General Conference 2019
The 2019 Special-Called General Conference held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri passed the Traditional Plan.
The purpose of the General Conference was to receive and act on a report from the Commission on A Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized at the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.
We invite you to pray for the outcome of the General Conference, your local church, and members of the Indiana Conference as well as our global Connection. For prayer resources, visit UMCPrays.org.
Resources from the Indiana Conference:
Updates and Resources on a Way Forward
- District Conversations
- The Three Plans
FAQ – 2019 Special Called General Conference
- Resourcing Emerging Leaders related to General Conference
Resources from the General Church:
GC2019: Advance Edition Daily Christian Advocate
The Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) contains the agenda, rules, delegate listings, petitions, reports from the general agencies/commissions and study committees, information for delegates, and codes of conduct for the 2019 General Conference.
A Prayer of Lament
Holy, holy, holy Lord – you have been our dwelling place for generations.
You know the sorrow of our hearts as we mourn with loss too deep for words.
You know the hopes and dreams we have whispered in our sleep and shouted in our prayers.
In this time of prayer we weep – for what will no longer be.
In this time of prayer we acknowledge what is lost.
Have mercy on your servants.
Catch the tears, gather the cries, and comfort the convulsing shoulders of your children. Lift us our faces to see you and trust that you are here.
Show us the path that will lead to peace.
We long to find joy once more, and to sing of your steadfast love. We are waiting Lord.
We are watching.
We yield to the prompting of your Spirit.
Written by Carol Cook Moore.
Call to Worship
The Lord reigns; let all the people rejoice with awe! We will praise God’s great and awesome name! Holy is the Lord our God. Exalted over all the peoples. Extol the Lord our God upon the mountain. Surely the Lord our God is holy!
Prayers of the People
In peace, let us pray. Have mercy, O God. For the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and compassion may grow among all peoples, in the world and in your church, we pray to you, most Gracious God. Have mercy, O God. For those in positions of public trust, that they may serve in ways that enhance the common good, promoting justice, dignity and freedom for all, we pray to you O God. Have mercy, O God. For a blessing upon the labors of all, and for wisdom in caring for your creation, we pray to you, most loving God. Have mercy, O God. For all who suffer and are in pain, for all who grieve, for those who are imprisoned, oppressed, or enslaved, that they may be released and freed from distress, we pray to you O Christ. Christ have mercy. For this community, that we may be awake to your word and responsive to your call, that in all we do your glory may shine, we pray to you O Christ. Christ have mercy. For those with whom we disagree, and those we do not understand. Give us the grace and humility to practice kindness and gentleness, we pray to you, O Christ. Christ have mercy. For ourselves, for the forgiveness of our sin and hardness of heart, for the strength and courage to follow Jesus more closely, we pray to you. Holy Spirit, come to us. Free us from anxiety; fill us anew with joy, peace and patience; give us health of mind, body and spirit; empower us to serve you and our neighbors in all we do, we pray to you. Holy Spirit, come to us. Holy One, come to us. Transform us into your image from one degree of glory to the next, and sustain us until that day we are united with you and all the saints, rejoicing with endless joy. May it be so, O Trinity of Love. Alleluia! Amen.
Liturgy for Holy Communion Call to Confession
Confession is the dumping out of the stuff that we are holding onto, that is also in the way of receiving the grace of God. Let us go to the Lord, with confession for ourselves and for all humanity.
Prayer of Confession – We want to go to the mountain top with you, Jesus. But we are too burdened to climb that road. We keep score. Whether we claim victory or loss, enemies are made. Remove from us the splinters in our own eyes. Remove from us the harsh words we are planning to say. Strip us clean from every ounce of pride that finds joy in the sorrow of another. When our burden is laid down, place our gaze upon the light that pierces the darkness. Free us to be the creatures made in the image of God. Free us to honor one another. Free us to know you in the breaking of the bread, and to know one another in the forgiveness we give and receive. We pray in your Holy Name. [silence]
Words of Assurance – Hear this GOOD NEWS: You are forgiven. You are set free. The love of Jesus poured out for ALL is the love that claims you in grace. Go and sin no more. We are forgiven. We are set free. Amazing grace. Amen.
Sharing of the Peace
Great Thanksgiving The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord our God. It’s right and good to give our thanks and praise!
Blessed are you God of all creation. You formed us in your image and breathed life into us. When we forget that you are God – you wait patiently for us to remember. The stars remind us that we are but a grain of sand in your hands. The sun reminds us that your Son is our Light, in him there is no darkness. With all creation and heaven’s company we sing to you with praise and glory:
Holy, holy, holy Lord. God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blesses is the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you and blessed is Jesus who came to heal, to find, to restore your broken world. He healed the sick; ate with the outcast and condemned; and lifted up the oppressed. By his baptism, suffering, death and resurrection you gave birth to your church and delivered us from sin and death.
