Annual Conference 2022 | June 1-4 | Hot Springs, AR








Important Dates

  • March 15th – Deadline for petitions and resolutions
  • April 4th – Online registration for AC2022 opens
  • April 4th – Award submissions are due
  • May 2nd – Online registration for Clergy Session 2022 opens
  • May 27th – Online registration closes (after May 27th, late fee will be charged)
Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa (0.29 Miles) – 400 Convention Blvd, Hot Springs, AR 71901

Amenities: Suites, Complimentary Breakfast, Manager’s Reception, Spa, Indoor Pool, Fitness Center, Free Parking

Code: UAC (UM Annual Conference)
Single: $157 + tax
Double: $167 + tax
Triple: $177 + tax
Quad: $187 + tax

Hotel Hot Springs (0.3 miles) – 305 Malvern Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71907

Amenities: Renovated and Remodeled Guest Rooms, Refrigerator & Microwave in all Rooms, Complimentary Breakfast available 6:30 am to 9:30 am, The Inside Track and Lounge, Shuttle Service to Popular attractions within City Limits, Complimentary Wi-Fi.

Code: UMC2022
Single Occupancy: $129 + tax
Double Occupancy: $139 + tax
Triple Occupancy: $149 + tax
Quad Occupancy: $159 + tax

DoubleTree by Hilton (5.5 Miles) – 4813 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Amenities: Mini Refrigerator, Microwave, Iron & Ironing Board, Hair Dryer, Safe, Free Parking, Free WiFi

King w/ Balcony: $159.00 + tax
Double Queen Standard: $149.00 + tax

Comfort Inn & Suites (3.28 Miles) – 3627 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Amenities: Newly Remodeled, Complimentary Full Breakfast, Wireless Internet, Indoor Heated Pool, New Texas Roadhouse Grill on site

King or double: $95.15 to $135.00 + Tax

Holiday Inn Express (5 miles) – 206 Mehta Ct, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Amenities: Hot/Cold Breakfast Buffet, Heated Indoor Pool, 24 Hour Gym, Free Wi‐Fi, Outdoor patio with fire pit, Free Parking

Code: United Methodist Conference
Single or Double (Tuesday thru Thursday): $105 + tax
Single or Double (Friday): $145 + tax

Hampton Inn (5 Miles) – 151 Temperance Hill Rd, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Amenities: Newly renovated, Complimentary Hot Breakfast, 24 Hour Coffee and Tea, Ironing Board, Coffeemaker, Refrigerator and Microwave in
every room, Free Wi‐fi, Outdoor Pool, Fitness Center and Business Center

King or Double (1‐2 people) $149 to $179 + tax

The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa (0.7 Miles) – 239 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901
(800) 643‐1502 or (501) 609‐2533

Amenities: Thermal Mineral Water Bathhouse, Full Service Beauty Salon, Full Service Dining Facilities, Starbucks, Two Swimming Pools and Hot Tub

Code: United Methodist Group
Single Occupancy: $109 + tax
Double Occupancy: $109 + tax
Mineral Water Room: $182 + tax
Junior Suite: $198 + tax
Parlor 1 Bedroom Suite: $298 + tax

The Waters (0.6 Miles) – 340 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71913
(501) 321‐0001

Amenities: Free Wi‐Fi, Non‐Smoking Facility, Restaurant, Mini‐Market, Gift Shop, Business Center, Senior, AARP or AAA 10% discount

Mention Methodist Conference
King: $189 + Tax
Double: $189 + Tax
Large King: $219 + Tax (city view)


