GC2016 Update: South Georgia Edition
Today The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body wrapped up its 10-day meeting in Portland, Oregon. General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church which convenes once every four years. This week the conference has revised church law as well as adopted resolutions on current moral, social, public policy, and economic issues. It has also approved plans and budgets for church-wide programs.
**A full wrap-up of the 2016 General Conference Session will be available in Monday's South Georgia Advocate.
Friday, May 20 Highlights
The United Methodist Church has placed advertising messages at various sites around the city during the denomination's 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS
General Conference Day 10
After 10 days of powerful worship, intense discussion, and prayerful discernment, General Conference 2016 adjourned Friday evening. The South Georgia delegation worked faithfully and tirelessly over the past ten days. If you know one of our delegates, please reach out and let them know how thankful you are for their service.
A Note from Bishop King on the adopted plan, "A New Way Forward"
As the 2016 General Conference session concluded today, many in our denomination, as well as many of you back home, leave with questions about the approved Council of Bishops plan entitled, “A New Way Forward.” Bishop King offers the following statement about this plan:
To my beloved South Georgia Annual Conference:
The Council of Bishops will be meeting the Saturday after General Conference. We will release a statement for clarity and direction regarding the naming of a special commission to bring recommendations back to General Conference on disciplinary paragraphs related to human sexuality. There have been no changes in The Book of Discipline around human sexuality. Please be prayerfully patient.
Opening Worship: ‘We will not leave divided’
LaSander Saunders (center) and other members of the Christ Deaf Choir from Christ United Methodist Church, Baltimore, Maryland, perform at a May 20 worship service during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.
(UMNS) On the last day of the 2016 General Conference, Bishop Elaine Stanovsky of the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area reminded those attending that “we will not leave divided because God is not finished with us yet!” Throughout her sermon, Stanovsky illustrated “tomb” moments where we face choices for life or death. This was especially true with the church’s involvement with the Sand Creek Massacre, in which nearly 200 women, children and elderly in the camp were killed and many more left wounded. Read more
Delegates approve quadrennial budget
Moses Kumar, top executive of the United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration, views the vote adopting the budget May 20 at the denomination's 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.
One of the primary responsibilities of General Conference is to approve budgets for upcoming ministry and programs. On Friday, May 20, 2016, delegates to General Conference approved a $604 million budget for the next quadrennium. The conference amended the original budget, adding $5 million to boost support of United Methodist theological education in Africa, Asia and Europe. Money from this adopbed budget helps fund such denomination-wide endeavors as planting new churches, providing resources for evangelism, supporting theological education, advocating for church social teachings, engaging in international development and cultivating new mission fields. Read more
2020 General Conference will be held in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minn. will be the site of the 2020 General Conference, tentatively scheduled for May 5-15, 2020. Minneapolis is part of the Minnesota Annual Conference, which has more than 70,000 members and 353 congregations, and along with the Dakotas Conference, constitutes the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church.
Votes of note
- In a vote yesterday, delegates voted to keep the church’s mission statement of "The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and added wording to include “extension ministries” in the statement "Local churches and extension ministries of the Church provide the most significant arenas through which disciple making occurs."
- In a vote yesterday, delegates voted to create a new Lay Order of Ministry that would include Deaconesses and Home Missioners.
- Approved a petition calling for a mandatory vote on all proposed legislation sent to the next General Conference by a vote of 406 to 361. All petitions submitted to General Conference “shall receive the vote of a legislative committee” and all petitions approved by legislative committees “shall receive a vote by the plenary session at that year’s General Conference.”