By your stripes, we are healed. By your death we know life that rises from the grave. We remember the night he was betrayed, how he took the bread of the table, lifted it up, gave thanks, broke it and said to his followers – “Take and eat this bread. It is my body, given for you. Remember. Remember me.” After the meal he took their cup, lifted it up, blessed it and passed it among them and said – “Drink from this cup. This is the cup of the New Covenant. Remember. Remember me.”
We remember his sacrifice for us and we offer the sacrifice of our praise as we proclaim the mystery of faith – Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again!
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on this bread and wine. Fill us with your grace as we eat and drink. Knit us together into your wounded, healing body- redeemed by your blood.
As we rise from this table fill us with conviction of the Saints to live the love that saves us from ourselves and restores creation as we wait for your coming – when we will all sit at your welcome table. Through your Son Jesus Christ, in your Holy Church by the power of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours, now and forever. Amen.
And now, as children of God – each one of us – we are bold to pray— [the Lord’s Prayer]
Written by Kathy Leithner.
Worship materials created by Oklahoma Annual Conference Discipleship Ministry Team. Published by permission. Visit their website at https://www.okumc.org/gcworshipresources to find all their materials regarding the 2019 General Conference.
As the 2019 Special-Called General Conference begins this Saturday, February 23, and adjourns Tuesday, February 26, we invite you to join with other members of the Indiana Conference (and beyond) in intentional, dedicated, 24-hour prayer. We’ve created an online prayer room so that you may sign up for available times.
To sign up, click a time slot on the calendar and enter your information. You’ll receive a notification prior to your scheduled time. May we wait with prayerful hearts and expectant hope as the coming days unfold.
A delegates’s prayer at the start of the General Conference in St. Louis
I think we all feel the gravity of the moment, the profound impact our decisions here will have for our church. There isn’t the excitement that I’ve experienced at the other General Conference sessions. There’s not the joyful coming together. As someone said, it feels as though we’re coming to a friend’s funeral. Lord, we all understand the seriousness of this moment. We all are desperately looking to you for guidance and direction—a way forward.
General Conference Delegate Ed Fenstermacher shares his prayer for the road ahead. Read it here.
Prayers for General Conference from Conference Prayer Coordinator Darlene Neckers
Dear Lord, we lift up all the delegates and everyone in attendance as General Conference begins. We ask for safe travel and rest upon arrival. Please calm all hearts and minds, giving freedom from fear and anxiety. Come Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Our Glorious Lord, we pray for the news media and it’s coverage of General Conference. We ask that those being interviewed will honor you. Take even the negative reports and make them into a positive witness for you and your love for everyone. We ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.
“Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. “. Exodus 15:6 NAS
Dear Heavenly Father, we pray for those who may be protesting at General Conference that they will experience your love for them through the presence of the Holy Spirit and the witness of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15 NIV
Dear Lord, We put our trust in you alone. Many prayers have been and are being prayed for this Conference. We thank you for hearing our prayers and trust that you will answer in your perfect timing. You are the God of the impossible. We ask you to make a way where there is no way. Show us your power, Lord. We love you and ask this in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.
Dear Lord, we ask that your Holy Spirit continue to work in all of us so that we honor you by being worthy of our calling, keeping our focus on you and your kingdom. We rest in the truth that you are able to do much more than all that we ask or think. * We glorify the name of Jesus, who is worthy of all praise and honor.
In the beautiful name of Jesus, Amen. *Ephesians 3:20,21
I Love You, Period
In his latest message, “I Love You, Period” Bishop Trimble says: I believe the reign of God is not dependent upon our understanding of the Bible or being well-versed in our understanding of Biblical obedience. God existed before the Bible and is revealed in and throughout the Bible that tells many stories, including the one of love coming down as Emmanuel, God with us. So what does it mean to speak of love and diversity in a big diverse family like ours? Read it all here.
Hold on and Keep Pedaling
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3: 5-6 NKJV As we face the future just days before the Special-Called General Conference, I want to encourage you to hold on and keep pedaling. Read Bishop Trimble’s recent message, “Hold on and Keep pedaling.” Start reading.
We encourage you to set aside time between now and the special-called Conference in February to pray for our delegation and the work of the General Conference.
You may email the delegation at their shared inbox email@example.com which goes to every member of the delegation.
Beth Ann Cook
Manet Shettle (serving in place of Doris Clark who died January 27, 2019)
Douglas Worthington, Laity
William Amerson, Laity
Jill Howard, Clergy
Mike Dominick, Clergy
Greg Pimlott, Clergy
You may email the delegation at their shared inbox firstname.lastname@example.org which goes to every member of the delegation.
Interested in serving in this capacity in the future? Learn more.
The United Methodist Church, in collaboration with other agencies from around the Church, will be actively providing news updates the entirely of General Conference and possibly following the Conference. Stay updated on happenings at the Conference and access learning materials on our journey to this pivotal moment by clicking here.
Follow hashtags #INUMC #GC2019, and #UMCGC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in the know on what’s happening at the 2019 Special-Called General Conference. And follow INUMC on all social platforms by connecting with us in the menu at the bottom of this page.
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