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Schedule (Subject to Change)

Saturday, February 23

9-10 a.m. Opening Plenary Prayer Service
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Experiential Prayer
(Guided by Bishops from Four Different Regions of the World)
» 10 a.m.—Europe and Eurasia
» 10:45 a.m.—Africa
» 11:30 a.m.—U.S.A.
» 11:45 a.m.—Consecration of Prayer Room
» 11:50 a.m.—Lunch / Conversation or Fasting / Self-Directed Prayer » 1:15 p.m.—Philippines
2-3:30 p.m. Closing Plenary Prayer Service with Holy Communion
4-6 p.m. Training for Delegates (not streamed)

Sunday, February 23

8:00 – 8:20 A.M. Opening Worship
8:20 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Morning Sessions:
» Morning Session 1
» Break
» Morning Session 2
12:30 – 1:30 P.M. Lunch
1:30 – 6:30 P.M. Afternoon Sessions:
» Afternoon Session 1
» Break
» Afternoon Session 2
» Worship
6:30 P.M. Adjournment

Monday, February 24

8:00 – 8:20 A.M. Worship
8:20 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Morning Sessions:
» Morning Session 1
» Break
» Morning Session 2
12:30 – 1:30 P.M. Lunch
1:30 – 6:30 P.M. Afternoon Sessions:
» Afternoon Session 1
» Break
» Afternoon Session 2
» Worship
6:30 P.M. Adjournment

Tuesday, February 25

8:00 – 8:20 A.M. Worship
8:20 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.Morning Sessions
» Morning Session 1
» Break
» Morning Session 2
12:30 – 1:30 P.M. Lunch
1:30 – 6:30 P.M. Afternoon Sessions
» Afternoon Session 1
» Break
» Afternoon Session 2
» Closing Worship
6:30 P.M. Final Adjournment

What is the Special Called General Conference?

Currently the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church states that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Furthermore, The Discipline forbids same-sex marriage in UMC churches and does not allow clergy to preside at same-sex weddings. Also, self-avowed, practicing homosexuals are not permitted to become clergy persons in the church. This stance and these prohibitions will be debated and may change as a result of the General Conference. 

The General Conference in 2016 asked the Bishops of the church to help lead our denomination forward on this issue which has been a source of division in the church for decades. They put together a commission called The Commission on A Way Forward to devise ways forward for the denomination. They devised three basic plans: 1) The One Church Plan, 2) The Traditional Plan, and 3) The Connectional Conference Plan. The General Conference 2019 will discuss and debate these plans (and possibly other plans) and could potentially change the Discipline regarding this important subject. The plans have wide-ranging impacts, some of which we cannot anticipate. The One Church Plan, which has been recommended by a majority of our active Bishops, would allow same-sex marriage to become a local church consideration, allowing each church to make their own congregational decision about whether they will be allowed or not. It would also allow each clergy person to decide on their own whether they will or will not perform a same-sex marriage. Under this plan the ordination of homosexual persons would be left up to each Annual Conference through their Boards of Ordained Ministry and the vote of clergy on a case by case basis.  The Traditional Plan would basically leave things as they are with some added mechanisms to ensure thatThe Discipline is being upheld uniformly throughout the denomination. The Connectional Conference Plan would involve a splitting of the UMC into three denominations under a common umbrella of connection. Each denomination would be able to decide their own stance on human sexuality. 


The General Conference will begin meeting on Saturday, February 23 - Tuesday, February 26. The basic schedule is that each day begins at 8:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. on Saturday) and is set to adjourn at 6:30 p.m. (All times Central). The schedule is subject to change and will feature periods of worship as well as legislative sessions.


Video about the three plans from Bishop David Graves: