Held every four years, Pre-General Conference Briefing is happening Jan. 22-24 with more than 400 delegates, communicators, and agency leaders attending sessions at Omni Nashville Hotel.
The briefing consists of informational sessions featuring expert speakers addressing topics to be considered by General Conference when it meets May 2020 in Minneapolis.
Representing the Holston Conference delegation at the three-day briefing is the Rev. Kim Goddard (clergy leader), Becky Hall, Charles McEntyre, Donna Mosby, and Anne Travis.
Representing the Holston Conference communications staff is the Rev. Tim Jones, director, and Annette Spence, editor.
Sponsored by UM News and United Methodist Communications, the briefing provides presentations for each of the proposed plans on the table for the denomination’s future. A plan that is receiving heightened attention is a blueprint for schism entitled “Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation.”
Goddard said she appreciates insight provided on the proposed plans, which she will share with the Holston delegation.
“I’m just trying to figure out a way that we can treat each other faithfully,” she said. Goddard is superintendent of Holston’s New River District in Southwest Virginia.
As a delegate for the first time, Mosby said she is attending the briefing to ensure that Annual Conference members who elected her in June 2019 “know that I take this seriously. I want to do everything I can to be informed and to serve our conference well.”
Mosby is a member at Haven Chapel United Methodist Church in Powell, Tennessee. “I like to bring to the table a different perspective as an African American,” she said. “Being in the presence of change is an awesome experience.”
As an alternate delegate, McEntyre said he may not have an opportunity to vote on proposed plans at General Conference. “But I want to be as well informed as possible if I get a chance to vote and also, so I can pray better.”
Reserve or alternate delegates substitute for delegates who are not able or available to serve.
McEntyre said he plans to share information with his congregation, Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church in Whitwell, Tennessee. “I’m learning more about the options here than what I hear about in Holston Conference,” he said. “We want to be prepared for whatever happens.”
UM News has provided a detailed story of the Pre-Conference Briefing. See 'Foretase of what's on the table at GC2020.'
The Holston Conference delegation to General Conference includes six clergy, six lay members, and four alternates. General Conference will be held May 5-15 at Minneapolis Convention Center.
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.
January 4, 2020 The Holston Conference delegation to General Conference 2020 has issued the following letter in response to the document Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation. Dear Members and Friends of the Holston Conference, ...