Delegates get down to business at first session

At the opening worship of the 2012 General Conference Tuesday afternoon, delegates were challenged by Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster to leave their personal boats and follow Jesus — “to mend and fix the nets of United Methodism.”

At the first business session, they began the work that will enable them to fulfill that mission.

After welcomes by Goodpaster, who presided over the session, Florida Annual (regional) Conference Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker and delegates of the host Florida Conference, delegates spent the evening establishing the rules by which General Conference will operate.

Delegates proposed 18 amendments to the Plan of Organization and Rules of Order of the General Conference that must be considered by the Rules Committee and brought before the assembly at the next business session for vote.

Of note were proposals to keep recesses from being called for demonstrations or protests not approved by the body. A motion was also made to remove a rule that calls for any legislation not acted on by legislative committees by the end of the Saturday session the first week of the assembly to remain unfinished.

In other business:

  • Representatives from the Commissions on Religion and Race and Status and Role of Women reminded delegates of the global nature of the church, its diversity and the need to struggle against institutional biases so that all people may be equal participants in the work of the General Conference.
  • Alan Morrison, manager of the General Conference, reported that 4,700 people attended the opening worship service and nearly $16,000 and additional monies in foreign currency was given in an offering that will go toward Cornerstone Family Ministries, Imagine No Malaria and United Methodist missions in Laos.

Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
General Church
The Rev. Dr. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Is church separation a good or bad idea?

Separation in the church could affect Africa more than any other continent, and United Methodists must work to keep the unity of the Body of Christ.
Bishops
The Holston Conference’s Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor embraces the Rev. David Graves following his election as United Methodist bishop at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2016. On April 30, the Council of Bishops affirmed its decision to delay electing any new leaders until after the postponed General Conference. File photo by Annette Spence, Holston Conference.

Bishops’ election plans draw mixed reaction

Many General Conference delegates praised the bishops for retracting an earlier recommendation of four-year hold on United Methodist elections. But some still have misgivings about a delay until 2022.
General Church
The three European central conferences of The United Methodist Church covering 32 countries and 10 time zones are making plans for a proposed denomination-wide split. Four bishops (clockwise from top left), Edward Khegay, Christian Alsted, Harald Rückert and Patrick Streiff, have drafted next steps should a separation plan win General Conference approval. Image courtesy of the bishops.

Europeans make plans for separation

Under a proposed separation plan, some European churchgoers expect to remain with The United Methodist Church while others join a new traditionalist denomination.