Friday, February 22 Update
The 2019 Special Session of General Conference begins tomorrow in St. Louis, Missouri, at The Dome, part of the America’s Center Convention Complex.
The Conference will be available via live video streaming online at UMC.org/live. The stream will include all open sessions during the Feb. 23-26, 2019, meeting.
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 23 will be a General Conference Day of Prayer. You are invited to join Delegates, Bishops, Conference Leaders and United Methodists around the world in praying. This is a culmination of the Praying Our Way Forward initiative which began in 2016. You can watch the program of prayer from St. Louis through the live stream from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click here for a schedule of the day.
The business session begins on Sunday morning with delegates gathering for worship at 8 a.m. The Special Session will conclude on Tuesday evening, February 26.
The Special Session of the General Conference is composed of 864 delegates from around the world. The delegates are equal numbers of laity and clergy elected by their annual conferences, missionary conferences or other approved autonomous or concordat churches with which The United Methodist Church has a special relationship. Each annual conference has at least one clergy and one lay delegate. Bishops preside over General Conference but have neither vote nor voice in the sessions and may address the assembly only with its permission.
The North Alabama Conference delegation includes the same delegates who served in 2016. The General Conference Delegates are
Laity: Steve Lyles, Scott Selman, Zac Riddle and Carol Toney;
Clergy: Robin Scott, Dale Cohen, Mary Henley and Tiwirai Kufarimai.
The Council of Bishops issued the call for the Special Session in 2017. The purpose of this Special Session of the General Conference is limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based upon recommendations of the Council of Bishops.
The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.
The Special Session will receive the report of the Commission on a Way Forward and will consider 78 legislative petitions, all of which must receive a vote in the single legislative committee. All those approved by the legislative committee must receive a plenary vote. For any legislation to be enacted it must be approved by the single legislative committee (which includes all 864 delegates) then approved by plenary vote of the General Conference delegates.
To read the report of the Commission on a Way Forward and all submitted petitions, as well as the General Conference Plan of Organization, Rules of Order and information about the Legislative Process see the Advance Daily Christian Advocate.
You can track legislation throughout General Conference using the online legislation tracker.
Visit www.umcna.org/gc2019 for updates and information links
on the Special Session of General Conference.