race with clock to finish work
As the final day of the 11-day
quadrennial session began, delegates had one eye on the long day of
business awaiting them, and the other eye on plane tickets in
anticipation of the closing worship late in the night.
An ongoing report from the United Methodist General Conference
Last updated 6 p.m., May 12, 2000
Friday afternoon happenings
A ticking clock would have been a good symbol today
for the United Methodist General Conference.
As the final day of the 11-day quadrennial session
began, delegates had one eye on the long day of business awaiting
them, and the other eye on plane tickets in anticipation of the
closing worship sometime late in the night. Much of the afternoon was
spent on the denominations budget for 2001-2004.
In a variety of other calendar items, the churchs
250-year tradition of supporting schools was affirmed "at a time
when public education has become a political battleground." The
church, delegates said, has a moral responsibility to strengthen,
support and reform public schools.
In another action, the conference mandated that each
of the churchs agencies must have on its governing board at least
one member from among the three historically black Methodist
denominations. The additional members will have voice and vote on the
Continuing the spirit of reconciliation manifest
early in the session, the General Conference adopted a constitutional
amendment calling for a commitment to eliminating racism in every
aspect of the churchs life. The proposal must be ratified by the
annual conferences to become effective.
Members of annual conference boards of ordained
ministry must participate in intensive training to help develop
multicultural sensitivity for more effective recruitment and support
of United Methodist pastors. Backers of the action said communities
surrounding United Methodist churches are becoming more racially and
A proposed specialized missionary conference for
evangelicals in the West was rejected by a 615-312 vote. The push for
a new conference came from the Evangelical Renewal Fellowship, a
conservative group whose members feel marginalized in the
California-Nevada Annual (regional) Conference.
The Judicial Council held that the churchs
constitution does not support creation of a lay assistant category of
ministry under appointment of a bishop. The idea came from the United
Methodist Rural Fellowship as a solution to the growing need for
ministerial leadership in small membership churches.
After a dinner break, the delegates were back in
their places to complete the last of 1,600 calendar items and have a
closing worship service. The next session of the General Conference
will be April 25-May 7, 2004, in Pittsburgh.
BISHOP SWENSON -- Bishop Mary Ann Swenson gives the sermon during
morning worship at the United Methodist Church's 2000 General Conference. A UMNS photo by
Paul Jeffrey Photo number gc2kL01, 5/12/00
KOREAN CHOIR -- The choir from the Korean Community United
Methodist Church of New Jersey sings during morning worship at the United Methodist
Church's 2000 General Conference. A UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey Photo number gc2kL02,
adopt Constitutional Amendment on Racism
The spirit of reconciliation and repentance of racial
injustices continued with the adoption of a constitutional amendment May 12 calling for
commitment to eliminating racism in every aspect of the churchs life.
Delegates attending the United Methodist General Conference voted to retain
the denomination's membership in the ecumenical National Council on Churches (NCC) on May
Agenda for Friday, May 12
8:00 Choral Music
8:15 Worship Service
9:00 Committee on Calendar and Agenda Report
9:10 Elections & Calendar Items
12:10 Conference Announcements and Committee on Presiding Officers
12:15 Lunch Recess
2:20 Gathering Music
2:30 Report of GCFA
5:30 Dinner Recess
7:20 Gathering Music
7:30 Report of the Committee on Agenda
7:30 Calendar Items
Daily Video Events
Experience the music and worship services of General Conference by
viewing the daily video coverage.
Closing Worship, May 12
Worship, May 12
Ecumenical Worship led by Archbishop of