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April 24 GC wrap-up

By: Joey Butler, UM News with contributions by Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

Bishop Lanette Plambeck speaks with bishops

Bishop Lanette Plambeck, center, assists the presiding bishop, Bishop Carlo A. Rapanut, during a plenary session Wednesday, April 24. Photos by Derek Leek, North Carolina UMC.

The second day of General Conference shifted from the celebratory opening worship to getting down to the business of the church, as delegates began working in their legislative committees and electing their chairs.

Leaders presented a sober picture of United Methodist finances, including the need to reduce bishops. At the same time, delegates heard hope for the denomination to pivot from church exits to revitalization.

  Against a backdrop of past conflicts and division, both the Episcopal and Young People’s addresses offered hope for the denomination that will go forward from this gathering. 

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Dakotas Conference connnections at General Conference

During the second plenary session on April 24, Bishop Lanette Plambeck was part of the presiding team. 

Kara Heagel, lay delegate and head of the Dakotas Conference delegation, was inspired by the Young People's Address. As a thirty-something, she expressed graditude for being a young person who was elected to be a General Conference delegate, "I am so grateful for the Dakotas Conference and the commitment to sending young people to General Conference and what an honor it is to say that the Dakotas have one lay delegate and they chose for it to be a young person!"

During the address, one of the presenters,  Alejandra Salemi, of the Florida Conference, mistakenly said, "General conflict" instead of "General Conference."  She also said the denomination’s lawmaking assembly is being held “in the midst of what feels like an emotional whirlpool that only something like divorce proceedings can stir up.”  Heagel experienced the statement as a moment of truth.

"I think Alejandra's small Freudian slip of calling the General Conference "General Conflict" was a wonderful moment of holy laughter, but also feels so true," said Kara. "The last few years have been full of conflict, harsh debate, and what Alejandra calls divorce settlements.  Prior to arriving, I was preparing for more conflict, harsh debates, and writing our divorce settlement. Upon arriving, however, I have been pleasantly surprised at how the room feels less ready for debate and more ready for revival and moving forward to our next era of the United Methodist Church. I am grateful for the words of Senesie that reminded us that the UMC has a tradition of splitting and schism, we have been here before and we will likely be here again, but we also have a tradition of revival and renewal. " Read more

In the legislative committee meeting for Ordained Ministry the universal language became song. Rev. Rebecca Trefz, clergy delegate for the Dakotas Conference and a member of the committee reported that the meeting did not get started because a Russian language was not presented. "We needed to wait so we decided to sing," she said. Beata Ferris, reserve lay delegate for the Dakotas Conference, said, "People sang in their language or hummed along. We all knew the songs. It was beautiful."

Today's schedule*
*EDT—Eastern Daylight Time
View entire agenda hereWatch the livestream.
8:00 – 8:45 a.m. —Worship
8:45 – 10:30 a.m.—Plenary Session
     Monitoring Report
     Laity Address
     Jurisdictional Study Committee 
     Administrative Committee Reports
     Calendar Items
10:50 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.—Legislative Committees 
1:30-6:30 p.m.—Legislative Committees 


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