GC2016 deals with Central Conference matters

Bishop Michael Coyner, Indiana Episcopal Area, presides over the election for alternate clergy members of the Judicial Council during the United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, OR.

Portland, OR —  After spending the bulk of plenary time dealing with process concerns, motions from the floor, and election of officers, the 2016 United Methodist General Conference finally got down to business and began considering legislative calendar items during their first post-lunch session.

First to be considered this afternoon were legislative items brought forth by the Standing Committee on Central Conferences, which deals with issues for churches located outside of the U.S. After a relatively easy vote on changing some of the provisions about the makeup of the committee and participation with other agencies, the General Conference voted by 739/59 to create a new provisional annual conference in Rwanda.

A similar motion to create a Ugandan Annual Conference was referred to the West Africa Central Conference. Bishop Patrick Streiff of the Central and Southern Europe Episcopal Area and was representing the committee said that the authority for establishing Annual Conferences resides in the Central Conference, and this the committee recommended referral. The General Conference affirmed the committee’s motion to refer by 658/143.

A longer debate was help about petition #60274, which asked the General Conference to adopt a comprehensive plan for Africa. The plan, which was developed by a study commission, included the provision to add 5 additional bishops in Africa by the year 2020. An amendment was offered to suggest that bishops for Zimbabwe and Nigeria be implemented immediately, and after an extensive debate was rejected. The General Conference then adopted the overall plan by 678/128.

The plenary session began with a report on the effort to create a global version of the Social Principles. That presentation was interrupted by a protest involving representatives from Black Lives Matter, Love Prevails, and the Reconciling Ministries network. After an 18 minute protest, the presentation was allowed to proceed and was followed by elections. The session concluded with a celebration of the 150th anniversary of United Methodist Women.

In the post-break afternoon session, the General Conference will consider additional calendar items, including 1 additional item from the Central Conferences Committee, an item on global health from the Global Ministries Committee, 2 items from the Conferences Committee, 1 from Independent Commissions, 2 from Financial Administration, and (if time) legislation from Church and Society A, General Administration, and Ministry and Higher Ed.

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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1 Comment on "GC2016 deals with Central Conference matters"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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Richard F Hicks
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Why in a post-colonial world are we spending time trying to control those outside the borders of the US? Thank you, Richard F Hicks, OKC

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