Like the worldwide legislative meeting known as General Conference, jurisdictional conferences meet once every four years. However, while General Conference handles denominational matters across the globe, each jurisdictional gathering covers business related to one of the church's five regional jurisdictions in the United States. The primary business of jurisdictional conferences is the election and assignment of bishops.
This year the Southeastern Jurisdiction will elect five new bishops from 15 candidates. This year the balloting will be electronic.
The agenda to the 2012 SEJ Jurisdictional Conference can be downloaded here.
There are 15 Southeastern Jurisdictional candidates for the episcopacy. Two of the candidates are from North Georgia: Rev. Jonathan Holston and Rev. Sharma Lewis. Holston is endorsed by the North Georgia Conference, and Lewis is endorsed by the Black Clergy Women caucus.
To learn more about all 15 candidates, visit http://www.sejumc.org/2012nominees/.
July conferences to elect 11 U.S. bishops
The attention of the denomination will be focused beginning July 18 on the jurisdictional conferences, where 11 new U.S. bishops are expected to be elected in three jurisdictions. Like General Conference, the worldwide legislative gathering that met April 24 to May 4 in Tampa, Fla., jurisdictional conferences meet once every four years. Half the delegates will be lay people, and half will be clergy. The Book of Discipline, the denomination’s lawbook, stipulates that each annual conference is entitled to send twice the number of delegates to jurisdictional conferences that it sent to General Conference. There were 606 delegates from U.S. annual conferences at the 2012 General Conference.
14 Bishops Retiring This Year
The 14 United Methodist bishops in the United States who are retiring this year collectively have given hundreds of years of service to the church in their lives.
44 candidates for the episcopacy
There are now 44 candidates for the episcopacy across the five jurisdictions, 15 from the Southeastern Jurisdiction.