by Heather Hahn
General Conference organizers have established a think tank to explore different ways for processing legislation at this year’s gathering of The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking body.
The assembly, scheduled May 5-15 in Minneapolis, could make decisions about how to split and restructure the international denomination of nearly 13 million members.
“This is not a General Conference as usual,” said Kim Simpson, chair of the Commission on the General Conference and a lay member in the Central Texas Conference.
Some delegates are pushing to consider separation proposals early in the assembly, before any other legislation.
Simpson called the Feb. 19 teleconference for the international group of clergy and laity who plan the big meeting.
“I think it’s important that we be proactive and look at ways to help General Conference look at legislation in the best way possible,” Simpson said.