General Conference Recap

Hello, Community UMC! The 2024 (postponed-2020) General Conference of The United Methodist Church has concluded its work. This was a historic conference for several reasons. Below are several links to view summaries of the overall conference, the major legislative actions taken, a pastoral message from our Western Jurisdiction bishops, and information about changes to our episcopal leadership in the Western Jurisdiction. If you have questions or would like to engage in conversation around the work of the General Conference or Western Jurisdiction, please contact me. - Pastor Amanda
Video Summary of General Conference from United Methodist Communications
This is a great place to start to learn about what happens at General Conference and what made this conference a historic event.
Summary of Major Legislative Actions Taken at General Conference
For a full summary of the major legislative actions taken at General Conference, click this link. Below is a brief summary of the major areas of legislative action:
Regionalization Petitions Approved - Regionalization represents an effort to put the church's different geographical regions on equal footing and to make the General Conference less U.S.-centric. The current Central Conferences and the U.S. would become regional conferences, with the same authority to pass legislation for greater missional impact. This petition changes our denomination's constitution and requires approval from two-thirds of the annual conferences before it can become official.
Removal of Restrictive Language Related to LGBTQ+ People - The General Conference voted by overwhelming majorities to remove from The United Methodist Book of Discipline discriminatory language and bans related to ministry by, with, and for "self-avowed practicing" gay and lesbian people. The Book of Discipline is now neutral on human sexuality, allowing space for differences of belief across our diverse global church. The decision whether to officiate same-sex marriages now rests with individual clergy and local churches.
Apportionment Percentage Decreased - In an effort to balance funding important connectional ministries through the general church budget and supporting the local church during financial challenges due to the pandemic and disaffiliations, delegates approved a compromise regarding apportionments. Conferences will shift from their current base rate of 3.29% to a base rate of 2.6% for 2025 and 2026. This means our apportionments in those years will be lower and a little more money will remain with our congregation.
Adoption of Revised Social Principles - Delegates approved the first overhaul of the denomination's Social Principles in nearly 50 years. The Social Principles, contained in both The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions, are statements that reflect official United Methodist teachings on a wide range of topics. They are not church law but are intended to inform United Methodist witness on issues of the day with biblical foundation.
Disaffiliation Policy Ended, Reaffiliation Measure Approved - Delegates removed Paragraph 2553 from The Book of Discipline, ending the special disaffiliation policy that was added by the special 2019 General Conference. They also required annual conferences affected by disaffiliations to develop grace-filled policies for reaffiliation of churches that want to rejoin the denomination. CUMC has never intended to disaffiliate. We are committed to maintaining a strong United Methodist witness in the greater Coeur d'Alene region.
Pastoral Message from the Western Jurisdiction Bishops
Western Jurisdiction to keep 5 bishops, must transfer 2 from other jurisdictions
After several days of long discussions, the Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy shared that there will be no episcopal elections this year. Their report recommended a total of 32 bishops in the United States, with the number of bishops in the Western Jurisdiction staying at five. Two of our current five bishops are set to retire this year and will be replaced by transferring two bishops from elsewhere in the connection into the Western Jurisdiction. To learn more about how this will impact the Western Jurisdiction, click this link.

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