Special Called 2019 Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church

The content of these posts was taken from a series of emails sent to pastors in our Conference. New entries will be added as received

Western Jurisdiction bishops offer a message of welcome

As the 2019 General Conference comes to a close the episcopal leaders of the Western Jurisdiction offer a video message to the church saying, “We will continue to be a home for all God’s people centered around a table of reconciliation and transformation. We are not going anywhere.”

A message from Western Jurisdiction Leaders

Rev. Donna Pritchard

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

At the 2019 Special Called Session of the General Conference, Rev. Donna Pritchard, chair of the Western Jurisdiction Leadership Team made this statement on behalf of Western Jurisdiction Leadership:

“We have long appreciated the richness of the global diversity of our United Methodist Church and have embraced opportunities to join with you all in the work of making disciples for the transformation of the world.

“We also understand the purpose of the Church to be in mission and ministry. Consequently, we in the West have been functioning for years as One Church committed to full inclusion, seeking to be a home for all God’s people.

“Today we acknowledge the fracture of this body, yet we worship a God who tells us that the body of Christ has many parts, all equally valued. Rooted in Wesleyan tradition, grounded in Scripture and committed to mission and ministry, the Western Jurisdiction intends to continue to be one church, fully inclusive and open to all God’s children, across the theological and social spectrum.

“We know from experience we are stronger when we live together as progressives, traditionalists and centrists in our Church. Many times during this Conference we have sung or prayed or blessed each other with the reminder that we need each other.

Thank you.”

In two weeks, the leadership of the Western Jurisdiction will meet. We want to be clear that the leadership of the Western Jurisdiction believes in one church for all. Mission and ministry is too important. This is where we stand, we are not moving, we are not leaving, and we are not changing.

Learn more about how the Western Jurisdiction will continue to be a home for all

See a summary of all Plans proposed at the Conference

Final Day of Conference

What happened February 25

From the Western Jurisdiction Communications Team

After a short time of worship, the General Conference continued as a legislative committee. The legislative committee’s task was to review and perfect legislation. Only items that received a positive vote in the legislative committee will be reviewed by the full plenary session on Tuesday.

Speeches for and against, motions, amendments, calls to end debate, questions of explanation, “time is up,” and times of confusion were the order of the day and the committee did its work. There were questions, challenges, and frustrations throughout the day.

In the end, the Traditional Plan was passed by a narrow margin, but still with many aspects that are of questionable constitutionality. Two different petitions that provide for new ways for churches to exit from The United Methodist Church connection were also passed.

Two petitions from Wespath, originally bundled with the One Church Plan that relate to clergy pensions, were also passed.

The One Church Plan was narrowly defeated, and all other legislation was also defeated.

Today, we can expect to see the One Church Plan reappear in the form of a minority report to the Traditional Plan legislation. In addition, any other petition moving forward is subject to amendment and revision.

Read a United Methodist News Service summary of the day.

See a summary of all Plans

A Word from Bishop Minerva G. Carcano

To the people of the California-Nevada Annual Conference: 

As you are aware, the Special Called 2019 Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church is currently taking place in St. Louis, MO.

Yesterday, the delegation and other clergy and lay members of the California-Nevada Conference who are present here – a group of more than 50 people – gathered to share a meal, celebrate our fellowship, and to pray together for the future of our denomination.

Many of you at home have been praying daily for this gathering of The United Methodist Church and its decisions about A Way Forward, and many of you have been following the livestreaming of the sessions since the day of prayer on Saturday (Feb. 23). The General Conference will continue until tomorrow (Feb. 26), and we ask that you continue in prayer so that God will lead the deliberations of the General Conference.

As your Bishop, I have scheduled a series of Post-General Conference Episcopal Visits to inform our clergy and congregations about the actions of the General Conference and the implications for our conference and denomination. With the help of conference leaders, we will work to outline what unfolded in St. Louis and what those actions mean, followed by discussion with opportunity for questions. These visits will also be times of prayer and seeking God’s way forward for our ministry in the California-Nevada Conference. A schedule for the visits has now been set. Please note that the first of these will take place this Sunday, March 3.

The visits will take place in 11 locations around the conference in the next two months, according to the following schedule:

  • March 3:  2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Los Altos UMC
  • March 5:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. First UMC, Sacramento
  • March 25:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Central UMC, Stockton
  • March 31:  2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. South Reno UMC
  • April 7:  2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Epworth UMC, Berkeley
  • April 9:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. First UMC, Yuba City
  • April 16:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. First UMC, San Leandro
  • April 24:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tulare UMC
  • April 28:  2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Korean UMC of Santa Clara Valley
  • April 29:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eureka UMC
  • April 30:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. First UMC, Santa Rosa

Each of these visits is open to all our clergy and lay members from all the United Methodist churches of our conference. We hope that as many of you as possible will take advantage of one of these opportunities to receive important information and insight into church process and the outcome of the actions of the historic special session of the General Conference.

May the love of God who makes us one be with all the delegates of the General Conference, The United Methodist Church world-wide, and the members of the California-Nevada Annual Conference.

Your Sister in Christ,

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

A Message from our Bishop

[Video Transcript]

The Special Called General Conference of The United Methodist Church will be held on February 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Lay and clergy delegates will gather from our world-wide United Methodist connection to address one matter.  The matter is whether The United Methodist Church will be fully inclusive of LGBTQ persons.

The Commission on A Way Forward in prayerful collaboration with our Council of Bishops has submitted its report to the General Conference.  As is our General Conference process, others have submitted additional petitions for the General Conference to consider.  The petitions that the General Conference will be considering have all been deemed to be relevant to the discussion of whether LGBTQ persons should be fully included in the life, mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church.

Unlike regular General Conferences that meet over a 10-day period, the Special-Called General Conference will meet for only 4 days because it is addressing only one concern and thus has a very focused body of work.

As United Methodists we have historically met in conferences like the General Conference.  We refer to these moments of gathering for decision-making as times of Christian Conferencing.  It is our strong-held belief that when God’s people gather to ask God for wisdom and direction, that God shows up among us through the presence of the Holy Spirit and does faithfully lead us if we will but listen to and be open to the voice and movement of the Holy Spirit.

Those attending the Special-Called General Conference will come from their distinct contexts of ministry, and with their own biblical and theological understandings.   Already there are those who have declared themselves traditionalists, centrists or progressives.  My hope is that as the General Conference gathers in St. Louis that we will all remember that more important than anything else, is that we have been called to be followers of Jesus the Christ; to live and serve as he did.  Jesus was a servant leader and we should strive to be his servants in the world and in our relationships with one another.

I also hope that we United Methodists will remember that we are members of the body of Jesus Christ; Christians among an expansive body of Christians of many traditions and denominations.  Humbly we should remember that we are blessed to be a part of the greater body of Christ, of whom Jesus our Lord, and he alone, is the head.  I pray that we will also remember that the body of Christ has been broken too often by the divisions among those of us who claim to be Christians.   My fervent hope is that as our General Conference meets, our behavior will not further add to the brokenness of the body of Christ.

Above all, I am praying that the delegates of the Special-Called General Conference of our beloved United Methodist Church will be brave enough to do the will of God, for the sake of the future of The United Methodist Church and its sacred work, but even more, so that we might be found pleasing unto God.

Let us pray together and without ceasing for the Special-Called General Conference and for The United Methodist Church.


Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño