Announcement: East Ohio UMC Conference

Posted on June 04, 2020

Dear Lakesiders,

Today, the East Ohio Conference (EOC) of The United Methodist Church (UMC) announced Annual Conference 2020 from September 25-27 will now be conducted virtually instead of being held at Lakeside Chautauqua. For more details, please see the East Ohio Conference announcement below.

We know the many hours of preparation, logistics and details that go into planning this event and making this change was a difficult decision. We’re grateful to the EOC leadership who have worked closely with the Lakeside Chautauqua staff for their sensitivity to everyone’s health and safety during this incredibly uncertain and challenging time in our world.

Thank you to the EOC staff and our own Lakeside Chautauqua team who have worked tirelessly on the many effects COVID-19 has brought to our organizations. Please review important information and announcements below.

Sincerely,

Daniel Dudley
Lakeside Chautauqua Acting President & CFO/COO


East Ohio Conference

Out of an abundance of care for all members of Annual Conference, Bishop Tracy S. Malone, after prayerful discernment and in consultation with the Extended Cabinet, leadership of the Board of Ministry, and the Annual Conference secretary, has made the decision that Annual Conference 2020, and the Clergy Executive Session that precedes it, will be conducted virtually on the previously announced dates of September 25-27.

The prayerful decision was made now to provide as much time as possible for the Annual Conference planning team to do the work of reviewing all options and selecting the best online platform for providing powerful worship and conducting the essential business of Annual Conference 2020 Bearing Fruit that Lasts: Connected.

In working to host Annual Conference in the safest way possible for the 1,500 conference members, Bishop Malone discussed with the Conference Executive Directors information that the Annual Conference planning team had gathered from the Ohio Department of Health, from local medical professionals, from Lakeside Chautauqua and from other UMC annual conferences before making the decision to switch to virtual sessions.

“After experiencing months of physical distancing, we had high hopes of gathering together in-person for Annual Conference and for the Clergy Executive Session. This was a difficult but necessary decision to make now due to the challenges we would face putting precautionary health and safety measures in place, and to be good stewards of EOC staff time and Lakeside Chautauqua staff time in preparing for a conference that might not be able to take place in-person. At this point, it doesn’t appear as if the scaling back of restrictions is moving at a pace that would enable six-foot social distancing to be rescinded by time we meet in September,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone.

The Bishop and EOC leadership thanked Lakeside Chautauqua Interim CEO Dan Dudley for the time that he and Lakeside’s leadership have invested in working with the Conference to host a postponed Annual Conference. They also expressed their disappointment that we will not be able to gather in-person on the shores of Lake Erie as planned this year for a time of Christian fellowship and to conduct the essential business of Annual Conference 2020.

There is much work to be done in the coming weeks and months. Once decisions have been made and details can be announced for the virtual Clergy Executive Session on September 25 and the virtual session of Annual Conference 2020 on September 26-27, they will be posted on the Conference website and Facebook page, published in the Conference bi-weekly electronic newsletter E-News, and emailed to the clergy and laity of the East Ohio Conference.


Hotel, Cottage Rental & Group Housing Updates for EOC

Hotels/Cottage Rentals: Starting Monday, June 8, Lakeside staff will contact you directly by phone to process hotel and Lakeside Chautauqua Realty cottage rental cancellations and refunds. If renting through Street Sotheby’s International Realty or from individual homeowners, please contact them directly about cancellations and refunds.

Group Housing: Starting Monday, June 8, Lakeside staff will contact you directly by phone to process group housing rental cancellations and refunds. Wo-Ho-Mis check reimbursements will be a delayed process.

Special Offer from Lakeside Chautauqua: We realize that Conference attendees have enjoyed the Lakeside Chautauqua experience over the years, and may be disappointed that they will not be coming in 2020. For that reason, both the Hotel Lakeside and Fountain Inn are pleased to offer the chance to visit us during our 2020 Chautauqua season. We will honor the negotiated Conference hotel rates ($99 + taxes/night for Standard Rooms, $119 + taxes/night for Suites, which is 50% - 70% off of our regular seasonal hotel rates) and will transfer your room deposit to a reservation with a new arrival date. Daily Chautauqua Pass and Auto Pass fees during the time of the stay would apply. Blackout dates: July 3 & July 4. Other blackout dates may be added at the discretion of management.