News and Information
March 22, 2021
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has decided that in the best interest of the church at this time, they would cancel the Special Session of the General Conference set for May 8, 2021. The bishops announced that they will dedicate their regularly scheduled April meeting to discussing and considering the 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. Bishop Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference UMC, stated, “I invite all to pray for each of our bishops and the Council as a whole as we seek to discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit in moving forward.”
Visit ctcumc.org/cob-cancels-may-8-GC-special-session for more.
Oct. 27, 2020
The Commission on the General Conference has named a Technology Study Team to explore the implications of options for accommodating full participation at General Conference including, but not limited to, the possibility of utilizing technology and online voting. The Commission made the decision to create the study team in response to a request from a group of young delegates to consider alternative methods of accommodating full participation due to concerns that the event would conflict with the start of the academic year in the U.S. and to respond to the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic. “With the church in a place of uncertainty, we understand that many people are deeply interested in this event and, just like we do, want as much information as possible right now,” said Commission chair Kim Simpson. “We face questions that we don’t yet have answers to, but we are processing all of the various matters that need to be cared for and how those could be addressed so that the Commission can make sound decisions.” Click here or the title above to read full details.
Commission on the General Conference to explore new technology to allow for increased full participation.
May 26, 2020
The Commission on the General Conference has announced new 2021 dates for General Conference following the postponement of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The quadrennial legislative event will take place on August 29 - September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn. In making the announcement, the Commission expressed regret that they were not able to accommodate a request from a group of young delegates regarding the reported dates of the postponed General Conference. The group asked the Commission to not schedule meeting dates that would conflict with the start of the academic year in the U.S. However, the Commission did take steps to address a second request contained in a letter from the young adult group to consider alternative methods of accommodating full participation, including utilizing technology to enable virtual voting. Click here
or the title above to read full details.
March 23, 2020
Following last week’s announcement by the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference
that the 2020 General Conference will be postponed, the full Commission met last Saturday, March 21, via conference call to determine next steps to take in setting a new date. After discussing possible alternatives and hearing recommendations from the business manager of the General Conference, the Commission determined to work toward setting a date in 2021. The Commission also resolved that holding the event in Minneapolis is a high priority and authorized the business manager to pursue negotiations regarding other dates available at the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2021. Read more here
or by clicking on the title above.
March 19, 2020
The decision to postpone General Conference has no immediate bearing on the conference’s plan for the 2020 Annual Conference meeting. The Annual Conference is still scheduled to meet June 14-17 at White’s Chapel UMC in Southlake, Texas. The Central Texas Conference Cabinet has compiled a brief FAQ related to the affect the postponement of General Conference will have on AC20. This FAQ is available here and will be updated as more information is available.
March 18, 2020
The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference has been notified by the Minneapolis Convention Center that they are restricting events at the venue through May 10, 2020, following recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor of Minnesota and the Mayor of Minneapolis to postpone or cancel events involving 50+ people in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. As a result of this decision, the Executive Committee is announcing that the General Conference will be postponed and will not occur May 5-15, 2020 as planned. More details available here or by clicking the title above.
March 16, 2020
As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, currently scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. This comes on the heels of a March 13 request from the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops requesting a postponement of the General Conference, citing concerns over travel restrictions to the U.S., the potential spread of the coronavirus and the possibility of quarantine. Various conference delegations and individuals have also reached out to the Commission over the past week with their concerns. The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference has continued to monitor developments in the spread of coronavirus as the situation has been rapidly changing. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released on Sunday, March 15, now recommends that “for the next eight weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.” Click here or above to read more, including comments from the CTC's own and chair of the Commission Kim Simpson.
March 13, 2020
The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has asked for the postponement of the 2020 General Conference, set to begin in six weeks, because of the new Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. In a letter to Kim Simpson, Chairperson of Commission on the General Conference and Rev. Gary W. Graves, Secretary of the General Conference, the bishops cited travel restrictions to the US and possibility of potential spread of the virus and quarantine as the main reasons for seeking the postponement.
March 11, 2020
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has asked the denomination’s highest court, the Judicial Council, to decide whether the legislation implementing The Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation is constitutional. A diverse group of representatives from United Methodist advocacy groups and several bishops from around the world collaborated on the agreement for the separation of The United Methodist Church. The agreement, the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, was achieved on Dec. 17. To read more click here.
March 4, 2020
The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference is monitoring developments in the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will collaborate with public health authorities regarding any recommended health and safety precautions that should be taken to reduce exposure or transmission of illness when the 2020 General Conference meets in Minneapolis, Minn. May 5-15, 2020. The Executive Committee is staying on top of any recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding travel and planning large events, will be connecting with the Minnesota Department of Health for additional guidance and working with the Minneapolis Convention Center in planning for the event.
"We will be developing health and wellness related protocols for the meeting site, including promoting preventive measures that attendees can take such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette," said Kim Simpson, Commission chairperson.
