Frequently Asked Questions

Annual Council Agenda

The 2022 Annual Council agenda will be available to download on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

Annual Council Schedule

View the Annual Council schedule.

Airports

There are three airports near the General Conference:

  • Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Reagan National Airport (DCA)

We recommend Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) for those flying from other locations in the United States and Dulles International Airport (IAD) for those flying internationally.

For information on assistance with airline reservations, contact Butler Travel. Annual Council air tickets purchased through Butler Travel will be billed directly to the General Conference, meaning you will not have to make the payment and be reimbursed.

Business Center

The General Conference offers our guests a courtesy Business Center during Annual Council. The Business Center is located on the first floor near the elevators across from the Atrium. The Business Center has regular office hours while Annual Council is in session. Services at the Business Center include fax, mail, messages, copying, etc. International phone cards are available for sale.

Business Center Hours:

  • Thursday, October 6
    7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 7
    8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday-Tuesday, October 9-11
    8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 12
    8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Check-In On-Site

Check-In On-Site is required for all committee members who attend on-site.  Check-In will be at the entrance to the auditorium on Wednesday, October 5, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Thursday, October 6, from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m.  Late Check-In will be in the rear of the auditorium.

Churches in the Area

If you will be in the area on Sabbath, October 1, you may wish to locate a church in the area. There will be a church service at the General Conference headquarters on Sabbath, October 8.

Emergency Situations

If the fire alarm sounds, everyone is required by law to exit the building. A fine may be imposed on anyone who remains in the building. The nearest exit from the auditorium is at the back, adjacent to the exterior windows.

Financial Details

Executive Committee Members and Invitees: For information regarding Financial Details, please visit the Executive Committee Portal, login using your username and password, then click on the tab for Annual Council. You will see a link for Financial Details on the right.

Food Service

For those traveling for Annual Council, breakfast will be provided by your hotel. Lunch will be available in the cafeteria for all Executive Committee members and spouses attending Annual Council. Evening meals will be on your own. A list of area restaurants will be provided at Check-In.

Hotels

An email confirmation of your hotel reservations and/or shuttle service requests will be sent to you as soon as they have been processed by the entities. It is advisable to print a copy of these reservations to include with your travel documents. If General Conference Executive Committee members choose to travel within the United States before returning to their home country, they will need to arrange for their own transportation.

If you made your own housing arrangements or if you are staying with friends in the Washington area, please indicate it when you register, so we will have a record of your local residence during Annual Council.

When you check into your hotel, you will be requested to provide a credit card or cash deposit for incidentals.  Phone calls from your hotel room can become expensive.  Calls not paid at checkout will be billed to you.

Identification Badges

Visitors to the General Conference building are required to wear identification badges at all times while in the building.  Badges will be issued as part of Check-In for committee members who do not work at the General Conference.

Insurance

Event registration will automatically cover you with Short-Term Travel Insurance. If your spouse is also attending with you, he/she will also receive coverage automatically. Please indicate the name of your spouse in the required field. Spouse insurance premiums will be deducted from your per diem. Any medical expenses incurred during the meetings by an uncovered attendee, will be the responsibility of the sending organization.

Mail and Packages

Mailboxes are located near the Business Center in the General Conference headquarters and should be checked frequently for notices and other communications when you are in the building. Should you wish to have packages mailed to the General Conference for pickup, please make arrangements with an individual in the building and include the name and department in the mailing address so that packages are not rejected upon arrival.

For outgoing mail, a box has been placed on top of the mailboxes across from the Business Center. If you have packages, they must be taken to the shipping area on the lower level to be mailed at your expense. The Shipping Department has requested that personal shipments be brought between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.

Parking Instructions

For attendees who will be driving into the General Conference Parking Lot, there should be adequate parking in the employee parking areas in the north and south lots. In the event the lots are full, there will be security officers on hand to direct you to alternative parking.

Parking is not allowed around the pond.

The Visitor’s Lot in front of the General Conference building is reserved for short-term guest parking. Please do not park in the Visitor’s Lot for long periods of time.  Attendees are encouraged to carpool from the hotels as much as possible and/or use the provided shuttle service.

Per Diem and Reimbursement

To assist attendees with local currency needs while attending Annual Council, the General Conference will provide the full per diem approved for this area in cash. This cash disbursement will cover the Annual Council and authorized travel days to and from Annual Council.  Per Diem will be issued at Check-In. If you miss Check-In, you may go to the Business Center for assistance.

Phone and Fax Service

Telephones are located in the hall behind the main reception area. Please use these phones to place your calls. Any of the General Conference phones will access a local line by dialing 1 + area code and your local number.

Messages received by fax will be placed in the mailboxes. Be sure to check the mailbox next to the Business Center daily. The main fax number is 301-680-6040.

Pre-Meetings

All pre-meetings will be held online using Zoom. No travel is necessary for these meetings. The pre-meeting schedule is available on our Schedule of Meetings page.

Shuttle Schedule

The shuttles between the hotels and the General Conference headquarters building will operate on the following schedule:

  • Wednesday, October 5, 1:00-6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 6, 7:00-9:00 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 7, 7:00-9:00 a.m., 12:00-2:00 p.m., and 8:30-10:30 p.m.
  • Sabbath, October 8, 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday-Tuesday, October 9-11, 7:00-9:00 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 12, 7:00-9:00 a.m. and 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Spouse Program

During this year’s Annual Council, there will be meetings for the spouses. On Sunday, October 9, from 9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. the featured speaker will be Dwain Esmond, Associate Director in the Ellen White Estate. He has a passion for the new General Conference initiative “Back to the Altar” and his presentation will be encouraging families to take breaks from our devices and have regular family worship. There will also be a meeting for the spouses all day Monday, October 10, starting at 9:30 a.m., with Nina Atcheson from Sabbath School and Personal Ministries. Her presentation will be about spending time in God’s Word. On Tuesday, October 11, there will be a special outing for spouses. Please watch DEOR for details on registering for this event. We look forward to spending time with you during Annual Council!

Translation

Translation will be provided in French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Radios will be available at Check-In. Radios will be available for spouses for a $20 deposit, that will be reimbursed when the radio is returned.

Visa Information

If you do not have a visa to enter the United States, you will want to immediately begin the application process within our registration program known as DEOR (Departmental Events Online Registration). If you require a notarized letter of invitation, please indicate this by checking the appropriate box when completing your registration. For your security, please do NOT send your passport information immediately. A secure email will be sent to you in response, to which you may respond with your vital passport information. Do not send your passport information until you receive this secure email.

Weather

Bring a light jacket or sweater.  The average high temperature for October is 67°F or 19°C. The average low temperature is 47°F or 8°C.

Additional Topics

Executive Committee Members and Invitees: For information regarding Computer Usage or Contact Information for key individuals, please visit the Executive Committee Portal, login using your username and password, then click on the tab for Annual Council.