United Methodists meeting in this year’s annual sessions will vote on 32 proposed constitutional amendments, many of them related to the denomination’s structure as a global body.
Delegates to the 62 U.S. annual conferences and the 73 conferences in Africa, Europe and Asia will consider 23 amendments approved earlier by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body. The amendments, proposed by the Task Force on the Worldwide Nature of the Church, are for the creation of regional conferences to establish a uniform denominational structure.
Members of the Holston Annual Conference will join the denomination in voting on the amendments during its session, to be held June 14-17 in Lake Junaluska, N.C. The amendments will be previewed at eight district briefings throughout the conference during the month of May.
The legislation would make it possible to create a U.S regional conference in the future. Each annual conference would belong to a regional conference that will be able to organize into jurisdictional conferences if the amendments are passed by the 2009 annual conference sessions.
The remaining nine amendments are related to church and conference membership; annual and jurisdictional conference composition, including boundaries; inclusiveness of the church; representation of newly created conferences at general, jurisdictional and central conferences; the judicial council; episcopal elections; fiduciary responsibility; and clergy participation in the election of delegates to general, jurisdictional and central conferences.