GC2016 Update: South Georgia Edition 

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.

Wednesday, May 18 Highlights 

General Conference Day 8

Bishop James Swanson preaches morning worship; says to be mindful of evil

Bishop James Swanson, Jr., Mississippi Episcopal Area, preaches on May 18 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS. 

(UMNS) All have sinned and all are in need of cleansing and no one is exempt from actions that are inconsistent with God’s desire for them, said Bishop James Swanson of the Mississippi Annual Conference.  He also preached that evil is always looking for a home and people should be mindful of that. “Evil is not content to be by itself. Evil loves to party and you can’t party by yourself, so evil runs in a pack,” he said. “When evil finds a home that is hospitable, evil goes and gets its crew.”  Read more

Council of Bishops offers a way forward, delegates approve plan

Bishop Bruce R. Ough reads a statement about sexuality and the church from the denomination's Council of Bishops on May 18 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops and leader of the Minnesota Conference, addressed the General Conference Wednesday morning, May 18, 2016. He presented, "An Offering for a New Way Forward," to the plenary floor, as a follow up to Tuesday's approved motion asking the Council of Bishops to meet and outline a way forward. (Click here to read Tuesday's statement from the Council of Bishops). 

After discussion on Wednesday afternoon, General Conference delegates voted 428 - 405 to approve the plan. Read more || Read UMNS Story "GC2016 Puts Hold on Sexuality Debate"

Ecumenical Day marks new relationships

(UMNS) United Methodists celebrated new relationships with the Moravian Church and the Uniting Church in Sweden as they marked Ecumenical Day on May 17 at General Conference 2016. The denomination also hosted numerous ecumenical guests, bestowed three ecumenical awards and received an award from Church World Service. United Methodists have approved a “full communion” agreement with the northern and southern provinces of the Moravian Church in North America that recognizes each other’s ministries and encourages witness and mission work together. United Methodists also have a full communion relationship with the Uniting Church in Sweden, which is a 5-year-old merger of The United Methodist Church, Baptist Union Church of Sweden and Mission Covenant Church of Sweden. Read more

“Our God is Able!” Imagine No Malaria celebration rocks the house

Jeremy Rosado sings "Able" during a celebration of The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign May 18 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Celebrating the success of the Imagine No Malaria initiative, launched in 2008, speakers, singers and dancers offered even more for United Methodists attending General Conference 2016 to imagine – Abundant Health: Our Promise to Children. “What began with the bite of a mosquito has transformed into a faith-driven global health movement. Together, we have imagined No Malaria. Now let us imagine abundant health.” The celebration featured a highlights video of the grassroots campaign that has engaged donors of all ages, showcased the impact of the initiative on the continent of Africa and debuted “Able,” a song commissioned by Imagine No Malaria as a gift to United Methodists across the globe. Jeremy Rosado, a Top 12 contestant on “American Idol,” performed the song for more than 1,000 people attending the Conference. The song is available as a free download at Amazon Music and the Imagine No Malaria website, as well as on YouTube. Read More || "Able" Music, Lyrics, Resources || "Able" Amazon Music Free Download

South Georgia historian, United Methodist presents report to General Conference

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky (left) introduces Gary L. Roberts, author of a report on the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre in which U.S. troops led by a Methodist preacher-turned-cavalry officer attacked unsuspecting Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Roberts presented the report to the 2016 United Methodist General Conference and tribal representatives who were guests of the conference in Portland, Ore., on May 18. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Historian and South Georgia United Methodist Gary L. Roberts, a member of Tifton First UMC, gave a powerful and poignant report on the Sand Creek Massacre to the General Conference on Wednesday evening, May 18. In his report he implored United Methodists to "Listen, learn, and do not forget." Click here to read a South Georgia Advocate story about Roberts and his report

Roberts wrote the report, "Remembering The Sand Creek Massacre: A Historical Review of Methodist Involvement, Influence, and Response,” on the 1864 massacre in which U.S. troops, led by a Methodist preacher-turned-cavalry officer, attacked unsuspecting Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Roberts presented the report to the 2016 United Methodist General Conference and tribal representatives who were guests of the conference.

GC2016 recalls, laments Sand Creek Massacre

"Professor, descendant of Sand Creek survivors seeks ‘peace’ at General Conference"

Mandatory penalties ruled unconstitutional

(UMNS) Imposing a mandatory penalty during the “just resolution” process for a clergyperson admitting to committing a chargeable offense is unconstitutional, The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled. Read more

May 18 wrap-up:Sexuality dominates debate in unexpected ways

Read the UMNS wrap-up for May 18.

Join us in Prayer

Featured Delegate: Rev. Denise Walton, Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries

Rev. Denise Walton offers the following prayer from St. Francis of Assisi:

“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”
-This poem is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226 A.D.)

Daily Devotions 

As General Conference delegates continue to grapple with this hope and uncertainty and make decisions that will shape the direction of The United Methodist Church, we invite you to join in scripture reading and reflection through a daily devotion written by Rev. Jay Hanson, senior pastor of The Chapel UMC in Brunswick, Ga. and a South Georgia Conference delegate to General Conference.

We pray that these devotions will help us unite as brothers and sisters in Christ and “strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up,” as Paul wrote to the Romans (14:19).  

Click here to view the devotions for each day. Please share with others!

Devotion for Thursday, May 19: The eyes of the world are upon you

By Rev. Jay Hanson

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joy.” Colossians 1:9-11

You are re-presenting Christ to the watching world. What a huge responsibility! Yet you are not alone. A great cloud of witnesses is praying for you. Praying that you would be empowered to live worthy of the call you have been given. Praying that you would endure with great joy the challenge set before you.


  • Are my words conveying an appreciative attitude?

  • If my life is the only Bible some people are reading, are they getting a good picture of Christ?

Lord, help The United Methodist Church, from top to bottom, have a heart which loves you above all else. Help each of us to seek only your glory. Enable us to persevere for your sake. Give us patience to face the challenges in front of us and put your peace, which passes understanding, in our hearts. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Action plus Belief = Faith
Convey joy, great joy, a joy that is unexplainable. With words, with expressions, with body language, with actions, scream that you are full of joy!

Photo Files

Photo Album for Monday, May 16

Photo Album for Tuesday, May 17

Photo Album for Wednesday, May 18

Schedule for Thursday, May 19

Streaming Schedule 
**Reminder: All times are Pacific Standard 

  • 7:45 A.M.: Prelude - Cherokee Choir of Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference
  • 8:00 A.M.: Worship (11:00 AM EST)
  • 8:00 A.M.: Commissioning of Missionaries [Download program] (11:00 AM EST)
  • 9:00 A.M.: Reports/Calendar Items & Conference Business (12:00 noon EST)
  • 9:55 A.M.: Vital Congregation Moments (12:55 PM EST)
  • 10:20 A.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business (1:20 PM EST)
  • 12:29 P.M.: 200th Anniversary: Death of Francis Asbury (3:29 PM EST)
  • 2:00 P.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business (5:00 PM EST)
  • 3:58 P.M.: Recognition of Neil M. Alexander (6:58 PM EST)
  • 4:20 P.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business (7:20 PM EST)
  • 6:00 P.M.: Report from the Committee on Peace (9:00 PM EST)
  • 6:10 P.M.: Closing Devotion (9:10 PM EST)

Full Schedule: This agenda shows the overall program of the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon. View Schedule

Daily Christian Advocate 

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 17, 201605-17 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 7 pages 2273-2368)
May 16, 201605-16 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 6; pages 2145-2270) 
May 14, 201605-14 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 5; pages 2049-2144)
May 13, 2016 05-13 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 4; pages 1921-2048)
May 12, 2016 05-12 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 3; pages 1873-1920)
May 11, 2016 05-11 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 2; pages 1825-1872)
May 10, 2016 05-10 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 1; pages 1649-1824)

See the Advance Daily Christian Advocate, which contains all of the legislation submitted for consideration by the delegates.

Following General Conference

Daily Email Update Archives 

May 17 wrap-up: Schism rumors quashed
Monday, May 16: Week Two begins with elections, celebrations, protests
Saturday, May 14: Young ambassadors share hope, committee work finishes
Friday, May 13: Laity Address, State of the Church report
Thursday, May 12: Rule 44 does not pass
Wednesday, May 11: Episcopal address, more Rule 44 debate
Tuesday, May 10: General Conference Opens with Worship and Communion
Monday, May 9: One Day Until General Conference  

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