2020 General Conference resources
2020 GENERAL CONFERENCE RESCHEDULED AGAIN; NOW SET FOR LATE AUGUST 2022
United Methodists did NOT gather for the 2020 General Conference that was to be held May 5-15, in Minneapolis, Minn. Due to the coronavirus, the Executive Committee of the General Commission on the General Conference made that decision on March 18, 2020.
It was announced on May 26, 2020, that the dates for the postponed 2020 General Conference would be August 29 to Sept. 7, 2021.
It was then announced in late February 2021 that the postponement would go one more year. The newly scheduled dates are Aug. 29-Sept. 6, 2022, in Minneapolis.
At the same time, the Council of Bishops has announced a special one-day General Conference on May 8, 2021. The special global gathering has only 12 pieces of legislation before it — all basically intended to help the church function until the full General Conference meets.
According to United Methodist News, the virtual gathering is to form a quorum to suspend the rules and allow paper balloting. The vote on suspending the rules will be online. But after the online meeting's adjournment, the delegates will have an extended period in which to vote by paper ballot on the 12 legislative items.
What impact does the postponement have on the legislation already submitted? What other ramifications are there? United Methodist News offered some answers on June 25, 2020.
In addition, the dates for the postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conference will be July 21 - 23, 2021.
Further, the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops announced on May 27, 2020, the plan for episcopal supervision for the Northeastern Jurisdiction until the postponed 2020 session of the Jurisdictional Conference.
"This plan was developed in consultation and dialogue with the NEJ Committee on Episcopacy, which, along with the Council of Bishops has approved the plan," according to a news release. "The assignments for the jurisdiction are:
1. Greater New Jersey – Bishop John Schol
2. Harrisburg – Bishop Jeremiah Park (postponing retirement)
3. New England – Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar (postponing retirement)
4. New York – Bishop Thomas Bickerton
5. Philadelphia Area – Bishop Peggy Johnson (continuing beyond 12 years)
6. Pittsburgh – Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi
7. Upper New York – Bishop Mark Webb
8. Washington Area – Bishop LaTrelle Easterling
9. West Virginia – Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball
The current NEJ Committee on Episcopacy will continue to work with the College of Bishops to support the episcopal leaders and the conferences they serve."
The date of transition for bishops following the postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conference is still to be determined.
The resources, below, were prepared before the pandemic hit with the understanding that the 2020 General Conference would go on as scheduled. If/when new resources are developed for the postponed 2020 General Conference, we will post them here.
At the session, several plans are being proposed by organizations to address The United Methodist response to LGBTQIA people and issues. The chart, below, was prepared by United Methodist News.
(PDF comparison chart updated on January 9, 2020)
Key Dates for The Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation
- January 1, 2021 – Any new Methodist denominations that have already been legally constituted may begin to function.
- May 15, 2021 – Deadline for registering intent to form New Methodist denomination.
Local churches do not need to vote to remain in The United Methodist Church.
Local Churches that disagree with the position of their Annual Conference may vote.
The voting threshold to join a New Methodist denomination will be either 50% plus 1 or two-thirds as established by the local church.
- January 1, 2021 – Apportionments are set by, and paid to, any New Methodist denomination for those churches who have decided to align with it, unless the separation date is later.
- Dec. 31, 2024 – Deadline for local churches to vote to align with a different Methodist denomination than their annual conference or to disaffiliate.
Annual Conferences do not have to vote to remain in The United Methodist Church.
20% of lay members to Annual Conference desiring a vote can trigger a vote.
57% must vote to join or form a New Methodist Denomination for the Annual Conference to separate.
- July 1, 2021 – Deadline for annual conferences in the United States to vote to align with a New Methodist denomination.
- July 1, 2021 – Deadline for bishops to notify their authorities of a desire to align with a New Methodist denomination.
- July 1, 2021 – Deadline for clergy in the U.S. to notify their bishop and other authorities of a desire to align with a different Methodist denomination from that of their annual conference.
- July 1, 2022 – Deadline for clergy outside the United States to notify their bishop and other authorities of a desire to align with a different Methodist denomination from that of their annual conference
Central Conferences do not have to vote to remain in The United Methodist Church.
A 2/3 vote to form or join a New Methodist denomination.
- December 31, 2021 – Deadline for central conferences to vote to align with a New Methodist denomination.
- July 1, 2022 – Deadline for annual conferences outside the United States to vote to align with a different Methodist denomination from that of their central conference.
Read more about The Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation.