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.

Monday, May 16 Highlights

General Conference Day 6

Dr. Bob Moon, senior pastor of Valdosta First United Methodist Church in Valdosta, Ga. and a member of the South Georgia Conference’s 2016 General Conference delegation, spends time in prayer while walking the labyrinth in the prayer room. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS 

South Georgia Delegation

Your South Georgia delegation is busy at work as the General Conference has entered the decision making phase of the session. While the first week was spent in legislative committees to consider approximately 1,000 petitions, this week is spent in plenary sessions making decisions that will shape the direction of our Church. Please continue to keep the delegation in your prayers.

The 2016 South Georgia Conference Delegation to General Conference, from L to R: Mr. Bill Hatcher, Mrs. Allison Lindsey, Rev. Don Adams, Rev. Jay Hanson, Mr. Carl Childs, Rev. Jim Cowart, Dr. Bob Moon, and Mr. Larry Price.

Opening Worship: ‘Wear the robe like it matters’

Members of the Martin Methodist College Chamber Choir from Pulaski, Tenn., sing during morning worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

(UMNS) Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey reminded those attending General Conference 2016 that all are called to “bear fruit for God’s sake.” Preaching from Matthew 22:1-14 and the parable of the king’s wedding banquet, the Louisiana Episcopal Area leader told delegates God invites people to come as they are, but not to stay as they are. “Our showing up at the party, our standing before God, is about our willingness to receive, to put on God’s grace,” Harvey said in her sermon. Read more

Warren Plowden elected first lay alternate to Judicial Council

Two clergy, three laity and six alternate clergy and laity were elected on Thursday, May 16 to the Judicial Council, the denomination’s “highest judicial body.”

South Georgia Conference Chancellor and member of Vineville United Methodist Church Warren Plowden was elected as a lay alternate for a second quadrennium.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve again on the Judicial Council, and I look forward to the opportunity to be called as an alternate,” Plowden said.

The Judicial Council is composed of nine members and reflects the diversity of The United Methodist Church. The Council determines the constitutionality of any act of the General Conference, proposed legislation, and shall “pass upon and affirm, modify, or reverse the decisions of law made by Bishops” among other duties and responsibilities.

Laity elected are: Ruben Reyes of Manila, Philippines; Deanell Reese Tacha of Lawrence, Kansas, and Lídia Romão Gulele of Maputo, Mozambique

Lay alternates elected are: Warren Plowden, Kent Fulton, Joe Kilpatrick, Ronald E. Enns, Randall Miller and Jacob Apari Lawan

Clergy elected are: Rev. Øyvind Helliesen of Norway and the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran of Lakewood, California

Clergy alternates elected are: Rev. Tim Bruster, the Rev. Angela Brown, the Rev. Diana DeWitt, the Rev. F. Belton Joyner, the Rev. Katherine Austin Mahle and the Rev. Gregory Stover

Read more

Africa will be getting five more United Methodist bishops, but not before 2020

(UMNS) The denomination’s rapid growth in some parts of that continent has prompted a widespread recognition that more bishops are needed. But on May 16, General Conference 2016 delegates narrowly defeated an effort to add two bishops right away, in Nigeria and in Zimbabwe. Instead, they favored the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters to add five bishops after General Conference 2020. Read more

Clergy-Related Petitions Pass GC2016

(UMNS) A few petitions affecting United Methodist clergy either were approved by General Conference 2016 or are highly likely to be, having made it onto the consent calendar. Among them was one from the Ministry Study Commission titled “Deepening the Theology of Ordination.” But a renewed effort that would have begun the process to remove the constitutional bar to  end guaranteed appointment for ordained elders failed in committee, as did an “early ordination” petition. Read more

Celebrations Today at General Conference

General Conference celebrates Africa University

The Africa University choir sings during the presentation of the Africa University report May 16 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

As Africa University approaches its 25th anniversary, delegates to the 2016 General Conference took a few moments Monday afternoon to celebrate the Zimbabwean school. “You and The UMC have answered a call to witness through this transforming ministry,” Munashe Furusa, vice chancellor of Africa University, told delegates. Read more

General Conference celebrates United Methodist Women

Leaders of United Methodist Women help celebrate the organization's 150th birthday during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. From left are: Harriett Olson, Yvette Richards, Annabelle Bricker, Bethany Amey and Emma Cantor. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

United Methodist Women called attention to the plight of poor and marginalized communities struggling with water contamination during a lunchtime rally May 16 at the Oregon Convention Center plaza. The event was part of the UMW Day celebration during General Conference, commemorating UMW’s upcoming 150th anniversary.

The May 16 session also contained celebrations for The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the church’s Four Areas of Focus and the 250th anniversary of John Street Church in New York City. 

May 16 wrap-up: Week Two begins with elections, celebrations, protests

Read the UMNS wrap-up for May 16.

Join us in Prayer

Featured Delegate: Mr. Carl Childs, member of Fort Gaines UMC

“Holy Father, As we enter into another day of General Conference, we pray for the presence of your Spirit to guide us. May you give us wisdom to understand the issues, discernment to make decisions that reflect your will, and compassion for those who do not agree with the decisions that are made. In all that we do, may your love be reflected in our words and actions, yet in all  strengthening your church to make more disciples of Jesus Christ. For it is in His Holy name we pray. Amen.”


Daily Devotions for May 16 - May 20

In the opening worship service of General Conference, San Francisco Area Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., president of the Council of Bishops, said, “Like the first disciples, some of us may have come to this meeting of Jesus’ people we call General Conference with some mixture of hope and uncertainty. There are many issues on our agenda. So many things for you to consider as the plans for the church’s future are adopted.”

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 Tuesday, May 17: Above All Else

By Rev. Jay Hanson

“He (Jesus) must become greater; I (John) must become less. The one who comes from above is above all, the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.” John 3:30-31

John the Baptist understood God loved him. He knew he was a child of the King and his confidence in his position enabled him to serve the Savior by living a life designed to point others to Jesus.


  • Are you living like you realize the ultimate head guy, the one above all others, the greatest there ever was, is or will be, is on your side? You are a child of the King!

O God our Father, who didst send forth thy Son to be King of kings and Prince of Peace: Grant that all the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdom of Christ, and learn of him the way of peace. Send forth among all people the spirit of goodwill and reconciliation. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. – Taken from The Book of Worship

Action plus Belief = Faith
Initiate one act of kindness to point another toward Jesus today by selflessly serving.

Photo Files

Photo Album for Monday, May 16

Schedule for Tuesday, May 17

Streaming Schedule 
**Reminder: All times are Pacific Standard 

  • 8:00 A.M.: Worship (11:00 A.M. EST)
  • 9:00 A.M.: Reports (12:00 noon EST)
  • 10:20 A.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business (12:20 P.M. EST)
  • 2:00 P.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business (5:00 P.M. EST)
  • 4:20 P.M.: Calendar Items & Conference Business (7:20 P.M. EST)
  • 6:03 P.M.: "Missing in Action" - United Methodist Men (9:03 P.M. EST)
  • 6:10 P.M.: Closing Devotion (9:10 P.M. 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 16, 201605-16 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 6)
May 14, 201605-14 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 5)
May 13, 201605-13 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 4)
May 12, 2016 05-12 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 3)
May 11, 2016 05-11 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 2)
May 10, 2016 05-10 DCA (Vol. 4, No. 1)

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 

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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