The South Georgia Conference will elect persons to fill vacancies in its delegation to the postponed 2020 General Conference (to be held in 2024) and the 2024 Jurisdictional Conference during this year’s Annual Conference Session in Tifton, Ga. on June 4-6, 2023.
The General Conference is the global gathering of The United Methodist Church where mission and ministry priorities are established and The Book of Discipline is reviewed for possible revisions. The General Conference is the policy setting body of United Methodism. The postponed 2020 General Conference will be held April 23-May 3, 2024, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The purpose of the Jurisdictional Conference is to coordinate the connected ministry and mission of this region and to elect and assign Bishops for leadership in the Church. The 2024 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will meet July 10-13, 2024, at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina.
The current South Georgia Delegation roster may be found here. Those persons elected in June to fill vacancies will be seated behind the current delegation in order of election.
In total, the South Georgia Conference is allowed four (4) clergy and four (4) lay delegates to General Conference and an additional four (4) clergy and four (4) lay delegates to complete the Jurisdictional Conference delegation. Two (2) alternate clergy delegates and two (2) alternate lay delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference also serve on the delegation. The 2016 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church defines who is eligible to serve as a delegate and who is eligible to vote for delegates. Conference Standing Rule Appendix C: “General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation Elections Policy” contains the South Georgia procedures for elections.
Each delegate is expected to attend the General and/or Jurisdictional conferences to be held in 2024, attend 4 to 6 meetings of the delegation prior to General Conference for intensive preparation, commit the time necessary to read extensively and study the issues, and pray for God’s guidance in decision making. It is also expected that anyone submitting his or herself for election is committed to The United Methodist Church and to serving faithfully through the conclusion of the General and/or Jurisdictional Conferences when they are held in 2024. Delegates should expect that they will bear a portion of the cost of travel, since the per diem rates often do not cover all costs.
Those South Georgia United Methodists who wish to be nominated as a lay or clergy delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conference may complete a self-nomination form by filling out the Delegate Interest Form. Eligible clergy and laity may still be elected without completing this online form, but it is preferable.
The South Georgia Annual Conference established a policy on elections in an effort to “create a level playing field and be fair with all potential candidates.” The complete policy can be found on the South Georgia Conference website.
This elections policy is clear in stating, “The website information is intended to be sufficient and to preclude candidates or supporters from sending other forms of campaign materials printed and/or electronic such as brochures, flyers, e-mails, faxes, letters of endorsement, etc.”
Completed delegation interest forms must be completed no later than Monday, May 22, 2023.
As a reminder, the Conference policy encourages diversity in the membership of our delegation. There are many qualified South Georgia United Methodists who may represent our Annual Conference at these two important Conferences. May clergy and laity join together in praying for the Spirit’s guidance and wisdom as the South Georgia Conference elects a diverse and representative delegation in June.