General Conference 2020

Pre-General Conference presentations

Thursday, January 23

  • Morning moderator: The Rev. Gary Henderson, Chief Relationship Officer, United Methodist Communications
  • Afternoon moderator: Linda Bloom, Assistant News Editor, UM News, United Methodist Communications

Opening worship with communion

Bishop Bruce Ough, host bishop for the 2020 General Conference, preached in the opening worship led by Raymond Trapp, General Conference worship leader.

Speakers:

  • Bishop Bruce Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area
  • Raymond Trapp, Worship and Music Director for General Conference 2020

Video: English | Français | ASL

Related file: Sermon text


Welcome and Greetings

United Methodist Communications

Speakers:

  • Dan Krause, General Secretary/CEO, United Methodist Communications
  • Tim Tanton, Chief News Officer, United Methodist Communications
Greetings from the Nashville Episcopal Area

Speaker: Bishop William T. (Bill) McAlilly, Resident Bishop

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL


Welcome to Minneapolis – Host Team Presentation

The Dakotas-Minnesota Host Team shared how the church is preparing for General Conference visitors, as well as opportunities for enjoying your stay in Minneapolis.

Speakers:

  • Becky Boland, Co-chair, Dakotas-Minnesota Host Committee
  • The Rev. Jim Haun, Chair, Dakotas-Minnesota Host Committee

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Related file: Welcome video


"… And Know That I am God"

The theme of General Conference provides a touchstone for remaining centered in God's grace and also as a guide for interactions at the assembly.

Speakers:

  • The Rev. Tom Albin, Director of Spiritual Formation and Congregational Life, The Upper Room, Discipleship Ministries
  • Kim Simpson, Chair, Commission on General Conference
  • Kara Oliver, Executive Director, The Upper Room Center for Christian Spiritual Formation, Discipleship Ministries

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Related file: Presentation


Legislation related to structure of the church, proposed by groups

Delegates will deal with many proposals at General Conference. This session offered an overview of the proposals being brought by groups to address the church's structure. Other legislative efforts will come to light with the release of the Advance Daily Christian Advocate after the briefing.

  • "New Denominations of Methodism" (Indianapolis Plan)
  • Speakers:

    • The Rev. Kent Millard, President, United Theological Seminary
    • The Rev. Darren Cushman Wood, Senior Pastor, North United Methodist Church, Indianapolis

    Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

    Related files: Presentation

  • "NEW Expressions Worldwide" (UMForward)

    Speakers:

    • The Rev. Alka Lyall, Pastor, Broadway United Methodist Church, Chicago
    • The Rev. Alex da Silva Souto, Pastor, New Milford (CT) United Methodist Church
    • The Rev. Dr. Jay Williams, Lead Pastor, Union UM Church, Boston

    Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

    Related file: Presentation

  • "Next Generation UMC" (UMCNext)

    Speakers:

    • Lonnie Chafin, Treasurer, Northern Illinois Conference
    • The Rev. Jasmine Smothers, Pastor, Atlanta First United Methodist Church

    Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

    Related files: Presentation: PPTX | PDF

  • "Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation"

    Speakers:

    • The Rev. Keith Boyette, President, Wesleyan Covenant Association
    • The Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary/CEO, Discipleship Ministries
    • Jan Lawrence, Executive Director, Reconciling Ministries Network

    Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

    Related file: Presentation

  • "U.S. Regional Conference" (Connectional Table proposal)

    Speakers:

    • The Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, Chief Connectional Ministries Officer, Connectional Table
    • Barbara Boigegrain, General Secretary, Wespath Benefits and Investments

    Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

    Related file: Presentation

  • Q&A for Proposals
  • Representatives for the different restructuring proposals and central conference perspectives will answer questions from the audience in this moderated discussion.

    Panel moderatorSam Hodges, UM News Reporter, United Methodist Communications

    Video: English | Français | Português | ASL


Central Conference Perspectives

A panel of speakers from the central conferences offered perspectives on the choices facing the church, the hopes and dreams of people in their areas, and whether they have felt included in the development of proposals for the church's future.

Speakers:

  • The Rev. Ole Birch, Pastor, Denmark Annual Conference
  • The Rev. Igmedio Domingo, District Superintendent, Manila Area
  • The Rev. Betty Kazadi Musau, Director of Communication, North Katanga Episcopal Area

Panel moderator: Isaac Broune, UM News, United Methodist Communications and Connectional Table member

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Presentations: Birch | Philippines Central Conference Perspective


The Legal Considerations

A panel of legal, financial and pension experts discussed what delegates should know about The United Methodist Church's structure as they consider legislation to change it.

