This year's United Methodist annual sessions will vote on 32 proposed constitutional amendments, many of them related to the denomination's structure as a global body. Elected members to the 62 U.S. annual conferences, including the two former Indiana conferences and the 73 conferences in Africa, Europe and Asia will consider 23 amendments approved last year by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, the denomination's top legislative body.
The amendments, proposed by the Task Force on the Worldwide Nature of the Church, are for the creation of regional conferences to establish a uniform denominational structure. The legislation would make it possible to create a U.S. regional conference in the future. Each annual conference would belong to a regional conference that will be able to organize into jurisdictional conferences if the amendments are passed by the 2009 annual conference sessions.
The remaining nine amendments are related to church and conference membership; annual and jurisdictional conference composition, including boundaries; inclusiveness of the church; representation of newly created conferences at general, jurisdictional and central conferences; the judicial council; episcopal elections; fiduciary responsibility; and clergy participation in the election of delegates to general, jurisdictional and central conferences. - UMNS
Those proposed constitutional amendments are available online at www.inumc.org, click on First Indiana United Methodist Conference and scroll to bottom of the page for links to the amendments. The West Ohio Conference leaders have produced a document listing the pros and cons of each of these proposed constitutional amendments that is available at www.2009annualconference.org/content/proposed-constitutional-amendments.