United Methodist Bishops Meet to Prepare for 2008 General Conference

Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
Bishop Roy I. Sano Executive Secretary
100 Maryland Ave. NE Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 547-6270

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 1, 2007

Contact: Stephen Drachler
(615) 417-9284
sedrachler@comcast.net

United Methodist Bishops Meet to Prepare for 2008 General Conference

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. United Methodist bishops from around the world will meet Nov. 4-9 at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains.

This will be the Council of Bishops final meeting prior to gathering at the site of the 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas in late April 2008. Held every four years, the General Conference is United Methodism's highest legislative body.

"We have a lot to accomplish as we get ready for General Conference," said Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of Houston, president of the council. "This council is engaged with the church and the world, building new partnerships and collaborating as we seek ways to make disciples for Jesus Christ."

Huie said the 2004 General Conference in Pittsburgh raised the expectation bar for bishops and church agencies, with both groups focusing on developing new capacities for ministry and collaboration.

"The message from 2004 was very clear. We listened. We are moving forward in many new ways. We are committed to making disciples and transforming the world," Huie said.

The meeting will begin on Sunday, Nov. 4, with the traditional 4 p.m. memorial service at the nearby Waynesville First United Methodist Church. It will conclude with worship at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9. In between, the council will:

  • Elect a new president, who will take office during the General Conference. The council president serves a two-year term.
  • Elect an active bishop as secretary, and retired bishop as executive secretary.
  • Elect an ecumenical officer for the 2009-2012 quadrennium.
  • Consider a report from a special task force that has been focusing on unity within the church.
  • Receive an update on the Bishops' special appeal for funds to rebuild churches and church facilities destroyed byHurricane Katrina in 2005.
  • Discuss the State of the Church report that was issued after the council's spring 2007 meeting in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

A significant part of the preparation for General Conference will be an opportunity for the council to hear the General Conference episcopal address in a closed-door executive session. Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher of Springfield, Ill. will deliver the 2008 address. The traditional address is one of the first events of the General Conference. It outlines the council's vision for the church, and the expectations of bishops for themselves and the church during the coming four years.

Bishops will also review plans for General Conference worship.

Bishops at the meeting represent more than 11 million United Methodists in the United States, Africa, Europe, and the Philippines. More than 100 active and retired bishops are expected to attend the meeting.

Latest News

Local Church
Edward Shanyurai, 80, holds an old United Methodist hymnal during outdoor worship in Muzarabani, Zimbabwe. Photo by Taurai Emmanuel Maforo, UMNS.

Worshipping without walls in rural Zimbabwe

John Wesley’s “The world is my parish” is being relived in the Muzarabani Circuit of Zimbabwe as congregants worship under grass-thatched homesteads and pole sheds.
Social Concerns
This is a view of the border fence in El Faro Park in Tijuana, Mexico, after the arrival of the first members of the migrant caravan. Photo courtesy of Rubén Velarde de la Congregación Nuevo Pacto de Playas de Tijuana.

Members of migrant caravan seeking better lives

United Methodist pastors and leaders are responding to the migrant caravan with love and support.
The Rev. René P. Lawson. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Lawson.

Commentary: Navy reserve chaplain decries church polarization

The Council of Bishops' position on human sexuality, Texas pastor says, offers a way forward in our commitment to witness to God's grace to all people everywhere.

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE