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General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. The assembly meets once every four years to consider revisions to church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church wide programs for the next four years. The 2016 meeting will have 864 delegates from around the world and will take place May 10-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.
Petitions for consideration by the 2016 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary beginning April 1 and continuing through October 13, 2015.
According to church law, "Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference..."
Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at gc2016.umc.org.
Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference website, by postal mail, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. This e-mail address should be used for petition submission only. All other correspondence should be directed to email@example.com. Petitions submitted without digital media need to be submitted by July 1, 2015 to allow time for transcription and translation.
The mailing address for petitions (hard copy accompanied if possible by digital version on CD or USB drive) is:
Rev. Gary Graves, Petitions Secretary, United Methodist General Conference 2016, 230 2nd Street, Paris, KY 40361.
Eligible petitions are given numbers and assigned to one of 12 legislative committees or the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters. The committees will debate the proposals and determine whether to approve, amend, combine or reject them for recommendation to the full body of General Conference.
When submitting a petition, you must indicate whether a petition has "general church budget implications," meaning a petition that causes the need for funding (i.e., creation of a new program, staff position, support requirements, etc.) through the general church apportionments. Such petitions require review by the General Council on Finance and Administration to verify if the funding is already included under the recommended quadrennial budget.
Submitters must also indicate whether a petition has "global implications," meaning it is a constitutional amendment, has a direct effect on the global work of general agencies, places requirements or expectations on all annual conferences, districts, or churches, or speaks to societal concerns regardless of the particular form of secular government.
Again, questions about the petition submission process may be submitted by e-mail to Rev. Gary W. Graves, Petitions Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Marshals and pages needed
Beginning April 1, volunteers can apply online to serve as marshals or pages during The United Methodist Church’s 2016 General Conference.
Approximately 150 volunteers are needed to serve as marshals and pages during General Conference. Preference will be given to applicants who can serve throughout the entire conference.
Marshals are responsible for assisting visitors and special guests in the visitor and reserved seating galleries, checking credentials to make sure that only authorized persons are admitted to the bar of the conference or that of legislative committees, and other duties as assigned.
Pages assist delegates, secretarial staff, bishops, members of the Judicial Council and official visitors. They distribute approved materials and deliver printed information.
Volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested should submit an online application before the deadline of July 31. If you have additional questions, contact Dick Hooton at email@example.com.