The Pacific Northwest Conference is planning to elect its delegates for the 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church during its Annual Conference at the Showplex Center in Puyallup on June 22-24, 2018. The 2020 General Conference will be held in Minneapolis, MN from May 5-15, 2020 and the Jurisdicational Conference will be held July 15-18, 2020, in a location in the West.
As recommended by the current delegation, these delegates are being elected early so they can also serve as part of the support team for the Special Called Session of General Conference February 23-26, 2019 in St Louis, MO. Additional Jurisdictional delegates will be elected at the 2019 PNW Annual Conference Session.
The General Conference of the United Methodist Church meets once every four years to consider the business and mission of the global church. One clergy and one laity from Pacific Northwest Conference will be elected to serve as delegates to General Conference; we will also elect reserves to the same.
Delegates must be able to commit to the entirety of the General Conference in Minneapolis, to serving on the support team for the delegation to the 2019 General Conference in St. Louis and to the Western Jurisdictional Conference. In addition, there will pre-meetings with the other members of the delegation before the General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Travel expenses for full delegates will be reimbursed based on a per diem set by the General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Expenses for other members of the delegation may be supported by the PNW Connectional Table.
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs.
It is an honor and responsibility to serve as a delegate. It provides you the opportunity to be involved in the denomination and work with United Methodists throughout the nation and world, praying, worshipping together and deciding legislation.
According to The Book of Discipline, 2016, the qualifications for clergy delegates are as follows:
¶35. Article IV.— The clergy delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected from the clergy members in full connection and shall be elected by the clergy members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference who are deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, and those provisional members who have completed all their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed course of study or an M. Div degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment immediately preceding the election.
According to The Book of Discipline, 2016, the qualifications for lay delegates are as follows:
¶ 36. Article V.— The lay delegates to the General and jurisdictional or central conferences shall be elected by the lay members of the annual conference or provisional annual conference without regard to age, provided such delegates shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years next preceding their election, and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election, and are members thereof within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding the General and jurisdictional or central conferences.
Rule XI, Sec. 4.
Procedures Relating to Election of Delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences