Updates On The United Methodist General Conference
Some of you may have heard the news that the General Conference of The United Methodist Church has been postponed again until 2024. I thought this would be an opportune time to share some basic information about this news and refresh our memories on our denomination’s structure.
General Conference meets every four years and is made up of clergy and laity in UM congregations around the world. Every Annual Conference elects delegates to attend General Conference as their representatives. Our Annual Conference is made up of the churches in the state of Mississippi, and we meet annually. This year we’ll meet in July in Tupelo. Ralph Weems will serve this year as our member to Annual Conference, and I’ll serve as your clergy member.
General Conference was supposed to meet in 2020 but was postponed to this year because of the pandemic. We recently learned it would be postponed again until 2024. Tensions have continued to simmer in our denomination around convictions on human sexuality. There is a piece of legislation that the General Conference was to consider if they had met this year that would formally create a new, more conservative denomination known as the Global Methodist Church. Leaders of the Global Methodist Church have announced that they are planning to launch the new denomination on May 1, even though General Conference has not met.
So, what does this mean for us as a United Methodist congregation? Quite simply, no actions or decisions are needed from us right now. We will keep doing the work God has called us to do right here. We’ll remain informed on what develops, and when the time is right will offer some informational sessions. We will pray for our denomination and the larger body of Christ, and we give thanks for all you bring to his body here in West Point and throughout the world.
all good things to each of you,