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.

Thursday, May 19 Highlights 

General Conference Day 9

Front row, L to R: Rev. Stacey Harwell-Dye, Rev. Denise Walton, Ms. Marianne Wright, Mrs. Allison Lindsey, Dr. Bob Moon, Mrs. Kelly Roberson. Back row, L to R: Rev. Don Adams, Rev. Scott Hagan, Mr. Bill Hatcher, Mr. Carl Childs, Mr. Larry Price, Rev. Jim Cowart, Mr. Richard Shinhoster. Not pictured: Rev. Jay Hanson, Rus Black

29 new missionaries commissioned at General Conference

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung commissions Leo Garcia as a missionary May 19 at the 2016 General Conference. In the background are Catherine Whitlatch and Thomas Kemper from the UM Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

(UMNS) “We commission you to take the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into all the world.” Twenty-nine times the ancient phrase was intoned as The United Methodist Church sent new missionaries from 11 countries to serve in 16 lands. The liturgy of commissioning, both solemn and joyful at the Oregon Convention Center, was believed to be the first as part of a United Methodist General Conference, the church’s policy-making assembly that meets every four year. Read more

Retiring bishops honored

General Conference recognized retiring United Methodist bishops during plenary May 19, including South Georgia's Episcopal Leader, Bishop James King. Four others bishops will retire from the Southeastern Jurisdiction, including Bishop Young Jin Cho, Bishop Lindsey Davis, Bishop Larry Goodpaster, and Bishop Michael Watson.

Celebration of clergywomen's rights

Rev. Stacey Harwell-Dye, left, Minister of Community Building at Centenary UMC in Macon, and Rev. Denise Walton, right, Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries, celebrate clergywomen's rights with The United Methodist Church the General Conference.

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women celebrated two milestones within the life of The United Methodist Church at an order of the day in today's plenary session at General Conference 2016. Narrated by Rev. Grace Imathiu of the Community UMC in Naperville, Ill., a video entitled, “Are We There Yet?” explored two significant milestones related to female clergy. In 1956, the General Conference session held in Minneapolis, Minn. allowed full clergy rights to 27 Methodist clergy women. Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary of that moment in history. Also, at the 1976 General Conference session in Portland, Ore., clergywomen were elected to be delegates for the first time in history. Retired Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher was one of 13 women to be a clergy delegate in 1976. This marks the 40th anniversary of that memorable moment. 

Tweh from Liberia is new Judicial Council president

Members of the United Methodist Judicial Council for 2016-2020 met briefly during General Conference 2016. From left are the Rev. Dennis L. Blackwell, Beth Capen, the Rev. J. Kabamba Kiboko, N. Oswald Tweh Sr., Ruben Reyes, the Rev. Øyvind Helliesen, and the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran of Lakewood, Calif. Not pictured are Deanell Reese Tacha and Lídia Romão Gulele.

(UMNS) For the first time, a member from outside the United States has been elected president of the United Methodist Judicial Council. N. Oswald Tweh Sr., a lay member from Liberia, will lead the denomination’s top court for 2016-2020. This selection follows the action of delegates to General Conference 2016 fill open positions for two clergy and three lay members on the nine-member council during elections on May 16. Judicial Council members are elected for eight-year terms, and four council members elected or re-elected in 2012 are still serving those terms. Read more

Votes of note

  • Delegates voted to create a new provisional central conference in Southeast Asia and Mongolia.
  • A petition to withdraw denominational membership from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice was passed, as was a second petition to remove language supporting the coalition from the Book of Resolutions. The United Methodist Church was a founding member of the organization in 1973 and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and United Methodist Women are currently members. Read more
  • Delegates voted to adopt a petition updating the language of the “Health Care for All in the United States” entry in the Book of Resolutions. The amendment features updated language to reflect changes in health care delivery in the United States during the previous quadrennium.
  • Delegates defeated Thursday, by a vote of 336 to 446, a petition titled “Confronting Twenty-First-Century Anti-Semitism.” The committee that handled the petition had not supported it, instead backing one titled “Called to Be Neighbors and Witnesses: Guidelines for Interreligious Relationships.”  
  • Delegates overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on United Methodist agencies to raise awareness about the harm caused by sports teams that use mascots or symbols that disrespect Native Americans. The petition had been amended in the Discipleship Committee, deleting language that would have called on United Methodist groups not to have meetings in cities that have sports teams with such mascots or symbols, which previous church resolutions contained. Read more
  • The proposed establishment of a United Methodist “Standing Committee on Strategy and Growth” funded by $20 million taken from denominational coffers was ruled unconstitutional May 19 by the church’s top court. Read more

May 19 wrap-up: New missionaries, special GC costs

Read the UMNS wrap-up for May 19.

Join us in Prayer

Featured Delegate: Rev. Jim Cowart, senior pastor at Harvest Church in Byron

Father, thank you for your love. 
Thank you because we know Jesus wins. We remember the cross. We remember the resurrection. We remember that you will return for us. Until then, help us stay close to You and live in obedience, love and power. 
Make us strong and brave and true for your Kingdom. 
In Jesus Name we stand and pray, Amen.
-Rev. Jim Cowart



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 previous days

Devotion for Friday, May 20: Let Them See Christ in You

By Rev. Jay Hanson                

“The mystery has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:26-27

The great secret, the hope of glory is that Christ is in us! That is the wonderful news for the Christian. Christ has risen and he lives - in me!


  • Am I abiding in Christ? Am I allowing him to rule in my life?

  • Am I allowing others to see Him in me?

  • How many people really know where I stand with God?

Lord, use me for your purposes. Build me up or use me up. Call me out or pour me out. I only desire to be a dwelling place for your Spirit. Take possession of my life, Lord. May I decrease so you can increase to the point that when others look at me they will see only you, my Lord. May we be one as you and your Son are one. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Action plus Belief = Faith
This is a busy day, so prayer is even more necessary. Make it a practice to silently pray for the people with whom you come in contact today.

Photo Files

Photo Album for Monday, May 16

Photo Album for Tuesday, May 17

Photo Album for Wednesday, May 18

Photo Album for Thursday, May 19

Schedule for Friday, May 20

Streaming Schedule 
**Reminder: All times are Pacific Standard 

  • 7:45 A.M.: Prelude - Christ UMC Deaf Choir (10:45 AM EST)
  • 8:00 A.M.: Worship (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)
  • 2:00 P.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business (5:00 PM EST)
  • 4:20 P.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business/Closing Worship/Final Adjournment (7:20 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 19, 201605-19 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 9; pages 2481 to 2576)
May 18, 201605-18 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 8; pages 2369 to 2480)
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 

Wednesday, May 18: Delegates adopt 'a new way forward' plan put forth by Bishops
Tuesday, 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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