Speakers:

  • Andy Hendren, Chief Legal Counsel, Wespath Benefits and Investments
  • The Honorable Pam Liston, President, United Methodist Church Conference Chancellors Association
  • Bryan Mills, Interim General Counsel, General Council on Finance and Administration

Panel moderator: The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards, Ask The UMC, United Methodist Communications

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Presentations: Mills | Liston | Hendren


The UMC Budget and Budget Allocation Process

One of General Conference's primary responsibilities is to approve a budget. Representatives of the General Council on Finance and Administration and the Connectional Table explained the budget and how it was developed.

Speakers:

  • The Rev. Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger, Assistant Connectional Ministries Officer, Connectional Table
  • A. Moses Kumar, General Secretary, General Council on Finance and Administration
  • The Rev. Lyssette Pérez, Member, Connectional Table Budget Allocations Committee, and President, MARCHA
  • The Rev. Steve Wood, Lead Pastor, Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church, Alpharetta, Georgia

Panel moderator: Sharon Dean, Chief Officer of Communications and Marketing, General Council on Finance and Administration

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Related file: Presentation


A Bishop's Perspective

Bishop Kenneth Carter offered insights from the church's journey during the past two years.

Speaker: Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr., President, United Methodist Council of Bishops

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Related file:
Defining and Growing an Inclusive, Gracious and Evangelical Center: The Future(s) of The United Methodist Church (PDF)


Friday, January 24

  • Morning moderator: Mary Catherine Phillips, Director of Communications, Alabama-West Florida Conference
  • Afternoon moderator: Charmaine Robledo, Director of Communications, Mountain Sky Conference

General Conference: How It Will Work

The General Conference leadership team guided delegates through the legislative process, sharing insights on how petitions are handled, parliamentary procedures, voting, and other vital topics.

Speakers:

  • Susan Brumbaugh, Coordinator of the Calendar, General Conference
  • The Rev. Gary Graves, Secretary, General Conference
  • The Rev. Abby Parker Herrera, Petitions Secretary, General Conference
  • Sara Hotchkiss, Business Manager, General Conference

Moderator: Mary Catherine Phillips, Director of Communications, Alabama-West Florida Conference

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL


The Court Is in Session: Judicial Council's Role

The United Methodist Church's top court plays a critical role at General Conference. An expert explained how the Judicial Council has had a major impact on past assemblies.

Speaker: Sally Curtis AsKew, Former Member, Judicial Council

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL


Our Global Connection

Work on a General Book of Discipline, the addition of new episcopal areas in Africa, and the restructuring of U.S. jurisdictions was discussed by this panel.

Speakers:

  • Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, Ohio West Episcopal Area
  • Fred Brewington, Chair, Jurisdictional Study Committee
  • George Howard, Director of Connectional Engagement, General Board of Global Ministries
  • The Rev. Deanna Stickley-Miner, Director of Connectional Ministries, West Ohio Conference

Panel moderator: Heather Hahn, UM News Reporter, United Methodist Communications

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Presentations: Brewington | Palmer | Jurisdictional Report to NCJ


Breakout Workshop for Delegates: "Wisdom, Courage and Listening"

This interactive session engaged conversation, sought to create common ground, and extended grace to help guide delegates to prepare spiritually for the journey. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are needed to help us listen deeply, respond faithfully to God and one another. Diverse leaders shared practical tools that spiritually equip delegates for dialogue with one another through making challenging decisions about The United Methodist Church.

Speakers:

  • The Rev. Scott Hughes, Executive Director of Congregational Vitality and Intentional Discipleship, Discipleship Ministries
  • The Rev. Dr. Jacqui King, Director of US Connectional Relationships, Discipleship Ministries
  • Alma Pérez, Director of Hispanic/Latino Resourcing, Discipleship Ministries
  • Mighty Rasing, Director of Central Conference Relationships, Discipleship Ministries

Video: English | Français | ASL


The UMC Ethnic Initiatives: Serving God's Family

The United Methodist Church's ethnic initiatives shared how the church is engaging people for Christ and building community across cultural boundaries.

Speakers:

  • Bishop Minerva Carcaño, San Francisco Episcopal Area
  • Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, Ohio West Episcopal Area
  • The Rev. Jorge Domingues, Executive Director of Connectional Ministries, California-Nevada Conference
  • The Rev. Chebon Kernell, Executive Director, Native American Comprehensive Plan
  • Toska Medlock Lee, Interim Director, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century
  • The Rev. John Oda, Program Manager, Asian American Language Ministry Plan
  • Manuel Padilla, Interim Executive Director, National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry
  • The Rev. Lyssette Pérez, Pastor, Oasis United Methodist Church, Pleasantville, NJ and President, MARCHA
  • Monalisa Tuitahi, Executive Director, Pacific Islander Ministry Plan
  • The Rev. Paul Chang, Executive Director, Korean Ministry Plan 

Panel moderator: The Rev. Gustavo Vasquez, Director of Hispanic/Latino News, UM News, United Methodist Communications

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Presentations: Ethnic Ministries | SBC21 | Ethnic Plans


The Status of Women in the Church and World

Leaders with three general agencies discussed legislation to address the treatment of women and girls, as well as a proposed apology for victims and survivors of sexual misconduct in the church.

Speakers:

  • Harriett Jane Olson, General Secretary/CEO, United Methodist Women
  • Dawn Wiggins Hare, General Secretary/CEO, General Commission on the Status and Role of Women
  • Gilbert C. Hanke, General Secretary/CEO, United Methodist Men

Panel moderator: Kathy L. Gilbert, UM News Reporter, United Methodist Communications

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Related files: Hanke | Hare | Olson | Domestic Violence is a Man's Issue


Young People's Voice in the Church

Young adult leaders will give an overview of proposals to change young people’s ministries in the church.

Speakers:

  • Bethany Amey, Board Member, Division on Ministries with Young People, Discipleship Ministries
  • Jani Djamba, Board Member, Division on Ministries with Young People, Discipleship Ministries
  • Venus Mae Gatdula, Board Member, Division on Ministries with Young People, Discipleship Ministries and Connectional Table
  • Maggie Taylor, Co-chair, Division on Ministries with Young People, Discipleship Ministries

Panel moderator: Paul Gomez, Manager, Hispanic/Latino Seeker Communications, United Methodist Communications

VideoEnglish | Français Português | ASL


Revised Social Principles and Our Social Witness

Delegates will consider the first major overhaul of the church's Social Principles in nearly 50 years.

Speaker: The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary/CEO, General Board of Church and Society

A proposed constitutional amendment on racism and resolutions on immigration and voter suppression are among the topics that General Conference will consider.

Speakers:

  • Bishop Minerva Carcaño, Chair, United Methodist Interagency Task Force on Immigration
  • Erin Hawkins, General Secretary, General Commission on Religion and Race


Moderator: The Rev. Thomas Kim, Director of Korean/Asian News, UM News, United Methodist Communications

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Related file: Presentation 


Clergy Legislation Overview

A significant pension plan change for clergy, along with an update from the Study on Ministry, will be among several items directly affecting clergy at General Conference.

Speakers:

  • Bill Kavanaugh, Chief Operating Officer, Wespath Benefits and Investments
  • The Rev. Dr. Tom Rand, Member, Study of Ministry Commission, and Lead Pastor, Sylvania (Ohio) First United Methodist Church

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Presentations: Kavanaugh | Rand


Our Ecumenical Relationships

The Council of Bishops is proposing a resolution to implement a full communion relationship with the Episcopal Church. Other legislation includes a resolution to adopt a new doctrinal teaching, "Sent in Love: A United Methodist Understanding of the Church."

Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Kyle R. Tau, Ecumenical Staff Officer, Faith & Order and Theological Development, Council of Bishops

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL

Related file: Presentation


Sharing the Story of General Conference: Tips for Delegates

If it's not communicated, it didn't happen. This panel of delegates and communicators provided delegates with best practices for sharing about General Conference before, during, and after the assembly, including handling media interviews. Participants were encouraged to begin telling the story.

Speakers:

  • The Rev. Andy Call, Church of the Saviour United Methodist Church in Cleveland
  • Rick Wolcott, Director of Communications, East Ohio Conference
  • The Rev. Byron Thomas, Ben Hill United Methodist Church in Atlanta
  • Sybil Davidson, Director of Communications, North Georgia Conference
  • Paul Black, Director of Communications, Illinois Great Rivers Conference

Panel moderator: Diane Degnan, Director of Public Relations, United Methodist Communications

Video: English | Français | Português | ASL