News

2020 General Conference


Tentative General Conference dates publicized

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

4/21/2020
By Heather Hahn April 21, 2020 | UM News   After the pandemic-caused postponement, the new prospective dates for The United Methodist Church’s General Conference are Aug. 31-Sept. 10, 2021. The Council of Bishops disclosed the proposed dates, including a Council of Bishops meeting starting Aug. 26, in an email to its members and other church leaders. The proposed dates also were discussed among delegates of at least one jurisdictional conference in late March. General Conference organizers have ...

General Conference to move to 2021

General Conference to move to 2021

3/23/2020
Commission on the General Conference FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2020  Nashville, Tenn.: Subsequent to the announcement by the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference that the 2020 General Conference will be postponed, the full Commission met March 21, 2020 to determine next steps to take in setting a new date. After hearing recommendations from Sara Hotchkiss, Business Manager of the General Conference, and discussion of possible alternatives, the Commission made a ...

United Methodist General Conference to be postponed

United Methodist General Conference to be postponed

3/18/2020
Dear friends, I am writing to let you know that the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference was notified by the Minneapolis Convention Center today that they are restricting events at the venue through May 10, 2020, because of the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, the Executive Committee announced that the General Conference scheduled for May 5-15, 2020, will be postponed and new dates will be selected at some point.   Of primary concern now in our state, country, ...

Bishop Laurie responds to Council of Bishops letter to postpone General Conference 2020

Bishop Laurie responds to Council of Bishops letter to postpone General Conference 2020

3/13/2020
Dear friends, It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops has decided to ask for a postponement of the 2020 General Conference due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It is not known yet when the General Conference, currently scheduled for Minneapolis in May, will be rescheduled. We know that many important decisions need to be made at General Conference. Our primary concern, however, is the health and welfare of our delegates and those who ...

Iowa delegates reflect of Pre-General Conference briefing

Iowa delegates reflect of Pre-General Conference briefing

2/6/2020
John Rothlisberger and Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, two General Conference delegates, traveled to Nashville for a briefing about the plans that will be presented to the worldwide decision-making body of The United Methodist Church in May.   For Plambeck there is “a call to do what feels faithful [which] is a good outcome.”  “A lot of the potentials seem to be coming together into this upcoming General Conference that aren’t dissimilar to what I've experienced prior to this, but seem like things ...

North Central Jurisdiction Recommends Electing One Bishop in 2020 and Forms a Task Force to Study Episcopal Leadership

North Central Jurisdiction Recommends Electing One Bishop in 2020 and Forms a Task Force to Study Episcopal Leadership

1/28/2020
Press Release from the College of Bishop, North Central Jurisdiction CHICAGO, ILLINOIS In a meeting last week in Chicago, the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) Committee on the Episcopacy and the NCJ College of Bishops have proposed to only elect one bishop during the NCJ Quadrennial Meeting, July 15-18 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The two groups have agreed to form a task force to make recommendations on episcopal leadership for the jurisdiction over the next four years. In late August 2019, David...

Second day of Pre-General Conference briefing decidedly more personal

Second day of Pre-General Conference briefing decidedly more personal

1/24/2020
The second day of the briefing for the 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church was filled with personal stories and a focus upon the ways that the church makes a difference in people’s lives.  While a portion of the time of the gathering for the nearly 500 delegates and communicators dealt with details of how the May General Conference will work in Minneapolis, much of the conversation was directed toward the care and attention to the needs of persons around the world and how the ...

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie Haller

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie Haller

1/23/2020
To the Saints of God in Iowa, Grace and peace! As we experience snow and bitter cold in Iowa, I am reminded of the graciousness and warmth of spirit that I witness in every corner of our state. In the midst of uncertainty and anxiety about the future of The United Methodist Church, you are engaged in transformative ministries in your local communities and around the world that are changing hearts and saving lives. I'd like to share some thoughts about our Conference’s Vision 2032 that will have ...

Delegates, Communicators gather for Pre-General Conference briefing

Delegates, Communicators gather for Pre-General Conference briefing

1/23/2020
Delegates and communicators from across the United Methodist connection gathered in Nashville for the 2020 pre-General Conference briefing. Representatives from the denomimnation’s boards and agencies resourced the nearly 500 domestic and international church representatives. The event began with worship on Thursday morning, January 23. General Conference worship leader, Raymond Trapp gathered those present into a community striving to know God, which is the Psalm 46 theme of the quadrennial ...

Panel offers peek behind scenes of separation plan

Panel offers peek behind scenes of separation plan

1/14/2020
By Kathy L. Gilbert Jan. 10, 2020 | UM News It was love of The United Methodist Church that brought 16 — sometimes hostile — people to a point of agreement for a path forward for the worldwide church. Even though the agreement is to split, participants still talked about loving each other in a livestreamed discussion Jan. 13 to explain how the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation was formed. “We started with quite a bit of tension and, really, hostility in the room,” said ...

