The North Georgia Conference has received notice from General Conference Secretary, Rev. Fitzgerald Reist, that our Conference is to elect 11 clergy and 11 lay delegates to the 2016 General Conference. The North Georgia Conference will be voting on delegates at the 2015 Conference Session in Athens.
The Commission on the General Conference has previously announced that Portland, Ore. will be the site for the 2016 General Conference. The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body will meet at the Oregon Convention Center, the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest, scheduled from May 10-20, 2016.
The 2016 General Conference will have about 15 percent fewer delegates than recent gatherings of The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking body with a total number of delegates at 850. North Georgia's lay and clergy delegates will each have two fewer members than in 2012.
Following is the official word from the General Conference Secretary:Delegates to the 2016 General Conference are to be elected at either the 2014 or 2015 session of the North Georgia Annual Conference. (Paragraph 502.3)
You are to elect 11 Clergy Delegates and 11 Lay Delegates.
In accordance with Pars. 34-36 in the Constitution, delegates to the jurisdictional conferences are also to be elected.
¶ 34. Article III.—The annual conference shall elect clergy and lay delegates to the General Conference and to its jurisdictional or central conference in the manner provided in this section, Articles IV and V. The persons first elected up to the number determined by the ratio for representation in the General Conference shall be representatives in that body. Additional delegates shall be elected to complete the number determined by the ratio for representation in the jurisdictional or central conference, who, together with those first elected as above, shall be delegates in the jurisdictional or central conference. The additional delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference shall in the order of their election be the reserve delegates to the General Conference. The annual conference shall also elect reserve clergy and lay delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference as it may deem desirable. These reserve clergy and lay delegates to the jurisdictional or central conferences may act as reserve delegates to the General Conference when it is evident that not enough reserve delegates are in attendance at the General Conference.
In the election process, attention is directed to Par. 35 and 36, which now read:
¶ 35. Article IV.—The clergy delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected from the clergy members in full connection and shall be elected by the clergy members of the annual conference who are deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, and those provisional members who have completed all of their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed course of study or an M. Div. degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment immediately preceding the election.
¶ 36. Article V.—The lay delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences shall be elected by the lay members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference without regard to age, provided such delegates shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years next preceding their election, and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election, and are members thereof within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding the General and jurisdictional or central conferences.
The election of jurisdictional conference delegates is governed by Par. 514
¶ 513. Membership
The membership of each jurisdictional conference shall consist of an equal number of clergy and lay delegates elected by the annual conferences as provided in the Discipline. Consideration shall be given to electing an inclusive delegation (¶¶ 124, 138). The number of delegates to which an annual conference is entitled shall be twice the number of its General Conference delegates, except when the application of that formula results in a total number of delegates to a jurisdictional conference less than 100. In that event, the Secretary of the General Conference shall adjust the number of delegates to a jurisdictional conference in the same proportion among the annual and missionary conferences of the jurisdiction to achieve a total of 100, ensuring that no annual or missionary conference shall be represented by fewer than four delegates.
and 515, which reads:
Election of Delegates — The clergy and lay delegates and reserves to the jurisdictional conferences shall be elected by ballot in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
Instructions for the reporting of elections will be sent to annual conference secretaries early in 2014.
The General Conference will be in session from
in Portland, Oregon, USA. Delegates are expected to be present from , with departure on .
Specifics on travel and housing for General Conference will be distributed by the Office of the Business Manager of the General Conference in the fall of 2015.