Bishop William H. Willimon, presiding bishop of the Birmingham Area, has called for a special session of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church to be held on Saturday, January 28, 2006 from 10 am to Noon at ClearBranch United Methodist Church in Trussville, Alabama, for the purpose of determining the number of districts within the bounds of the annual conference.
At present, a proposal from the District Study Team, chaired by Reverend Barbara Harper, is anticipated that will recommend 8 districts instead of the current 12 districts. Per Paragraph 415 in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2004, it is the responsibility of the annual conference to determine the number of districts and it is the bishop’s duty as the presiding officer of the annual conference, after consultation with the district superintendents, to form the districts according to the number established by the annual conference.
Throughout December the North Alabama Annual Conference will be publishing and distributing specific information about this proposed change. Meetings will also be held in each district to receive comments and suggestions as well as to address any questions you may have in preparation for the final proposal to be presented on January 28.
Those who were seated as members at the 2005 session of the annual conference are to be seated at the special session, unless those persons are deceased or have moved their membership from the church, in which case, the charge conference may elect a new member to the annual conference (see The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2004, Paragraph 602.5).