United Methodist Traditionalists, Centrists, Progressives & Bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

United Methodist Traditionalists, Centrists, Progressives & Bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

1/3/2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Iowa Annual Conference, Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as this new year begins. I am writing to make you aware of the discernment of a “mediation team” that has been working for the past several months to bring a proposal to the delegates of the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis. The mediation team is a diverse group of representatives from United Methodist advocacy groups with contrasting views and bishops from the US and ...

North Central Jurisdiction Gathering

North Central Jurisdiction Gathering

1/2/2020
From:  Iowa UM Delegation 2020 website The North Central Jurisdiction’s Mission Council brought together General and Jurisdictional conference delegates to hear from various agencies and to talk together about where we as a jurisdiction moving into 2020. Iowa’s Ryan Russell is the chair for the Mission Council and Lanette Plambeck was part of the planning team for the gathering. She helped to organize and preached at the closing worship for the event, with other Iowans part of the communion ...

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

11/15/2019
Delegates from the North Central Jurisdiction met on November 8-9 to talk about the state of the jurisdiction and discuss the denomination’s future in preparation for next year’s General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Members of the jurisdiction’s Mission Council, which oversees its ministries and budget, joined them. At the gathering, the clergy and laity in attendance released a statement that calls for a moratorium on complaints, charges, and trials related to same-sex marriages and ...

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

10/17/2019
By: Christa Meland Next May, 15 months after the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church voted to adopt the Traditional Plan, delegates at the 2020 General Conference will consider alternative options for a way forward. (View all General Conference 2019 coverage here.)   The Traditional Plan, approved at the 2019 Special Called Session of General Conference, maintains that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching” and increases penalties for self-avowed gay clergy and ...

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

10/2/2019
The Iowa delegation of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference has the pleasure of presenting an Episcopal Nominee to the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference. This process involves receiving names of possible candidates now through October 31, 2019.   On November 1, 2019, those candidates will then receive the “Episcopal Nominee Information” form and the “Episcopal Election Covenant” which will be due by November 30, 2019.  In January 2020, candidates will be asked to interview with the delegation...

N.E.W. Plan would create 4 denominations

N.E.W. Plan would create 4 denominations

9/26/2019
A United Methodist group has submitted legislation that would dissolve The United Methodist Church and form four new global denominations instead. The legislation says the new Methodist expressions would be traditionalist, moderate, progressive and liberationist in orientation.  The New Expressions Worldwide, or N.E.W., Plan is the work of UM-Forward, a group that identifies as a collective of United Methodist liberationists. By that, group members mean that they seek to advance the liberation ...

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

9/13/2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 13, 2019 Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available. Chicago, IL – The Connectional Table is publishing its legislative petition to create a U.S. Regional Conference, as well as a one-page frequently asked questions sheet and a narrative booklet.  The CT, who collaborated closely with Wespath on this legislation, shares the legislation and educational materials in advance of the 2020 General Conference as a reflection of the value it ...

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

8/19/2019
  By Sam Hodges Aug. 19, 2019 | DALLAS (UM News) UMCNext, a coalition that includes Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists and Mainstream UMC, has offered a plan that would end The United Methodist Church's restrictions against same-sex weddings and LGBTQ ordination and offer a gracious exit to local churches that disagree with those changes.  A group of centrists and progressives is offering a plan that would eliminate The United Methodist Church’s restrictions against LGBTQ ...

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

8/13/2019
A group of centrist, progressive and traditionalist church leaders have come up with a plan for The United Methodist Church to separate amicably into two or more denominations. It's called the Indianapolis Plan, after where the group met. Photo by William Sturgell, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by UM News.

Elected delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020

Elected delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020

7/13/2019
CLERGY: Lanette Plambeck  Katie Dawson LaTonya Calderon Chad Jennings  Nathaniel Nims Alejandro Alfaro-Santiz Andrea Kraushaar Frederick Lewis Tyler Schwaller Joshua Steward Sean McRoberts Melissa Warren Clergy Alternates: Barrie Tritle Amy Johnson Matt German Scott Kober William Ranney Brian Oliver LAITY: John Rothlisberger Lynn Calvert Lindsay Drake Erica Shannon Stueve Angela Hansen-Abbas Nitza Dovenspike Rachel Hollingsworth Catherine Rohret Alexe Johnson James Baty Michael Serface ...

2 bishops offer plan for denomination’s future

2 bishops offer plan for denomination’s future

7/10/2019
By Sam Hodges July 10, 2019 | UM News   Two bishops propose turning The United Methodist Church into an umbrella organization for new, self-governing church groups that would offer different approaches on ordination of gay clergy and same-sex unions. Michigan Conference Bishop David Bard and Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones began collaborating on a plan after the rancorous 2019 General Conference and shared it with United Methodist News this week. “We both envision a future where the church ...