Pre-General Conference News Coverage

April 19, 2012

What follows is a sample of pre-2012 General Conference coverage of issues to be faced by the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church, when it meets April 24-May 4 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) — United Methodist bishops on April 18 heard a challenge to embody the peace of Christ to the 2012 General Conference, to an anxious denomination, and to the greater world. Charlotte (North Carolina) Area Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster delivered that call during his final address to the Council of Bishops as that body's president. (Read more)
TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) — Delegates to the 2012 United Methodist General Conference will be asked to affirm a new relationship with the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, African Union Methodist Protestant, Christian Methodist Episcopal, and Union American Methodist Episcopal denominations. (Read more)
LINCOLN, Neb. (UMNS) — The Rev. David Lux Sr. and his fellow General Conference delegates from the Nebraska Annual (regional) Conference may not be sure which proposal for changing the church's administrative structure is best, but they all agree that the end result should better reflect the global diversity of The United Methodist Church. (Read more)
JACKSON, Ala. (UMNS) — As a lay delegate to General Conference 2012, Dr. Steven Furr has used a three-step process when evaluating various proposals to change the structure of The United Methodist Church: 1. Is it simple to understand? 2. Does it try to change the church Constitution? 3. Does the proposal's presenter stand to gain from its passage? (Read more)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — After all the hours of praying, planning, and debating, the question remains: Will restructuring the denomination's general agencies save The United Methodist Church money? (Read more)
EAGLE CREEK, Ore. (UMNS) — For too long, Cabinets have had to struggle to place each clergyperson in a congregation. All that could change if the General Conference scraps the guaranteed appointment system, writes the Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett, a pastor in the Oregon-Idaho Annual (regional) conference. (Read more)
EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) — Active United Methodist clergy in the United States could see their retirement benefits change in the near future. Two proposals heading to General Conference would change clergy pensions, shifting more of the risk in retirement preparation from Annual Conferences to individual clergy, Interpreter magazine reports. (Read more)
LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (UMNS) — As a fourth-generation United Methodist, Michael Watts knows that decisions made at General Conference can affect lives for generations to come. One of those prayerful challenges will be what to do about pensions for active clergy. (Read more)
WINCHESTER, Va. (UMNS) — The Rev. Daniel Garrett, interim co-lead pastor at Braddock Street United Methodist Church in Winchester, Virginia, isn't finding General Conference proposals about clergy particularly clarifying. (Read more)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — If Jesus didn't have a lot to say on the issue of marriage or sexual orientation, United Methodists have said volumes. (Read more)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church's decades-long debate over sexuality issues will again take center stage when the General Conference begins April 24 in Tampa, Florida. Delegates to the 11-day global assembly will face more than 70 petitions on homosexuality, including efforts to change wording in the Discipline that calls the practice of homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching." (Read more)
SALEM, Ore. (UMNS) — The Church's debate over homosexuality raises fundamental questions about inclusion, writes Jan Nelson, a lay delegate to General Conference from the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. (Read more)
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (UMNS) — The church's position on homosexuality is balanced and biblical, writes the Rev. Keith Boyette, pastor at Wilderness Community United Methodist Church in Spotsylvania, Virginia. (Read more)