Friday, April 20, 2012

Preparing for General Conference

General Conference begins next week!

As many of you may know, General Conference is the only body that speaks for The United Methodist Church. Bishops don't, pastors don't, agencies don't--- it is General Conference, which meets every four years. This year, we are meeting in Tampa, Florida from April 24-May 4, delegates from all around the world--- forty percent of the 996 delegates will be from outside of the USA.

One of the key issues this year for General Conference is restructuring. Everything is dependent on this. Please visit MFSA's website Plumblines to see legislative analysis of all the issues MFSA and the Common Coalition will work on, but if there is one issue you should read up on before General Conference, it is on restructuring. So here is an explanation from the MFSA website.

This is our current structure:

The idea is that this is bulky. There are a lot of resources going towards different boards and so the Call to Action report has proposed a change, supported by the bishops and many others, to streamline this process.

This is the Call to Action structure:

The problem with this structure is that it is a corporate structure that puts too much power into too few hands. A twelve million member church led by fifteen people in a Board of Directors--- which in itself is led by an Executive General Secretary?

So MFSA has put forth a new proposal:

In this petition, the structure is still streamlined by focusing on centers of ministry rather than all different boards, but important voices are kept at the forefront.

This is a very brief overview of restructuring, but it is an important visual to help us better understand what is going on this General Conference.

Follow the justice work of the Common Coalition! Check out their website for information, explanations, and inspiration.

Not coming to General Conference but still want to learn about the justice work being done as it happens? Check out our General Conference At-Home Kit.

To hear more about General Conference from young people, visit A Call to Action: Who's/Whose Calling?.

And keep checking out blog for daily reflections during General Conference.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Came here from a friend's link. I'm a former UM leader, and surprised to see that UWM and UMM are even on these charts. While in some locations they are great groups, there is no need for gender differentiated cohort groups to even be on this org chart.

If anything, there could be a "cohort and affinity groups" box on the chart. But it makes me gasp in disbelief to see UMM on parallel - or above - General Board of Global Ministries.