A Moment for Mission
“Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.” —James 1:19, CEB
The Letter of James, “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 1), has only five chapters, but includes some great advice for all of us: listen carefully, think before you speak and watch your temper.
For General Conference delegates, following that advice may prove challenging at times. As the top policymaking body of the global United Methodist Church, General Conference is the only entity that speaks for the 13.2-million-member denomination.
Postponed by COVID-19 from May 2020 to August 29–September 6, 2022, the conference is scheduled to convene in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Delegates will revise the Book of Discipline, which regulates the manner in which local churches, annual conferences and general agencies are organized. The Discipline includes policies regarding church membership, ordination, administration, property and judicial procedures. The assembly may modify most paragraphs by a simple majority vote, but amending the Constitution of The United Methodist Church, the Articles of Religion or the Confession of Faith is more complicated.
Delegates also revise the Book of Resolutions, a volume declaring the church’s stance on social justice issues. The statements in the book are considered instructive and persuasive but are not binding on members.
In addition, the assembly approves plans and budgets for churchwide programs through 2024 and elects members of the Judicial Council and University Senate.
General Conference decisions are important to every United Methodist. Through the General Administration Fund, local churches help pay expenses of General Conference and the Judicial Council.
Loving God, be with us as we gather for General Conference. Help us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to grow angry. May we always follow you. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost — Generous, giving God; we offer our gifts to you in gratitude for all the blessings you rain down upon us. Your sunshine warms us, your earth feeds us, and your word nourishes us. More than these gifts of money, we give ourselves—our time and our energy—that we might be doers of your word and not just hearers only. We pray this in the name of Christ our Savior. Amen. (James 1:17-27)
Barring COVID-19 restrictions, General Conference, the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church, is scheduled to meet August 29–September 6, 2022, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minnesota.
Some 862 delegates, elected from around the world, will gather to set policy and direction for the church, as well as handle other important business. Usually meeting every four years, General Conference is the only entity that speaks for the denomination. The United Methodist Book of Discipline incorporates changes made by General Conference.
The General Administration Fund apportionments for General Conference pay for delegate expenses; operation costs (convention center and equipment rental, publishing, petition-tracking software, worship, labor); language services (printed translation of advance materials and spoken interpretation on site); expenses of the offices of the secretary, business manager and treasurer of the General Conference; and expenses of several commissions and committees in support of the event.
When your congregation supports the General Administration Fund, you help determine the future of The United Methodist Church. Thank you!
Adapted from the 2020 General Conference Guide, produced by United Methodist Communications, 2019. Used by permission.