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Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church met on Monday, March 22, 2021 in an additional meeting to consider pressing matters related to the Council’s work. After much conversation, the bishops reached a decision that in the best interest of the church at this time, they would cancel the Special Session of the General Conference which was set for May 8, 2021.

The bishops announced that they will dedicate their regularly scheduled April meeting to conversation based on results of listening sessions that are occurring and discern a possible need for a new timeline toward General Conference 2020 set for August 29 to September 6, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

At the April meeting, the bishops will also discuss ways to empower the work at the Jurisdictional and Central Conferences.

“Much has been learned over the past few weeks and the extended timeline will allow for even deeper listening by the bishops at the general church level but also in our residential settings,” said Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president of the Council. “We are thankful for the collaboration fostered with the Commission on General Conference and especially grateful for the work that had already begun in the planning for the Special Session,” Bishop Harvey added.


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga

Director of Communications – Council of Bishops

The United Methodist Church


Date: fre 12 mars 2021 kl 17:44
Subject: The Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference Council sets new dates for the next Central Conference and extends terms of bishops. Conversations with other European Central Conferences have started.

The Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference Council sets new dates for the next Central Conference and extends terms of bishops. Conversations with other European Central Conferences have started.

The Central Conference Council of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference met online on March 5 to 6, 2021.

The council discussed the implications of the postponement of the General Conference to August 29 - September 6, 2022 and of the special called session of General Conference on May 8.

The special called session will have 12 pieces of legislation to deal with, all basically intended to help the church function until the regular General Conference meets. None of the structural proposals will be on the agenda of the special online session of the General Conference. It would take a two thirds majority to change the agenda that is set by the Council of Bishops in the call to the special session.

The virtual conference is to form a quorum to suspend the rules and allow paper balloting. After the online meeting's adjournment, the delegates will have an extended period in which to vote by paper ballot on the 12 legislative items. The paper ballots will be mailed in, and results will be announced on July 13.

The Central Conference Council discussed the possibility of calling a special session of the Central Conference and of having episcopal elections at such a called session. The Council unanimously decided, that even if the May 8th, 2021 called special session of the General Conference may make provisions for it, no extraordinary Central Conference will be called in The Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference.

Further the council decided, also by unanimous vote to extend the terms of the two bishops in the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference until elections can be held at the next ordinary Central Conference after the 2020 postponed General Conference, and until a new bishop can take office.

The council also set new dates for the central conference to March 15. - 19. 2023, in Tallinn, Estonia. Nominations for episcopal elections will begin at the annual conferences in 2022.

Extensive time was set aside to discuss the future of the United Methodist Church in Europe. As part of this conversation the council met with bishop Rückert from Germany and bishop Streiff from Central and Southern Europe to hear from their central conferences and to respond to proposals developed by the four European bishops. More information will be made available to the annual conferences in April, after similar conversations have taken place in all three central conference councils/executive committees.

The council has received written request from the Ukraine Moldova Provisional Annual Conference to withdraw from the Eurasian Episcopal Area due to the political situation between Ukraine and Russia. However, the annual conference has not yet decided if they wish to be transfer to the other episcopal area in the central conference or if they wish to be transferred to another central conference.

Ole Birch


Bishop Christian Alsted

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