Bishops announce ratification of constitutional amendments


WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The United Methodist Council of Bishops has announced that all eight amendments to the church's constitution passed by the 2004 General Conference have been ratified by the annual conferences. 

The new amendments are effective immediately, the council said.

The process for amending the Constitution of the United Methodist Church requires a two-thirds majority vote of delegates to the General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking assembly. Annual (regional) conferences must then ratify the amendments by a two-thirds affirmative vote.

The results of the voting are reported to the Council on Bishops, where they are verified and counted. The results are then reviewed and certified by the Council of Bishops.   

The vote counts for each of the amendments were as follows:

  • Amendment I, which specifies that a fair and open process be used to elect General Conference delegates: 36,323 yes; 1,098 no.
  • Amendment II, which adds home missioners to the classifications over which General Conference has authority to define and fix powers and duties: 36,614 yes; 920 no.
  • Amendment III, which deletes an obsolete phrase: 36,554 yes; 830 no.
  • Amendment IV, which guarantees that the person responsible for promoting work of the mission agency of the United Methodist Church is a member of the annual conference: 36,134 yes; 1,316 no.
  • Amendment V, which adds home missioners under episcopal appointment to the membership of the annual conference: 36,350 yes; 1,124 no.
  • Amendment VI, which supports the addition of the conference director of lay speaking ministries to the list of lay members of the annual conference: 36,270 yes; 1,100 no.
  • Amendment VII, which provides a definition of clergy members of the annual conference: 26,211 yes; 11,005 no.
  • Amendment VIII, which allows for adoption of enabling legislation at the same General Conference as the amendment is voted, contingent upon required ratification by the various annual conferences: 32,901 yes; 4,555 no.
  • The nearly 11 million-member United Methodist Church has 63 annual conferences in the United States and 52 conferences in Africa, Europe and the Philippines.

    Questions about the amendments may be directed to InfoServ, the denomination's official information service at United Methodist Communications, at (800) 251-8140. The full amendments can be read online at


    This report was adapted from a press release by the Public Information Office at United Methodist Communications.

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