Church court reverses call for extra General Conference

By Heather Hahn

Excerpted courtesy of UMNews

Reversing part of an earlier decision, The United Methodist Church’s highest court revoked its call for an additional regular session of General Conference between 2025 and 2027.

However, the Judicial Council maintained its earlier ruling that no new delegates be elected to the coming General Conference, except under very limited circumstances.

The next regular session of General Conference, originally planned for May 2020, is now scheduled for April 23-May 3, 2024, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In Memorandum 1485, the Judicial Council ruled—with italics and bolding for emphasis—“the regular session of General Conference that is to be convened following the upcoming 2024 regular session, would be held four years thereafter, in 2028.”

With the memorandum released Nov. 2, the church court modified its earlier determination in Decision 1472 related to the scheduling of General Conference after the 2024 session. The modification to the decision comes as the Judicial Council and other UMC leaders are contending with delays in General Conference unseen in the nearly 240-year history of the denomination and its predecessors.

The UMC constitution in the Book of Discipline’s Para. 14 says the assembly—whose decisions affect the entire denomination—“shall meet once in four years … .” But COVID threw off that quadrennial schedule.

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