United Methodists Meet in St. Louis for Worldwide Conference


Delegates and observers from around the world will gather at the Dome at America’s Center, February 24-26, 2019, for the Special Session of the United Methodist General Conference. The General Conference is the only body that speaks officially for the 12.6 million-member church. The event will be available via live video streaming at UMC.org/live.

The day preceding the start of General Conference, February 23, has been designated as a day of preparation and prayer as a culmination of the Praying Our Way Forward initiative (see schedule here). General Conference 2019 will officially open at 7:30 a.m., Sunday, February 24, with a worship service. Preaching will be Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr., president of the Council of Bishops.

As the top policymaking body of the worldwide United Methodist Church, the General Conference meets every four years to determine the denomination’s future direction. The General Conference was next slated to meet in 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but the Council of Bishops called this special session “limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based upon the recommendations of the Council of Bishops.”

The Judicial Council subsequently ruled that petitions could be filed by any organization, clergy or lay member of The United Methodist Church if the business proposed to be transacted is “in harmony” with the purpose stated in the call.

During the three-day session, 864 delegates from around the world will consider 78 legislative petitions, all of which must receive a vote in the single legislative committee. All those approved by the legislative committee must receive a plenary vote. Of those, 22 delegates are from the North Georgia Conference. 

Simultaneous voice interpretation for delegates will be available in English, French, German, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili. 

The official website for the Special General Conference is http://www.UMC.org/GC2019

North Georgia United Methodists can stay up to date by visiting www.ngumc.org/GC2019.