General Conference 2020
May 5-15, 2020, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Who makes decisions for The United Methodist Church if there is no one person in charge? Good question. The only body that can set official policy and speak for the denomination is the General Conference.
The General Conference is an international body of nearly 1,000 delegates that generally meets every four years. The delegates are elected by annual conferences (at annual conference sessions) to attend General Conference. They represent all annual conferences around the world. Half of the delegates are laity (non-clergy members), half are clergy. (The list of Virginia delegates is found below.)
Bishops attend the General Conference but cannot vote. Different bishops serve as presiding officers during the conference. Other bishops cannot speak unless permission is specifically granted by the delegates.
During General Conference, delegates discuss and vote on petitions and resolutions proposed by individuals, agencies, annual conferences, and other groups within the denomination. These actions result in a revision of the Book of Discipline, the denomination's book of law, and Book of Resolutions, policies of the denomination on current social issues.
It is at General Conference where delegates wrestle with today's issues in light of scriptural teachings and the church's understanding of that teaching. Here is where the church's official stands and church policies are made regarding such issues as human sexuality, abortion, war and peace, as well as determination of ministries and funding.
General Conferences are generally held in years divisible by 4, such as 2016, 2020, 2024 etc., with the exception of special sessions like the one held in 2019.
A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation is the newest proposal for the reorganization of The United Methodist Church. Legislation is currently being written to be presented at GC 2020. You can read more by following the links below or on the side of this page.
United Methodist Glossary
VA Conference Delegates to General & Jurisdictional Conferences
SMALL GROUP OPPORTUNITIES
Faithful and Inclusive:
The Bible, Sexuality, and the UMC.
Sunday Evenings, March 29-May 10 (No meeting on Easter), 5:00PM-6:30PM.The DVD-based class is hosted by Rev. Rob Fuquay from St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis and are sponsored by the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship (Bishop Richard Wilke and his wife Julia are the authors of the Disciple Bible Study series). The class will address Biblical interpretation, including the Wesleyan quadrilateral, cultural influences on how we read the Bible, Old and New Testament scriptures, what Jesus taught, and the future of the UMC.
Sundays 5-6:30, Feb. 23-March 22
Leaders: Roxanne & Nanlee Edwards
By Steve Harper, a retired United Methodist Elder and seminary Professor, the book discusses methods of Biblical theology and hermeneutics (the science of interpretation), including a thorough review of scriptures commonly cited in discussions of sexuality (a/k/a/ the “clobber passages”). The book recounts the author’s theological experiences and transformational journey, including his own statement of apology to LGBTQ people. Sign up for Holy Love and the book is available for purchase at the Lighthouse in the vestibule.
We hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities to learn and grow in your understanding in safe and loving community.