Special Session of General Conference Cancelled

3/23/2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2021 

The theme of this year’s annual conference is 'The Mission Continues' (John 21:15-23). Indeed, this has been a difficult season for us. We have sought to faithfully do the ministry and administrative work that is required of us. We have sought at the same time to discover fruitful ways to stay focused on mission and ministry in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. As the people of God we have sought to help respond to the cry for racial justice. We have partnered with our local churches to seek ways to strengthen our witness, and to increase the capacity of our laity and clergy to give leadership in their churches and communities. All while waiting for another General Conference to convene to hopefully answer some questions for us. While we’ve been waiting, you were witnesses that our local churches embraced the understanding that The Mission Continues regardless.  

The lesson that the pandemic has taught us well is to be flexible and adaptive. So once again, it appears that we are being called upon to employ these new skills. There is another wind of change blowing upon us. It is the cancellation of the May 8, 2021 Special General Conference Session. I ask you now to be flexible and adaptive, but to stay focused on the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  

Below is the press prelease from the Council of Bishops:

Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  -  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church met on Monday, March 22, 2021 in an additional meeting to consider pressing matters related to the Council’s work. After much conversation, the bishops reached a decision that in the best interest of the church at this time, they would cancel the Special Session of the General Conference which was set for May 8, 2021.
 
The bishops announced that they will dedicate their regularly scheduled April meeting to conversation based on results of listening sessions that are occurring and discern a possible need for a new timeline toward General Conference 2020 set for August 29 to September 6, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
 
At the April meeting, the bishops will also discuss ways to empower the work at the Jurisdictional and Central Conferences. 
 
“Much has been learned over the past few weeks and the extended timeline will allow for even deeper listening by the bishops at the general church level but also in our residential settings,” said Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president of the Council.  “We are thankful for the collaboration fostered with the Commission on General Conference and especially grateful for the work that had already begun in the planning for the Special Session,” Bishop Harvey added.


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