About General Conference 2024

Introduction

The General Conference is the global gathering of United Methodist voting delegates. This body is the only United Methodist entity that can make or amend denomination-wide policy, including the anti-LGBTQ+ language that first entered the Book of Discipline with the 1972 General Conference.

Since 1972, the movement for LGBTQ+ inclusion has been present at every General Conference gathering – advocating, strategizing, testifying, communing, feeding, healing, and praying.

2024 is a potentially monumental year. It presents the greatest chance the Reconciling movement has had to date to remove the anti-LGBTQ+ discriminatory language in the Book of Discipline. It is also an opportunity to dramatically restructure the worldwide Church for greater regional contextualization and to affirm the values into which the Church could live.

The 2024 General Conference is known officially as the postponed 2020 General Conference. A special called session of the General Conference will meet in 2026, and the General Conference will meet on schedule in 2028.

During General Conference, RMN will be present:

  • As strategic partners in the advancement of justice-seeking legislation
  • To offer pastoral care and prayer
  • In the co-creation of worship and community-building opportunities
  • To reflect to those outside the conference center what is occurring at General Conference
  • To be a force of witness for LGBTQ+ joy and persistence in the UMC

More Information about General Conference

General Conference for Beginners

About Charlotte & the Conference Center

Advance Daily Christian Advocate
This publication contains all legislation submitted for consideration.

General Conference schedule (English)

Specific Resources about RMN’s Legislative Priorities

Worldwide Regionalization

Regionalization Legislation

Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) Plumbline: Regionalization

Revised Social Principles

Legislative Breakdown of Removal of the Harmful Language

Framing Space for Christian Conferencing about Removing Anti-LGBTQ+ Language and Policies

Presentation Slides on the 3 Rs from Organizers
Click and hold the bottom of the page to show slide notes for more information

Events Sponsored by Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC)

(ResourceUMC) Online Orientation for Delegates

(UMNS) Concerns mount about General Conference prep

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the removal of the harmful language a foregone conclusion?

The removal of the anti-LGBTQ+ language and policies in the Book of Discipline and the Social Principles is not at all a foregone conclusion. That’s why it’s crucial for each of us to communicate to those in our churches and to the voting delegates that represent us why LGBTQ+ inclusion matters to us.

 2. Is RMN done after the removal of the harmful language?

RMN is just getting started! Once the anti-LGBTQ+ language and policies are removed from the Book of Discipline and the Social Principles, we’ve only reset the Church to a position of neutrality. The ministry of Reconciliation invites us to keep changing minds and changing practices. That means cultivating affirmation and celebration of LGBTQ+ people in our churches and communities, protecting those on the margins, and removing obstacles to LGBTQ+ participation in the full life and leadership of the Church. This advocacy is long-haul work, and we’re here for the long haul.

3. I’m not a delegate. What can I do?

You can write your testimony of LGBTQ+ inclusion and share it with us at RMN to be posted on our social media. You can also share it with our friends at #ResistHarm. Or, write and post it on your own page, and we can share your post. If you can think of someone else who has an important perspective to share, please invite them to do so! Please include the hashtags #BeBetterUMC, #ResistHarm, and #BeUMC in your posts.

You can also sign up to volunteer with the Love Your Neighbor Coalition, to which RMN belongs.

And, to maximize your fun, you can head to Rí Rá in Charlotte on Sunday, April 28, for an RMN fundraiser!

Who are my General Conference delegates?

If you can’t find information about your delegation on your conference website, please email your RMN organizer. We’ll be able to share a list of your delegates.

Could this really be the year that the anti-LGBTQ+ discriminatory language is removed from the Book of Discipline?

We believe that U.S. disaffiliations have reached about 25%. And while we’re certainly much more inclusive than we were a year ago, we remain a theologically diverse global Church. Because removing anti-LGBTQ+ language only requires a simple majority vote, there is reason to hope that we can remove some of the harmful language. However, we do not know if we have majority support. Our best approach is to reach out to all the delegates we know, share our passion for LGBTQ+ affirmation and inclusion, and ask for their vote to remove harm.

How can my Reconciling Church advocate at the local or conference level?

We appreciate you lifting up this concern and wanting to encourage your church to be more involved in creating change. Please contact your Organizer if you’d like to brainstorm about more personalized ideas. In the meantime, all Reconciling Ministries (whether you’re established or brand new) are encouraged to check out our recommended Next Steps for New Reconciling Ministries.

What are the best days to attend General Conference and observe?

Typically, the first week of General Conference is spent divided into legislative committees addressing petitions in a round-one approach. The second week is spent in plenary – all delegates together – taking final action on petitions that legislative committees moved forward. One possible exception to this more typical schedule is that we may vote on regionalization during the first week.

Want to volunteer at General Conference?

We’re working with the Love Your Neighbor Coalition and in collaboration with others to achieve our legislative priorities and also to live into RMN’s mission during and after General Conference 2024. Here are some of the things you can do as a volunteer at General Conference:

  • Airport transit
  • Cultural competency training
  • Food and fellowship
  • Chaplain team
  • Escorting international guests to shopping
  • Home-hosted dinner support team
  • Greeters
  • Office management
  • Communications
  • Providing WhatsApp commentary
  • …and more!