The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body is meeting at the Oregon Convention Center, the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest, from May 10-20, 2016.
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church which convenes once every four years.The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs.
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer delivers the episcopal address during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS
(UMNS) Bishop Gregory V. Palmer laid out a path for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference: humility, humility, humility.
“Everyone here is a child of God. Any behavior to the contrary of that truth undermines the gospel and is a choice to live beneath our privilege,” Palmer, who serves the West Ohio Episcopal Area, said in the episcopal address on May 11.
The Council of Bishops chose Palmer to deliver this speech, which he said was an opportunity to try to set the tone for the gathering. Read more
In ordering their work on Tuesday, May 10, the 2016 General Conference delegates adopted all but one rule recommended by the commission that plans The United Methodist Church’s legislative gathering. This rule, known as Rule 44, has been put forth by the commission as a Discernment Process that might provide a template for dealing with contentious issues in the life of the church. It was brought forward in the morning's session. After some discussion, an initial motion to indefinitely table the rule was approved by a narrow margin of eight votes. A follow-up motion was then made to "untable" the rule. This vote passed by thirty votes, yet proposed amendments came from the floor. Because of these suggested amendments, it must go back to the rules committee for a recommendation tomorrow. More discussion about Rule 44 will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. (11:30 EST).
Rev. Don Adams, left, and Bill Hatcher, right, both South Georgia Conference delegates to General Conference, participate during the May 11 plenary session and listen to a simultaneous English translation of an African delegate's motion, made in French. Photo by Allison Lindsey.
Today began the legislative process of General Conference with delegates meeting in their assigned legislative committees.
Primary sources of legislation are petitions and proposals from churches, agencies and organizations. Petitions must be submitted 210 days before the opening of the conference. Any organization, ordained minister or lay member of the church may petition the General Conference. Approximately 1,000 pieces of legislation are expected at the 2016 assembly, down slightly from the 2012 conference.
The bulk of General Conference happens in legislative committees, which receive petitions and proposals, debate them, and determine whether to approve, amend, combine or disapprove them for recommendation to the full body of General Conference.
All proposed legislation — from individuals, organizations, churchwide agencies and annual conferences — is printed in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate. Once this document is distributed to elected delegates, the petitions are posted on the General Conference website.
Bill Hatcher || Legislative Committee: General Administration
Allison Lindsey || Legislative Committee: Faith and Order
Larry Price || Legislative Committee: Discipleship
Carl Childs || Legislative Committee: Financial Administration
Don Adams || Legislative Committee: Ministry and Higher Education
Jay Hanson || Legislative Committee: Judicial Administration
Bob Moon || Legislative Committee: Local Church
Jim Cowart || Legislative Committee: Church and Society
864 delegates from around the world, including eight plus four alternates from the South Georgia Conference, are meeting at the Oregon Convention Center May 10-20 for the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Photo by Rev. Scott Hagan.
(UMNS) One of the most unique qualities of The United Methodist Church is that is a worldwide, connectional church. As a global church, our mission is to do ministry and mission in the most effective manner as we work to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. To this end, it is imperative that church statements and practices accurately reflect the worldwide nature of the church. On May 11, 2016, General Conference delegates participated in small group sessions to discuss how the denomination can joyfully live out out its worldwide connection. Read more
Featured Delegate: Rev. Don Adams, Senior Pastor of Albany First UMC
“Gracious Father, who in Jesus has promised to build your church, thank you for your promise to be with us always. We depend on you for all things related to faithfulness and fruitfulness. Help us to live behind the shield of faith to protect us from the attacks of evil and untruth. Stir up the gift of your Spirit within us that we might live in accordance with the highest standards of holy love. Grant wisdom to your servants as your will is sought. Indeed, may your will be done and your kingdom come in General Conference as it is in heaven. As you build your church, grant us grace to grow more and more like your Son, in whose name we pray. Amen."
-Rev. Don Adams
**Reminder: All times are Pacific Standard
During Thursday afternoon delegates will be in legislative committees (no live streaming).
Full Schedule: This agenda shows the overall program of the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon. View Schedule
The Daily Christian Advocate (DCA) is the official journal of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. It serves as the record of those who have been elected to serve as delegate, the legislation submitted, and the decisions made by the General Conference.
May 11, 2016 - 05-11 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 2)
May 10, 2016 - 05-10 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 1)
See the Advance Daily Christian Advocate, which contains all of the legislation submitted for consideration by the delegates.
Live Stream: General Conference will be live streamed at http://umc.org/live
Photos: Photos by UMNS
General Conference website: www.umc.org/topics/general-conference-2016
South Georgia Conference website: www.sgaumc.org/generalconference2016
General Conference App: App Store or Google Play
Social Media: Follow the hashtag #UMCGC
General Conference Guide: Download Guide
Schedule: View Schedule
Legislation Tracking: Find up-to-date tracking of any legislation being discussed at General Conference. Search for legislation submitted by petition number, keyword or submitter.