Feb. 27, 2020
The South Central Jurisdiction Committee on the Episcopacy held its spring meeting Feb. 24-25. One of the committee’s duties is to recommend the number of bishops to elect. Due to myriad unknown factors that could impact that recommendation, including actions taken by General Conference this May 5-15 and subsequent annual conference sessions, the committee decided to delay its final recommendation until many, if not all of those variables have been settled. The committee’s final recommendation will be developed prior to the SCJ Jurisdictional Conference, probably in late June. Read more updates from the committee's spring meeting here
Feb. 17, 2020
Mike Ford, Central Texas Conference Lay Leader and third-elected lay delegate to General Conference 2020, has informed the Central Texas Conference delegation that he is resigning his position on the delegation following an accident that damaged one of his legs. While Mike’s injuries are not life-threatening, they will require a significant and strenuous recovery period. “It looks like I’m going to be laid up for a while,” Mike reported. “Beginning this weekend with the Jurisdictional meetings and episcopal interviews in Oklahoma, the breadth and depth of information received and compiled, must be in the hands of those who can immerse themselves in all that is to come over the next few months. I am now simply unable to perform those duties to the level of excellence I expect from myself and, much more importantly, to the level that the good people of the conference deserve.
As the first-elected laity alternate to General Conference, Kevin Gregory will now serve as the fourth lay delegate to GC2020. Kylie Campbell will now move into the first alternate role. To see all the 2020 delegation members, visit https://www.ctcumc.org/delegation-2020.
Please join in praying for a complete and speedy recovery for Mike. During Mike’s recovery, Darlene Alfred, associate conference lay leader, will serve in his stead as needed.
The Advance Daily Christian Advocate
) for General Conference 2020 is now available in print and PDF format. The ADCA
consists of Volume 1: Handbook for Delegates and Volume 2, Sections 1 and 2: Reports and Proposed Legislation. The ADCA
is published in English, French, Portuguese and Kiswahili. Printed copies of the applicable language have been mailed to General Conference primary delegates and first reserves, and PDFs are available online at the General Conference website (gc2020.umc.org/adca
.) Those who wish to purchase printed copies of the ADCA may do so at Cokesbury.com.
In addition to the printed ADCA
, all of the content in each of the languages will be available digitally at the new Daily Christian Advocate
) website: dailychristianadvocate.org
. Primary delegates and first reserves will have free access to the DCA
website, and others may purchase access via subscription. Visit ctcumc.org/gc20-factsheet for more.
Jan. 8, 2020
A diverse, 16-member group, which included eight United Methodist bishops and eight representatives from centrist, progressive and traditionalist United Methodist advocacy groups, has announced a plan to move to denomination beyond its decades-long impasse over same-sex marriage ceremonies in UMC churches and the ordination of practicing homosexuals. The proposed plan, titled the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, received unanimous support from all contributing parties and proposes the formation of a new, traditionalist Methodist denomination as the best way to resolve the continued tensions in the church over conflicting views related to human sexuality. Legislation to implement “The Protocol” statement – an eight-page document which details terms of a split of the 13+ million-member church - is expected to be put before the 2020 General Conference during the May 5-15 legislative meeting in Minneapolis, Minn. Bishop Lowry, episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference, is commending a careful and prayerful reading of The Protocol statement while reminding all that this is just a proposal and that only General Conference can make decisions for the denomination. Read more on the ctcumc.org News page.
Nov. 6, 2019
The Bishops of the Western Jurisdiction have announced that, as of Jan.1, 2020, they intend to provide safe harbor for clergy who may be at risk under the new provisions, prohibitions and punishments voted into church law by the 2019 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. “We do not intend to withhold or challenge ordination based solely on a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation,” stated the five Western Jurisdiction Bishops in their official statement. “We are unwilling to punish clergy who celebrate the marriage of two adults of any gender or sexual orientation seeking the blessing of God and the Church for their covenanted life together. At the same time, we recognize and will uphold the requirement that LGBTQ+ clergy, with all clergy, ‘maintain the highest standards of holy living’ in their personal and professional relationships.” To read the full text of the bishop’s Safe Harbor Declaration, visit westernjurisdictionumc.org/safe-harbor-declaration
Aug. 19, 2019
A group of centrists and progressives is offering a plan that would eliminate The United Methodist Church’s restrictions against LGBTQ ordination and same-sex weddings, while allowing local churches that disagree to depart and organize into new forms of Methodism. This latest effort to address the denomination’s deep, longstanding division over homosexuality comes from the convening team of the UMCNext coalition, which includes Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists and Mainstream UMC.
Aug. 16, 2019
Aug. 13, 2019
The United Methodist Church’s conflict over homosexuality is irreconcilable and calls for amicable separation into different denominations, according to a 12-person group of centrists, traditionalists and progressives that began meeting in late June.
“We’ve discovered The United Methodist Church can’t live in the same house together peaceably, but we can live next door to one another,” said the Rev. Kent Millard, president of United Theological Seminary and one of the group’s organizers.
July 10, 2019
Two bishops propose turning The United Methodist Church into an umbrella organization for new, self-governing church groups that would offer different approaches on ordination of gay clergy and same-sex unions. Michigan Conference Bishop David Bard and Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones began collaborating on a plan after the rancorous 2019 General Conference and shared it with United Methodist News this week.