GC2020 Q&A

When is General Conference?

The 2020 General Conference was originally scheduled for May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Commission on the General Conference determined to postpone the worldwide gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic. The General Conference is currently set for August 29 - Sept. 7, 2021. 

 

Who made the decision to postpone General Conference?

The Commission on the General Conference made the decision to postpone and are handling the arrangements of the rescheduled meeting. According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline Paragraphs 14 and 511.4a, in the absence of a convened General Conference, only the full Commission on the General Conference, as the duly authorized committee of the General Conference, can set the date of the quadrennial meeting.

 

What has happened to the delegations elected to the 2020 General Conference and the legislation they were supposed to discuss?

Since the 2020 General Conference was postponed as opposed to being cancelled, the original arrangements and deadlines move forward to the postponed session.  This includes delegates, selection of legislative committees, agenda, nominations, theme and logo, and the extension of terms of office until lawful successors can be elected and installed.

 

Will North Alabama elect a new delegation for General Conference since it did not meet in 2020?

The same delegation who was elected in June of 2019 will be North Alabama’s delegates to the General Conference.  You may see a list of delegation members at www.umcna.org/gc2020-delegation.

 

Can the General Conference use technology – like our Annual Conference did – so delegates don’t have to travel from around the world to one place to be a part of the meeting?

In October 2020 the Commission on the General Conference named a Technology Study Team to explore the implications of options for accommodating full participation at General Conference including, but not limited to, the possibility of utilizing technology and online voting. The Technology Study Team report will be reviewed and discussed at the Commission on the General Conference meeting on Feb. 20, 2021.

 

Is there a way to submit new legislation to the postponed General Conference?

The Commission affirmed the process for receiving petitions submitted after the original 230 and 45 day deadlines noting that they will be treated and processed through the existing system of receiving petitions submitted after the deadline. The Committee on Reference is the appropriate body to determine whether or not to consider petitions submitted after the original 230 and 45 day deadlines, following the normal procedures and processes already contained within the Plan of Organization and Rules of Order. Petitions contained in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate may be amended in Legislative Committee to address any necessary changes such as dates or other content items.

 

Where can I read the legislation that is before the General Conference?

The Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) contains the agenda, rules, delegate listings, petitions, reports from the general agencies/commissions and study committees, information for delegates, and codes of conduct for the General Conference. You can download this publication at www.resourceumc.org/en/content/general-conference-2020-advance-daily-christian-advocate.

 

Where can I find out more about the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation legislation?

You can read the legislation, FAQs and more at www.gracethroughseparation.com.

 

How can I find out more about General Conference?

The latest information is available at https://www.resourceumc.org/en/churchwide/general-conference-2020 – this includes news, legislation and other resources. We will also provide information on the North Alabama Conference website at www.umcna.org/gc2020.

 

Usually bishop elections and assignments happen every four years at Jurisdictional Conference. Since the 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference did not meet, when and how will this happen? 

The 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference was also postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, all five Jurisdictional Conferences in the United States occur simultaneously on a date set by the Council of Bishops. Following the postponement and rescheduling of the 2020 General Conference, the Council of Bishops announced the Jurisdictional Conferences will meet on Nov. 10-12, 2021. The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will take place at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. 

Because of the postponement of the General and Jurisdictional Conferences, the decision was made to assign the Southeastern Jurisdiction Bishops back to their current areas until the postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conference meets in November 2021.

 

How can I find out more about Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference?

More information and updates are posted at http://sejumc.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=59478&PID=1066863.  We will also provide information on the North Alabama Conference website at www.umcna.org/sej2020.

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