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Special Session happens this week

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

Special Session General

It happens this week! The Special Session of the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church is taking place on Saturday, November 19, 2022. 

Bishop Deborah Kiesey called the Special Session in accordance with our standing rules and ¶603.5 of the Book of Discipline.

The agenda will include one business item: consideration of resolutions ratifying the disaffiliation of local churches from The United Methodist Church per the provisions of ¶2553. Contact your district superintendent for more information about the disaffiliation process. Access the schedule.

How it will work

The special session will be conducted in a hybrid conferencing format with four locations for participants at Legacy UMC in Bismarck, North Dakota, First United Methodist Church in Fargo, North Dakota, Canyon Lake United Methodist Church in Rapid City, South Dakota, and First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Bishop Deborah Kiesey will preside. Bishop Kiesey and other presenters will be in a separate studio location from any of the participants. 

Registration closed on Friday, November 11, 2022. However, if you have details that you need to change, or if you missed the registration deadline contact Susan Punt at or call 605-990-7786. 

You can watch the entire session live on the Dakotas Conference website.


There will be 18 disaffiliation agreements that voting members will be asked to ratify at the Special Session. View the disaffiliation agreements and supporting documents in the Special Session Conference Workbook.  

To get familiar with the legislation, registered members of the Dakotas Annual Conference Special Session attended Pre-Conference Gathering Session. View a recording of one of the sessions.  Read through the questions that participants asked and the answers that were shared throughout the two sessions held on November 12 and November 13. 

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Participants pray at the 2022 Annual Conference in Bismarck. Photos by jlynn studios.

Let us pray

Bishop Deb encouraged attendees at the Pre-Conference Gatherings to pray.This season of disaffiliation has weighed heavily on all of us.  It has brought with it much pain as we have done our best to act with grace, integrity, and transparency,” she said.

Pray that the time at Special Session will be a time to share God’s love and offer grace to everyone. Bishop Deb shared these words.

"‘Hear, O Israel … you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29-31)

“Gracious and Loving God, be with us today.  Help us enter into the work before us as Your work.  May we find Grace and peace in this midst of this season of division.  Guide us and keep our hearts open, and our focus on You, for without You, we can do nothing.  May we spread your love, your word, and your grace throughout our world. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”


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