Petitions deadline for 2004 General Conference set

News media contact: Kathy Gilbert · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.

NOTE: The 2004 General Conference logo is available for use with this story.

Methodist Church have until Nov. 29, 2003, to submit petitions to the General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking body.

The church's general agencies must submit their reports for General Conference by Aug. 1 and their petitions by Oct. 1. Those will be included in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate, a publication giving advance program information about the assembly. The book will be published in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

The next meeting of the General Conference, which convenes every four years, will be April 27-May 7, 2004, in Pittsburgh.

The General Conference, the only body that can speak officially for the denomination, comprises nearly 1,000 delegates - half clergy and half lay. After each conference, revised editions of the Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions are released.

General Conference delegates can change anything in the Book of Discipline except the church's Constitution. Any recommended changes in the Constitution must be ratified by the annual (regional) conferences.

The 2004 assembly will have 11 legislative committees: church and society; conferences; discipleship; faith and order; financial administration; general administration; global ministries; higher education and ministry; independent commissions; judicial administration; and local church. In 2000, General Conference had 10 committees.

Each valid petition is given a number and title. Each legislative committee deals with petitions related to a series of paragraphs from the Book of Discipline. Petitions related to the Book of Resolutions are sorted by subject matter. A legislative committee can recommend to the full delegation concurrence or non-concurrence with the language as submitted, or the committee may change the language and then recommend concurrence. Legislative committees can also submit majority and minority recommendations.

Petitions (three hard copies required and 3.5 inch diskette requested) should be mailed to: Gary W. Graves, petitions secretary, United Methodist General Conference, P.O. Box 6, Beaver Dam, KY 42320.

Petitions (three hard copies required and 3.5 inch diskette requested) submitted via commercial overnight carriers (Federal Express, UPS, DHL) should be sent to: Gary W. Graves, petitions secretary, United Methodist General Conference, 302 N. Lafayette St., Beaver Dam, KY 42320.

Petitions also can be sent by fax to (270) 274-4590 or by e-mail to [email protected]

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
General Church
The Rev. William B. Lawrence.  Photo by H. Jackson/Southern Methodist University.

Possible steps after General Conference delay

A global pandemic has postponed General Conference, but the former Judicial Council president argues there is still work that cannot wait a year.
General Conference
Clergy members bless the elements of Holy Communion during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The Commission on the General Conference met March 21 to discuss next steps after coronavirus concerns forced the postponement of this year’s legislative assembly. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UM News.

Updated: Looking at new General Conference dates

General Conference organizers met in closed session to explore when they could reschedule the lawmaking assembly after the coronavirus-compelled delay.
Global Health
The Minneapolis Convention Center — scheduled to host the 2020 General Conference — announced it is now canceling gatherings of 50 or more people through May 10. The decision comes as General Conference organizers already were considering postponement. Photo by Dan Anderson, courtesy of Meet Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Church leaders postpone 2020 General Conference

With the venue that was scheduled to host is canceling large events through May 10, General Conference organizers decided they have no choice but to find new dates.