General Conference 2019 Frequently Asked Questions

March 13, 2019
What is General Conference? What is the difference between General Conference and the Special-Called General Conference which met in St. Louis?
A Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church took place February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose was to act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward, authorized to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to explore options to strengthen church unity.

General Conference 2020 will take place on May 5-15, 2020 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. General Conference is a quadrennial meeting that makes decisions for the entire United Methodists Church.  Delegations from all over the world attend and have legislative discussions over the ministries and policies of our Church.  The legislative body of General Conference is the final word for our Church and is the only body that can speak for our church.
How can I get involved in the 2020 General Conference?
You can see how delegates are elected to General Conference as well as submit a profile for election as a delegate at the link below. The deadline to submit a profile is March 30.
When the General Conference voted on the Traditional Plan, did the UMC ban persons from the LGBTQ community from coming to our churches? No. Just as before the General Conference vote, all persons are welcome to worship and participate in the community of every United Methodist Congregation. LGBTQ persons have not been banned by The United Methodist Church. Paragraph 4 of the Book of Discipline has not been changed. It still reads, “The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.”
We acknowledge that many LGBTQ people, their loved ones and allies were hurt by the discussions and decisions of the General Conference. We pray for healing and forgiveness.
When does the Traditional Plan take effect?
The Traditional Plan takes effect on January 1, 2020.
If a United Methodist pastor leaves the denomination, will they lose their pension?
Please see the attached document from Wespath that details the implications of the 2019 General Conference on clergy pensions and local church responsibilities. General Conference 2019 Pension Considerations