Petitions and Resolutions


  • Harry Denman Evangelism Award – Each year the Arkansas Conference has the opportunity, in partnership with The Foundation for Evangelism, to recognize one youth, one clergy, and one lay person to be recipients of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award.
    The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism brings people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
    Evangelism happens in many contexts and many settings; impacts and engages all generations; and requires relationship among a variety of persons. What distinguishes a Harry Denman Evangelism Award recipient is the commitment to consistently introduce others to the Good News of Jesus Christ in all ministry settings. Their ministry is exceptional for the number of new Christ Followers who credit encounters with this person as critical in helping to start or reignite their faith journey.
    The Arkansas Conference Board of Discipleship is currently seeking nominations for the 2022 Harry Denman Evangelism Award, which will be presented during this year’s annual conference. To nominate the name of a youth, clergy or lay person for this award, simply complete this nominations form and email it to Rev. Bill Sardin at All applications need to be received by Monday, April 4, 2022, in order to be considered. If you have questions, call 501-324-8000.
  • One Matters Award – For more information, please contact Rev. Bill Sardin at
  • Barnabas Award – The Arkansas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry will present the 2022 Barnabas Award at the Clergy Session of Annual Conference.  The Barnabas Award is presented to a person, lay or clergy, known to have “a heart for pastors.”  Established in honor of Reverend Jim Beal, we present the award to persons who, as Reverend Beal, show special interest in aiding pastors in the entry process, as well as in the work of ministry.  Nominations for this year’s recipient are now being sought from among Arkansas United Methodists.  If you would like to submit a nomination, please email your nomination to Reverend Susan Ledbetter,, no later than May 10, 2022.  Please include the name of the person you wish to nominate and an explanation telling why you feel this person should receive the 2022 Barnabas Award.
  • Dr. Negail Riley Legacy Award – For more information, please click here.
Reset (Bruce Vick, Northwest District Lay Leader)

While researching the word reset I came across a devotional written by Jennifer Waddle in which she talks about people going through periods of their lives where they are going strong. Later they realize this is not so. They begin to think are they in some type of slump. They come to realize that this is not going away and they come to the scary realization that they might need a “reset.” During the past two years of the pandemic, I think many if not all of us have had these moments.

When we think about this, we may come to realize that God is bringing us to those vulnerable places. He is wanting us to stop, rest and reset.

Reset may be exactly what we need? What does that mean? What is “reset” actually? Jennifer Waddle said she found some interesting descriptions for reset.

Reset – to go back to the initial state
Reset – to set anew
Reset – to make changes after a failure.

What would it be like if we sincerely ask God to set things anew? How would our lives be different? What would our daily lives be like? How would our attitudes change?

As we come out of the pandemic, we all need to spend time with God to reset ourselves spiritually. Even the Lord Jesus spent time alone in prayer with God. We need to come to God and spend time with Him in, not in a hurry, but truly spending time with Him and listening to what God needs to tell us on how to reset our spiritual lives.

Here are just two of the many scriptures in the Holy Bible pertaining to ‘’reset” or “restore” Let these words speak to your hearts and minds.

1st Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, with himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

2nd Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Source: A Prayer for When You Need A Reset in Faith and Life by Jennifer Waddle

Restore (Rev. Clark Atkins, FUMC Siloam Springs)

REstore to Factory Settings
Devotional for Annual Conference

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

One of the scariest moments of my academic life occurred in my last semester of seminary. It was the middle of the semester and midterms were at the end of the week. In two of my classes I had two 20-page papers due and I had been working on them all semester and all that was required was a few final edits on both papers before submitting them. In the other class a “notes open” exam which was expected to come almost entirely from class lectures and notes was looming, but I was in good shape because I had taken a ton of notes. Then it happened…The “Blue Screen of Death.”

The “Blue Screen of Death” for those wondering is when a cataclysmic system failure occurs in one’s computer and either your hard drive just died, or some major system has been corrupted. Either way, it’s in moments like this you are hoping and praying things are backed up because in many cases you may have just lost all your files. Thankfully with cloud computing losing all of one’s files doesn’t happen as frequently anymore. But back then, I was in a panic.

