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UMC Bishops Call Special Session of General Conference for 2019

4/26/2017


 
Photo right: Members of the Council of Bishops listen as Bishop R. Ough reads a statement about sexuality and the church from the Council at the 2016 United Methodist Conference in Portland, Ore. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, United Methodist News Service. 
 
The Council of Bishops (COB) has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
In announcing the call, COB President Bishop Bruce R. Ough said the Special Session will be held in accordance with Division Two - Section II - Article II of The Constitution of The United Methodist Church as recorded in Paragraph 14 of The Book of Discipline (2016).

The purpose of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference will be "limited to receiving and acting on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward."
The 32-member Commission was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge to lead the church forward amid the impasse related to homosexuality. The Commission's task includes examining paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.

Per the Constitution of the Church, the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference shall be composed of the delegates to the 2016 General Conference or their legal successors or alternates, except when a particular annual conference or missionary conference shall prefer to have a new election.
The Secretary of the General Conference will communicate with annual conference secretaries regarding updated delegate information, seating of reserve delegates, and the issuance of new certificates of election for annual conferences choosing to hold new elections.

The Commission on the General Conference and the Business Manager of the General Conference will develop and forward additional information regarding the logistics of the special session of General Conference at the appropriate time.

"The Council of Bishops encourages the entire church to continue in deep, unceasing prayer for Holy Spirit breakthroughs for the Commission on a Way Forward and the Special Session of General Conference," Bishop Ough said.

Click here for the full letter sent to the Heads of Delegations to the 2016 General Conference (or successors), Secretary of the General Conference and the Chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference.

Click here to read Bishop Swanson's Clarity on Upcoming Declaratory Decision from Judicial Council


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