The General Conference of the United Methodist Church meets every four years (quadrennium). Legislative changes are recorded in The Book of Discipline which is revised after each General Conference. Non-legislative resolutions are recorded in the Book of Resolutions, which is published after each General Conference, and expire after eight years unless passed again by a subsequent session of General Conference. The last General Conference was held in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2008. The next General Conference will be April 25 – May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
The UM General Conference essentially sets all policies and direction of the denomination. There currently exist certain aspects of the denomination’s policies that are opposed by progressive groups such as MFSA. The General Conference in Tampa will be the place where such policies are changed or retained. For information on GC, the legislative process, and proposed changes to the Book of Discipline and the Book of Resolutions, follow this link.
MFSA is offering three petitions to General Conference 2012 as an alternative vision to the “Call to Action” proposals. It is our hope that together we might find once again what it means to be a connectional people of God’s grace and love at work in the world. Click here to view the 3 models of UMC structure before us: Current Structure, the Call to Action proposal, and A New United Methodist Administrative Order.
Once again the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) and Affirmation will be coordinating housing and volunteer activities. Many plans are still being worked out. Volunteer opportunities abound for progressive United Methodists who are committed to justice and are willing/able to attend General Conference in Florida.
Some SWTX members are planning to attend all or portions of General Conference. If you are interested in attending or volunteering, go to the websites below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.