General Conference 2024

How can I be involved in General Conference?

NCCUMC Prayer Vigil - April 21st - Prayer Vigil for General Conference - Signup Here: https://slotted.co/gcprayer

North Carolina Conference, we need your help! We invite you to participate in a Prayer Vigil on April 21 as we turn our hearts and minds toward the upcoming General Conference in Charlotte. You are encouraged to sign up for a 15-minute prayer slot.

Laity and clergy across North Carolina will be praying for 24 hours for God to guide the delegates' work at this global gathering of United Methodists from around the world.

Get a sample prayer and a prayer guide at nccumc.org/gc/pray

"Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18

 

Feeding Ministry - NRUMC is taking up a Special Offering on through May 5th to go to our partners in food ministry - Urban Ministries and Interfaith Food Shuttle  We are doing this as a part of the "One Body Nourishing North Carolina" initiative.  You can contribute by designating your give as "Feeding Ministry - General Conference" via check, envelope, or online giving.  

 

Helping NRUMC Navigate the Event

Your Clergy are commited to being sure everyone at NRUMC feels informed and heard as we navigate this season.  Please consider attending one or both of these events or reaching out directly to the pastors using pastors@nrumc.org

General Conference Info Session

Sunday April 14 at 2:30pm in the Sanctuary

The General Conference of the UMC will be meeting in Charlotte April 23-May 3. Your clergy are committed to being sure everyone at NRUMC is informed about General Conference, any decisions that are made, and any ways it can or will impact NRUMC.

 

To help keep communication channels open, we are hosting two open information sessions: one before General Conference to explain the process and answer questions and one after to discuss next steps as we seek to live into God's preferred future for NRUMC.

 

We will keep the congregation updated at nrumc.org/generalconference. Please RSVP to help us plan.

General Conference Debriefing

Tuesday May 7th at 6pm in the Sanctuary

The General Conference of the UMC will be meeting in Charlotte April 23-May 3. Your clergy are committed to being sure everyone at NRUMC is informed about General Conference, any decisions that are made, and any ways it can or will impact NRUMC.

 

To help keep communication channels open, we are hosting two open information sessions: one before General Conference to explain the process and answer questions and one after to discuss next steps as we seek to live into God's preferred future for NRUMC.

 

We will keep the congregation updated at nrumc.org/generalconference. Please RSVP to help us plan.

Background Info on General Conference

What is General Conference? 

United Methodists will be in the news this month as they gather in Charlotte, NC for the postponed 2024 United Methodist General Conference April 23 – May 3. General Conference is the only body that can set official policy and speak for the denomination. 

862 delegates, half clergy and half lay, will come together to consider revisions to church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. The General Conference will also approve plans and budgets for church-wide ministry for the next four years. Delegates will worship, pray, debate, and vote as one body.

 

 

The worldwide level of The United Methodist Church is structured much like the U.S. Government with three branches:

  • The Legislative Branch is the General Conference, a deliberative body that typically convenes every four years to write the polity of The UMC.
  • The Executive Branch is the Bishops and the General Agencies / Independent Commissions that put into practice the polity of The UMC and govern the UMC in between General Conferences.
  • The Judicial Branch is the Judicial Council, a review entity that determines answers when the written polity and the actual practices of the UMC are in conflict or unclear.
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As this is the first General Conference held after the disaffiliation process, there will be lots of conversation around regionalization and how we may re-structure as a denomination. 

 

For the first week of the General Conference, committees will meet to go through hundreds of legislative documents to bring to the floor of GC the following week. Then, during the second week of GC, the committees of delegates will bring the legislation that makes it through committee to the floor for all delegates to vote on.

 

Here is some of the major legislation up for discussion and vote this GC:

  • A revision of our Social Principles
  • Regionalizing our church structure to correct our colonialist, US-centric rules
  • A 50% budget decrease due to disaffiliation and a natural decline of the universal church
  • You can find more information about these items and other legislation by clicking here.

 

Please be in prayer not only for our own delegation from North Carolina Conference, but for all delegates attending GC2024. Also be in prayer for The United Methodist Church as a whole as the decisions made at GC will impact the church in the years ahead.

If you have any questions or hear anything within the national media that you don't understand, please feel free to reach out to your clergy using pastors@nrumc.org to go to all 3 of us. 

What about the called session? How did we get here?

Has this happened before??

 

In 1844, at General Conference in Louisville, KY, the Methodists split north and south over slavery.  They reunified in 1939 using regionalized conferences (Wilson Temple and Edenton Street UMCs are only two miles apart, but were in different conferences Raleigh).

 

The United Methodist Church occupies a unique place in America and on the world stage.

 

The UMC is a worldwide, mainline, evangelical Church. It sits at the intersection between evangelical (baptists, nondenominational, etc.) and mainline (Protestant) movements, drawing the best elements from them both. It has a unique composition on the global Christian stage: progressive and conservative people together under a global democratic representative polity with episcopal governance.

 

At one time, it was the largest denomination in America—now it is officially third behind Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists, although the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) church has probably jumped into third place due to disaffiliation.

 

The Methodist tradition, which began in the 18th century, went through many schisms, reunions, branches, and offshoots before its largest entity finally settled on its current form, the United Methodist Church, in 1968. It’s about then that we need to look back at two movements within the church that led to the situation in the UMC today.

 

A diverse church with many different traditions and shifting power dynamics must make good decisions regarding minority groups seeking equal treatment within the church. Prior to 1968, the UMC included minority groups in the Church and emerged better for it with both mainline and evangelical qualities.

 

Progressive, Moderate, and Conservative people worked together to advance the rights of women to become clergy (1956) and to fully include African American pastors (1968). Make no mistake, these were far too late and hard-fought to achieve, denying ministry to groups of people for decades, and even when achieved, change was implemented incrementally. But still, we celebrate! Yes, there were Traditionalist groups that opposed the inclusion of women and African American pastors, but by the dates of these votes, their influence was not the majority because the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements in civil society transformed the church for the better.