General Conference News – May 1, 2024

General Conference News & Resources

General Conference – Day 9

A message from the Bishops regarding decisions made at General Conference

After years of intensive and prayerful debate, the General Conference delegates from all over the world voted to remove language that prohibited United Methodist clergy from performing weddings for same-gender couples. This change allows churches and clergy to operate according to their conscience, without consequences. Bishops Sandra Steiner Ball and Cynthia Moore-Koikoi detail what this action means for clergy and congregations.



Susquehanna Conference Dinner

This evening, the delegates joined with Bishops Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Sandra Steiner Ball, their spouses, Bishop Jane Middleton, and members of the Susquehanna Conference working at the General Conference.

This was an evening full of joy and laughter. The heads of the delegation presented all three bishops with Susanna Wesley bobble-head dolls, and celebrated the delegation with speeches of gratitude and praise.

The bishops shared reflections, noting that for them this General Conference was different and special. Before leaving for the evening, everyone joined hands as Bishop Middleton prayed.



40-year ban on gay clergy struck down

With a 93% vote in the affirmative, the General Conference has removed The United Methodist Church’s ban on the ordination of clergy who are “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” — a prohibition that dates to 1984.





Disaffiliation ends, regionalization moves forward

General Conference delegates voted to delete the church disaffiliation policy from the Book of Discipline.

They required annual conferences to set a reaffiliation policy for churches that want to return.

They also passed the last of the regionalization petitions.





New clergy retirement plan approved

General Conference delegates approved a new retirement plan for United Methodist clergy in the U.S.
Called Compass, a defined contribution plan rather than the defined benefit plan that historically has been offered.

Leaders of Wespath, the denomination’s pension and benefits agency, said a change was necessary due to financial challenges facing a denomination that has steadily shrunk for decades.



Photo credit: Mike DuBose, UM News


Bishop encourages delegates to inspire next 7 generations

Recalling the people who nurtured and encouraged his faith, United Methodism’s first Native American bishop said, “My friends, we have much more in common than not.”

Wilson, who often shares the way Indigenous cultures look far into the future as they consider decisions, this time closed with a story from the six tribes that make up the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in the northeastern United States.





Daily Summary: May 1

• The General Conference elected clergy and laity to fill 9 Judicial Council Spots

Newly passed legislation guarantees at least five bishops per jurisdiction. Jurisdictions across the United States will have more say about the number of bishops they need, thanks to new legislation that passed during General Conference.

• In the May 1 morning plenary session, delegates approved a resolution condemning racial-ethnic discrimination and gender-based violence against Asian Americans.

See UM News Daily Wrap-up


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