Commission considers status of postponed General Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn.: The Commission on the General Conference announced Nov. 19 that it is continuing to move forward with logistical planning for the postponed 2020 General Conference. But it continues to monitor various factors, including pandemic-related developments, which could impact the decision to hold the event on the previously announced dates of Aug. 29 to Sept. 7, 2022.

A determination is slated to be made during the first quarter of 2022 about whether to hold the postponed 2020 General Conference as currently scheduled or to consider further postponement.

Meeting online on Nov. 18, the commission voted to meet during the first quarter of next year, when they will consider the most up-to-date information available relative to COVID-19 disease prevalence, vaccine availability, public health guidelines, travel restrictions, financial considerations and other pertinent issues.

Upon the recommendation of the executive committee, the commission also adopted a set of values to guide them in their decision making: a reasonable threshold of delegate presence and participation; the health and safety of General Conference delegates, staff, volunteers and guests; inclusion of the broad diversity of the church; anti-racism; integrity; credibility; recognition of the mission of The United Methodist Church (making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world); and awareness of the commission’s responsibility and purpose in planning for the General Conference.

“We wanted to have stated values that we will lift up as we make these important decisions,” said Kim Simpson, commission chairperson. “For example, we feel it is important to go beyond the minimum requirement of quorum when thinking about the involvement of as many delegates as possible.”

In other business, the commission received a report from the program committee and approved some recommended changes to the agenda made necessary because the postponed 2020 General Conference will have nine working days instead of 10.

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