After troubleshooting I determined that my best course of action was to restore the computer to factory settings. I would lose all my custom settings, some software would need to be re-installed, and some of my older files would be lost, but thankfully I would have a working computer again. The important files were saved on an external device and while not the most current versions, I would not be starting from scratch. Things would be different for sure, but I had an opportunity to begin anew, not unlike when God’s people were in exile.

In Isaiah chapter 43, Isaiah is speaking to the people about a “new Exodus” back out of exile to Jerusalem and Judaea. We are told, even in the Old Testament, that God is doing a new thing. A new thing is a good thing. God is making a WAY for us in the wilderness and giving us streams of living water in times we are in the wastelands.

This text invites us to see beyond the obvious; to see what God creates anew. This verse invites a foretaste of the fruits of “something new,” something beyond the obvious, something beyond what we have been programmed to see. With this in mind, verse 18 makes sense: “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old.” Perhaps many of us might look at this verse as contempt toward history. Yet this is not necessarily true about the text. The focus seems to be on setting aside old notions of what is possible with God, especially in the midst of despair as the exiled Jews most certainly are, and instead embracing what is possible with God leading the way.

We have a choice. We have lost so much during this pandemic as a Church. We can lament the impact the pandemic has had on our respective churches such as decline in in-person worship attendance, giving, or participation. We can lament traditions of our respective churches that have vanished or gone to oblivion. We can fall prey to a natural tendency not to see what is new, not to see what God is doing anew.


We can accept God’s invitation to see anew God’s creation and redemption. We can ask ourselves: “What are our “Factory Settings” as a Church?” and “What would it look like if we as a church both globally and locally hit the button to Restore to Factory Settings?”

Three years ago, in my own local church when our church approved our new vision statement as a local church, I remember a member asking why we even bothered. He thought the answer was obvious. “We just need to look to the Bible and follow Jesus.” I told him that I agreed with the simplicity of his statement, but because there is so much in the Bible and following Jesus is not as easy as it may seem, maybe we needed to figure out what the essentials were—the factory settings if you will—and articulate them. And that’s what we did.

Sometimes in our darkest or seemingly most hopeless moments we find ourselves staring at a blue screen and it’s in those moments of crisis like the past two years have been when we are offered an opportunity to ask ourselves what is really important and that maybe this is the moment when God is doing a new thing and despite the wilderness we find ourselves, God will make a way for us. As we near Annual Conference I invite you to join me in considering our factory settings as a Church, a Conference, and in our local congregations and what it means to REstore.

Repair (Rev. Jim Polk, Arkansas Conference)


…to remake by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
…to renew by making good or compensating for
…to restore by bringing to a sound or healthy state

Our lists are long as to what needs to be repaired and, depending on our varied perspectives, our lists can be remarkably dissimilar. Some want to repair the hurts of past sins, others the effects of current sins. Some believe our greatest need is to repair broken trust and others are certain our greatest need is to repair broken unity. Should we focus on repairing our church structure and our denominational leadership or should we start by repairing our theology and church law? The lists are long and the challenges large, but can we not all agree that there is much to repair?

Most of us, I suspect, are “fixers” at heart; we are constantly looking for ways we can help repair the things which seem broken, and yet with so many things that threaten to tear us down or apart it is easy to feel overwhelmed. How can we possibly repair all that needs to be fixed? In a world filled with so much turmoil, uncertainty and pain, where do we begin? Where can we begin?

Time after time I am drawn back to the only starting point I know well: me. If repair is what is needed, O God, begin with me.

Gracious God, remake me. Take all that is broken in my life – my pain and sorrow, my hurt and despair – and replace it with your joy and goodness so I can be a witness to your abounding grace. Gracious God, repair me!

Lord Jesus, renew me. Cleanse me of all that is festering in my life – my sin, my pride, my anger – and fill me instead with that which is good: your hope, humility and happiness so I can be a witness to your comforting peace. Lord Jesus, repair me!

Holy Spirit, restore me. Replace my unhealthy habits with your life-giving desires so that I might in turn be a witness to your healing love. Holy Spirit, repair me!