- In response to a request for review from General Conference 2016, the United Methodist Judicial Council has found no conflict between two of its previous decisions or between specific paragraphs in the church’s constitution. Decision 1321, issued May 20, said that Paragraphs 16 and 33 of the constitution “assign specific authority and responsibility to the General Conference and to the annual conferences in The United Methodist Church. They are not in conflict.” Read more
- After prolonged, impassioned debate, General Conference 2016 chose not to add a fossil fuels investment screen for the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The question came down to divestment vs. engagement as the better way to use church investments in influencing energy companies to address climate change. Ultimately, delegates voted 630-101 against amending church law to call for screening out investments in fossil fuels companies. Read more
- Approved a piece of legislation calling for the United Methodist Church to advocate for the improvement of health care in the United States. Read more
- Defeated an amendment offered during debate on socially responsible investing that sought to divest from illegal settlements on occupied lands failed 559-167. But General Conference delegates on May 20 adopted a petition on behalf of a Palestinian village, Wadi Foquin.
SEJ episcopal nominees speak to delegates from the Southeast
Fourteen episcopal candidates from the Southeastern Jurisdiction presented to delegates and guests on Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18, 2016, during lunch breaks at General Conference. All candidates were asked to answer two questions within a six-minute time frame. The first question asked nominees to name two of the most important accomplishments in their ministry, while the next question allowed this group to inform SEJ delegates where their passion lies and how they would bring it to life, if elected. Elections for Bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference will be held July 12-15, 2016, at Lake Junaluska, NC. Click here to see nominee videos.
May 20 wrap-up: Budget passes, General Conference concludes
Read the UMNS wrap-up for May 20.
Reflections from Rev. Scott Hagan
Rev. Scott Hagan, senior pastor of Bonaire UMC, is a first time reserve delegate to General Conference. In a quick video, Scott answers the questions, "What has been your experience as a first time delegate? Have you learned anything new by seeing General Conference at work first hand?"
"How true it is that The United Methodist Church is a worldwide church. When you sit across from delegates from Central Conferences or from the other side of the United States you are just blown away by how great it is to be engaged in spreading the gospel of Jesus in far, far places, and we do it well. And there’s fruit of that all over the place."
Click here to watch the full video.
Click here to read Scott's blog post.
Join us in Prayer
Featured Delegate: Ms. Marianne Wright, member of Park Avenue UMC in Valdosta
"Heavenly Father, on this closing day of General Conference, we pray for safe travels for the lay and clergy delegates, Bishops, conference staff and countless volunteers who have served your Church these many days. We are thankful for your presence that has been with us, and we seek forgiveness for the moments we’ve been wrong. As we go forth, we pray that Your Holy Spirit would lead us to be a faithful witness of both your grace and your truth. We are thankful that you are at work all over the world. Help us to be a part of your Kingdom plan. We pray in Jesus name. Amen"
General Conference in Review
For analysis, news stories, follow up, and looking back:
Live Stream Archives: Find on-demand and downloadable versions of the daily General Conference plenary sessions, worship, and addresses. VIEW ARCHIVES
Legislation Tracking: Search for legislation submitted by petition number, keyword or submitter for information regarding the actions taken on each piece of legislation. TRACK LEGISLATION
General Conference Website: Continue to read news from General Conference 2016 at the General Conference website. VIEW SITE
Social Media Follow the hashtags #UMCGC and #GC2016 as the conversation continues.
UMNS News & Photos News Stories by UMNS || Photos by UMNS
South Georgia Conference GC2016 Webpage
Find news and information from the South Georgia Conference relating to General Conference
Photo Album for Monday, May 16
Photo Album for Tuesday, May 17
Photo Album for Wednesday, May 18
Photo Album for Thursday, May 19
Photo Album for Friday, May 20
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 20, 2016 - 05-20 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 10; pages 2577-2720)
May 19, 2016 - 05-19 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 9; pages 2481 to 2576)
May 18, 2016 - 05-18 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 8; pages 2369 to 2480)
May 17, 2016 - 05-17 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 7 pages 2273-2368)
May 16, 2016 - 05-16 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 6; pages 2145-2270)
May 14, 2016 - 05-14 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.
Daily Email Update Archives
Thursday, May 19: New missionaries, votes to note
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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