Periodically, someone will approach me with a newspaper article clutched in one hand and ask, “Do you know what the United Methodist Church has done NOW?” Then the person will share some real or imagined grievance about the denomination.
Upon closer examination, I usually discover that a person or group in the United Methodist Church has said or done something controversial. These individuals certainly have the right to express their opinion. However, the only body that speaks for the entire denomination is the General Conference.
Under the United Methodist system of church government, the General Conference is the ruling body of the denomination. The conference is made up of lay and clergy representatives from every annual conference in the denomination, spanning not only the United States but also the world.
The General Conference only meets every four years, and it passes the church’s laws, rules, guidelines, and policies. The final result is then published on a quadrennial basis in The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. (If you ever suffer from insomnia, I highly recommend the book!)
The 2016 General Conference meets the next two weeks in Portland, Oregon. The assembly
will prayerfully make decisions affecting the future of the denomination. If you would like to keep up with the conference’s latest deliberations and actions, United Methodist Communications has a link at: http://www.umcom.org.
Please join me in prayer during this important time in the life of our church. May God continue to bless our congregation and denomination.