.
Please confirm your registration and activate your Zoom Webinar link.
  • All members to Annual Conference with voice and voting rights who have registered for AC20 should have received an email requesting you to activate your Zoom link. You will NOT be able to access the Zoom Webinar until you have activated your Zoom link (a process that should take less than 30 seconds to complete). If you have not received this link, send an email to

  • Each registered clergy and lay member will have a unique link. This is why each clergy and lay member must be on a separate device to actively participate in the meeting (i.e. one vote per device). We recommend using a computer (desktop or laptop) or a tablet. You may access the meeting on a mobile phone, but the voting application is more difficult to navigate on a phone.

  • If you have not activated your zoom link, please click on the following as soon as possible and do so to avoid being delayed in joining the meeting. Access your AC20 Zoom Webinar Link

Zoom Webinar Distinctions

The 2020 Central Texas Annual Conference meeting is being convened via a Zoom Webinar. While most are now quite familiar with Zoom meetings, there are a few distinct differences with the Zoom Webinar experience.

  • Participants in the meeting will not be able to see each other. The only persons you’ll see on the screen are those who are presenting or have been recognized by the chair to speak “from the floor” during the meeting (aka “panelists”). Bishop Lowry and Mike Ford, conference Lay Leader, will be visible throughout the entire meeting, all other panelists will join the meeting as scheduled or as needed.

  • Seconding a motion, requests to be recognized, questions, tech support, etc. will all be done through the Q&A tab. Because participants are not visible, Bishop Lowry cannot see or hear you. As such, conference members will use the Q&A function at the bottom of the webinar screen to request to be recognized in order to make a motion, offer an amendment to a motion, call the question. More details on this process are below (see How to be Recognized by the Chair below).

  • The chat feature will not be active during this meeting.

The Agenda
  • The meeting will follow the agenda as listed in the Preliminary Report as closely as possible. The Agenda for the meeting can be found on page 16 of Preliminary Report.

  • Please try to be cognizant of the time in breaks so that you don’t miss anything. The only break noted on the agenda is the lunch break scheduled for noon. However, if breaks are needed throughout the day, Bishop Lowry will call them. Please note when a break is called, Bishop Lowry will give a return time (i.e. “we’ll be back a 11:05.”) The meeting will resume promptly at the stated time.  

  • Times listed in the agenda are approximate and subject to change. We will try to move through the agenda as efficiently as possible, so at times we may be ahead of schedule, and the possibility exists that we may lag behind the stated times. Bishop Lowry will not gavel the meeting closed until all the required business of the conference has been concluded.

How to be recognized by the chair (please click here for a downloadable graphic guide)
  • If you’d like to be recognized by the chair to make a motion, call the question, speak to or against a motion, make an amendment, etc., you will need to type your question, motion, amendment, request to speak in the Q&A tool. 

  • We will be following our Guiding Principles and Best Practices and Roberts Rules of Order. Requests to be recognized will be handled as we would if we were in person, so consider entering your request in the Q&A like walking up to one of the mics in the room at an in-person meeting.

  • Bishop Lowry will be notified of all requests in the order in which they are received.

  • When making a request in the Q&A, make sure to include the nature of your request – make a motion, amend a motion, speak FOR or AGAINST a motion, etc. – your first and last name and your church and district.

  • We will follow our long-standing practice of three speeches for and three against with a time limit of three minutes per.

  • When you are recognized, you will be temporarily made into a panelist, which means you’ll be seen and heard by those viewing the meeting on the Webinar and livestream. Please, make sure that you are as well-lit as possible – in other words not in a dark room or standing in front of a bright window – and speak clearly and loudly.

  • When you are made a panelist, you will be temporarily logged out of the meeting as a participant. This means that you’ll “go dark” from the meeting for a few moments. Please don’t click on anything or try to log out and log back into the meeting. This process will happen automatically, and it usually takes around 10 seconds. The same thing will happen in reverse when you are returned to the meeting as a participant.

How we will vote
  • Voting will be done by the Zoom Polling feature.

  • Once Bishop Lowry opens the vote, a voting or polling pop up will appear on your screen. To cast your vote, click on either the yes, no or abstain button and hit submit.

  • You will have 60 seconds to cast your vote in most circumstances. Bishop Lowry may cut the time short or extend it a bit if necessary.

  • Once the ballot is closed, Bishop Lowry will call for the results and they will appear on the screen.

  • Please note that there is only one vote allowed per login. This is why everyone had to register for the Zoom meeting and needs to be on a separate device. If you and your family member/friend are both conference members with voting rights and are sitting socially distanced in the same room and viewing this through the same computer, you are only going to be able to cast on ballot. Each clergy and lay member of the Conference needs to be on a separate device to vote (pcs or tablets are recommended over a mobile phone for voting).

Where to find meeting materials
  • All content related to Annual Conference 2020 can be found on the conference website at

  • The Preliminary report is at

  • You can find copies of the Resolutions to Annual Conference, Forms and other resources (like the BAC for the Board of Ordained Ministry Report) at

  • Annual Conference videos can be found at

    • On this page you’ll find a video of this year’s Episcopal Address, the annual Laity Address, the Youth Address as well as several videos from some of our ministry partners like GBHEM, Lydia Patterson, Methodist Children’s Home and more as they are available.

Live Stream

The conference is being livestreamed for guests and visitors. Only lay and clergy members with voice and/or voting rights will participate via this live Zoom webinar. The livestream can be viewed on our conference website, and on the conference Facebook page

Tech Support
  • This Webinar is a new experience for all of us, and there are bound to be a few technical hiccups along the way. If you experience any difficulties with logging into the meeting, or issues with audio or video, first try logging out of the meeting and then logging back in. It may be necessary to turn your system off and back on again before logging back in.

  • Please have as few other programs or web browser windows open as possible as too many other programs running will likely slow things down or cause interruptions in the Webinar.

  • If you need tech support during the meeting, send a request through the Q&A feature as the tech team will be watching the Q&A throughout the meeting to answer questions and help with any tech issues they can. You can also send an email to and/or


We look forward to being with you online tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 19) starting at 10 a.m.