By SHERON C. PATTERSON
The Rev. Kory
Knott got the crowd going
by tossing the balls to the
surprised but delighted
The Plano Convention
Centre was converted
into a panorama of sights,
sounds and action during the
Nehemiah Group presentation
on Monday, June 4.
Led by the Rev. Paul
Rasmussen of the Cornerstone
ministry at Highland Park
UMC in Dallas, the Nehemiah Group is a task force of clergy and lay
people who spent the last year studying
and evaluating the Annual Conference
experience in the North Texas Annual
The goal of the task force was to
research and offer a more engaging,
meaningful annual meeting for North Texas
The Rev. Kory Knott, senior pastor of
Argyle UMC, started the presentation with
green stress balls in his hands.
Soon almost everyone in the auditorium
had the balls in their hands and were
throwing them in the air and into large nets
that were carried across the aisles. Laughter
and glee erupted, with members of the
Annual Conference caught up in child’s
This was part of the plan.
Annual Conference should have a fun
element, the Nehemiah Group says.
An Annual Conference delegate catches
one of the stress balls
hurled into the audience.
Photos by: Sheron C. Patterson
Next came presentations set to music,
videos and song.
This was all a part of the Nehemiah
Group’s strategy to demonstrate to Annual
Conference members what their future
gatherings could be like.
Annual Conference sessions should include:
quality production, pace and flow, inspiring presenters, great music, fun, valuable
content, creativity, inspiring worship, and
The presentation closed on an even
Kate Miner, music director of Munger
Place UMC, belted out the mega hit “Don’t
Stop Believing” as the youth choir of
Custer Road UMC in Plano sang along and
There was electricity in the air and smiles
After discussion among the delegates, the
Nehemiah Group’s proposal was accepted.
Expectations are high for future Annual
Conferences. Delegates want to leave
energized and inspired.