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What is general conference?

The United Methodist Church has no pope.

But it does have a General Conference — the only body that can set official policy and speak for our denomination. General Conference brings together lay and clergy delegates from four continents whose decisions will affect how millions of United Methodists do church for years to come.

Think of the two-week gathering as a combination of a United Nations General Assembly, a U.S. congressional session and a time of rousing Christian worship.

The General Conference, scheduled for April 23-May 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina, comes at a particularly momentous time. General Conference typically gathers every four years. But because of the COVID pandemic, the assembly could not meet in 2020. That means the last regular session was in May 2016 — nearly eight years ago.

What comes next for the UMC will be largely up to General Conference itself. And there has been much anticipation and speculation as to what might happen. That is one of the main reasons that Pastor Kyle is going to Charlotte next week. He will come back and be able to share a first hand account of what he experienced.

Please plan to join us at a called Church Conference on Tuesday, May 14th at 6:00pm in the Sanctuary. We will celebrate the ministry of Ken Wadley as we vote to recommend him on his next step in serving the church. Following the conclusion of our called conference, we will hear from Pastor Kyle about his reflections on his experience at General Conference.

Between now and then - PLEASE PRAY for all the delegates and decision-makers at General Conference. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move powerfully in and through those who are making decisions for the future of our church.