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“For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”  –Galatians 3:26

In the last few months leading up to the General Conference, I will be sharing information about what will be coming before the General Conference of The United Methodist Church.

I’ll start with some basic information about General Conference, which will be a review of things I’ve shared before.  General Conference is the only decision-making body for our worldwide denomination and meets every four years to consider revisions to church law and to adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy, and economic issues. General Conference also approves plans and budgets for church wide agencies and programs.

The General Conference was scheduled to meet in Minneapolis, MN in May of 2020 and has been postponed twice due to challenges with the pandemic.  The General Conference will now meet April 23-May 3 in Charlotte, NC.  This is considered the postponed 2020 General Conference.

The General Conference will include 862 voting delegates; half being clergy and half laity.  Approximately 55.9% of the delegates are from the U.S., 32% from Africa, 6% from the Philippines, 4.6% from Europe and the remainder from concordat churches that have close ties to The UMC.  It is estimated that between 5,500 to 7,500 people from around the world will attend General Conference over the 10 days.  The theme for this year’s General Conference is based on Psalm 46:10 that says, “…and know that I am God.”  

The United Methodist Church came into being on April 23, 1968, when The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church joined to form a new denomination.  Uniting the two churches had been in the making for more than 10 years.  Following the joining of the two churches, the official cross and flame logo of The UMC was adopted.

Our Wisconsin Delegation to the General Conference was elected at the 2019 Wisconsin Annual Conference and includes six voting members, three clergy and three laity; plus reserve delegates.  I serve as the co-chair of our Wisconsin Delegation.

Each delegate is assigned a legislative committee that will consider petitions that have been submitted to the General Conference.  In total, there are 14 legislative committees and 1,100 petitions to consider.  Petitions coming out of legislative committees will receive a vote of the full General Conference in plenary sessions.

Our Bishops preside at General Conference sessions, but do not have a vote.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers for our United Methodist Church as a denomination and for our Wisconsin Delegation as we prepare for the upcoming General Conference.