Sisters and brothers in Christ, we cannot begin to fix what is broken until we ourselves have been made right. God’s repair must begin with us.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor.5:17, NIV

Reopen (Kathy Conley, Conference Lay Leader)

When, when, when is everything going to get back to normal? When can we have pot-luck dinners? When can we sit close together? When can we know that our congregation will be able to meet every Sunday in person and worship face to face? When are we going to fully REopen? There are not many people that can answer those questions right now. I want us to be unselfishly safe but I’m ready to move past all of this and just REopen.

I am sure when you read the title of this devotional, that’s how you thought I was going to approach the subject. But, as I sat praying and listening to a word from God about my words to you, God in God’s wisdom led me down another path. It started out to be about opening our sanctuaries back up to full capacity and life. But it turned into opening up the true way God wants us to REopen.

I have always loved the song “Sanctuary.” The words and the melody are so beautiful. “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary. Pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for You.”

So my take on REopen is let’s REopen ourselves and be God’s living Sanctuary to the world in a bigger and better way. During this pandemic, many people have thought we just couldn’t be church without going to our “church building”. But, in a way, we can be more like the church God envisioned by acknowledging that the church is really the Body of Christ in the world. It’s the physical us. Each one of us. And it’s what God uses to reach God’s world.

So let’s look at REopen that way. Let’s remember that we are the living Sanctuary of the Lord. We are an offering to God everyday that we live.

First, we need to keep our eyes on the light of Christ in order to find our way. It is so easy to get off the path of faithfulness. There is so much out there that would distract us and before you know it, you are wandering through life lost and looking for purpose. That special light of our Savior is shining so brightly. It’s shining to show us how to live into a life of caring, mercy and love. The peace of Christ is only visible when people see it. We are entrusted to shine that Christ light of peace. Let our eyes be open to the goodness God has given for us to share. And everyday, expect to see Jesus. Let us REopen our eyes!

What if we REopen our lungs. It’s God’s breath that has been breathed into our lungs that gives us life, but it’s also God’s breath in our lungs that allows us to pour out God’s praises and to sing of God’s glory and ultimate triumph. Let’s REopen our lungs and speak words of grace, forgiveness and welcoming then join together and sing “Praise to the Lord, The Almighty, The King of Creation”. Let us REopen our lungs!

I feel that our Holy God is smiling as we REopen our hearts. Jesus teaches us that His truth that opens our hearts, overwhelms and over powers what closes our minds. The acceptance Jesus gave to all who came to Him, is the model for us today. Especially in a world of fear, of shutting out, of judgment. If we open our hearts to the words of Jesus, we will realize that this building of walls between us that seems to occupy so much of our time, is not what God intends. The Lord reminds us in so many ways that we are to be a window, not a wall to God’s love. We are the ones taking down the bricks, taking out the logs, taking off the shingles if it takes that, so we can drop our friends down through the roof to sit at the feet of Jesus. We are those helper’s that bring others to our Savior, not keep them away because we feel they aren’t good enough to approach the Lord of love. We aren’t the gatekeepers. Only God has that title. Only God can make that call. We are entrusted to always, always share God’s love and to remember that the purpose of the Gospel is to reconcile not to divide.

Let us REopen our hearts so that who we worship and who we say we are as followers of Jesus will be reflected in all we do. Let us further express our love for Jesus as we REopen our hearts!

We have been invited to enter into God’s story of Jesus. In doing so we are asked to be filled with love, compassion and a desire to serve the Kingdom. To REopen our lives to service in the name of Jesus provides opportunities that may seem small but every step we take to do justice and serve with faithful love is another opportunity to build the Kingdom of God here on earth. And that my friends is the Sanctuary we need to commit to seeing REopen.

May God bless you this Lenten Season as you express your love for God and God’s children by REopening your eyes, your lungs, your heart in true commitment to our Savior.

To register, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Sanders.