Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: Update on Called General Conference


Dear Friends,

The Council of Bishops decided at this week’s Fall meeting to move toward a special session of the General Conference in either February or March of 2019. We also affirmed Phase 2 of our prayer strategy called Praying our Way Forward.

This blog’s Q & A addresses some of the most frequent questions that I am being asked about the purpose and timing of the called General Conference. It also describes how you can participate in Praying Our Way Forward.

Why did the Council of Bishops decide on early 2019 instead of the original executive committee’s proposal of early 2018?

The Commission on a Way Forward will meet for multiple days on 9 occasions roughly every six weeks beginning in early 2017. Thus, it could be the Spring of 2018 before proposed legislation from the Commission is completed. The 2016 Book of Discipline requires that proposed legislation be in the hands of the General Conference Secretary 230 days prior to General Conference. Therefore, the called General Conference will be in 2019 instead of 2018 in order to meet the timeline requirements set forth in The Book of Discipline for proposed legislation.

Why go to the expense of a called Conference only 15 months or so prior to the 2020 General Conference?

A called General Conference for a specific purpose allows us to focus on the Commission on a Way Forward’s work. It also increases the likelihood that the 2020 General Conference will deal with the full spectrum of important work of our global church.

Who will be the delegates of the called General Conference?

The 2016 General Conference delegates and alternates will be the delegates of the 2019 called session, unless an Annual Conference decides to have a new election.

What may I do to contribute to the work of the Commission?

  • Pray daily for:
    • our church’s effectiveness in fulfilling our mission of making disciples;
    • the outcome of the work of the Commission on a Way Forward
  • Participate in North Alabama’s designated week of prayer, January 15-21, 2017 (More details will be forthcoming soon.)
  • As you are able, fast weekly for our church, our mission and our future
  • Take part in opportunities for conversation that are developed for clergy and laity in our Annual Conference

Thank you for your continued prayers and conversation as we as a church walk through this time in the life of our denomination.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
North Alabama Conference

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