What's Up at General Conference

April 26, 2012

April 25 summary
By Alexx Wood
(Includes excerpts from UMNS report, April 19, by Heather Hahn)
Nearly 1,000 United Methodist delegates have gathered in Tampa for the denomination’s top legislative assembly. Council of Bishop’s president Larry Goodpaster called the April 24-May 4 gathering “our quadrennial test of stamina and endurance known as General Conference.”
Decisions to affect every level.
The assembly will grapple with petitions that could affect just about every level of The United Methodist Church. These include proposals endorsed by the Council of Bishops to restructure general agencies, to fold the denomination’s ecumenical agency into the Council of Bishops, and to establish a full-time council president without the usual responsibilities of overseeing a geographic area.
General Conference also will take up a proposal to eliminate job guarantees for ordained elders and once again debate the denomination’s position on homosexuality.
“We will be making decisions of historic importance about structure and governance and decline and change and positions and principles and mission,” Goodpaster said.
New England Presence and overview of the day's sessions.
Bishop Peter Weaver of the New England Conference delivered the episcopal address yesterday, followed by the Laity and Young People’s addresses. In the plenary session, the assembly adopted the rules and processes which will govern their work together. In the evening session, Adam Hamilton, pastor of Church of the Resurrection in Leawood KS, along with president of the Council of Bishops Larry Goodpaster and others, presented an overview of the four current Call to Action proposals.
The New England Conference has 10 delegates engaged in the work of General Conference. Please pray for our delegates! In the initial committee sessions, Ralph Oduor of New England was elected as chair of the Faith and Order Legislative Committee. Committees are meeting for the rest of this week, and evening worship and plenary sessions will be webcast. Full days of webcast business and plenary sessions begin Monday April 30. See the webcast schedule.
Additional News and Resources.
Follow General Conference, with news, video, and live streaming of sessions at www.gc2012.umc.org. Twitter: #gc2012
Follow the some of the blogs of New England friends and delegation members:

Bishop Peter Weaver (right) speaks to the media at the 2012 General Conference. UMNS Photo by Kathleen Barry.