Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Annual Conference, in accordance with ¶603.5 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline, calls for a special session of the annual conference on Sunday, May 21, 2023. The meeting will begin at 4 pm using the Zoom Webinar platform in conjunction with an online voting system.
The sole purpose of the special called session of the Annual Conference* is to complete the process of ratifying the current requests for disaffiliation of local churches who have met the requirements outlined in ¶2553 of the Book of Discipline and who have met the published South Georgia Conference deadlines.
The special session will consider only matters pertaining to this call; no other business can be considered.
The voting membership of the special session will consist of the clergy members of the annual conference as defined in ¶32 of the Book of Discipline and the lay members of the June 2022 Annual Conference (lay member or alternate, whoever was last seated in the June annual conference) in accordance with the Book of Discipline ¶602.5**.
Specific delegate instructions and information will be distributed by the Conference Secretary in the Spring.
According to the current South Georgia Conference disaffiliation policy, the deadline for a church to hold a vote if it wishes to disaffiliate at the Annual Conference Session is April 1 of the same year. The Bishop’s announcement of a called session does not change this timeline.
Key dates and deadlines regarding disaffiliation are posted on the South Georgia Conference website at www.sgaumc.org/disaffiliation-timeline.
*The Book of Discipline ¶603.5: A special session of the annual conference may be held at such time and in such place as shall have been determined by the annual conference after consultation with the bishop, or by the bishop with the concurrence of three-fourths of the district superintendents. A special session of the annual conference shall have only such powers as are stated in the call. (See Judicial Council decision 397)
**1 - No local charge will be deprived of its lay member due to death, serious illness, or cessation of membership. Under such circumstances, another lay member may be elected by the charge conference (¶602.5). If your charge is affected please contact the Conference Secretary. 2 - If a clergy member or lay member of the June 2022 conference has since withdrawn membership from The UMC or is a part of a church that has since disaffiliated, he or she is no longer eligible to vote. 3 - Lay members elected at charge conferences in the Fall of 2022 will be seated as voting members at the regular session of the Annual Conference meeting in June 2023 in Tifton, Ga.