By Bethany Wood
Rev. Beth Jones presented two proposals at Annual Conference for the model for the worldwide structure of the United Methodist Church.
The first proposal suggests that the denomination be structured into separate Central Conferences, of which the United States would be one. Central Conferences currently are geographical regions of the United Methodist Church outside of the U.S., but with this proposal that would change. Each of the new Central Conferences would be responsible to the General Conference and would meet in conjunction with – either before or after – the Quadrennial Conference. General Conference itself would meet for fewer days. The Discipline would consist of two separate parts: the first to include United Methodist history, polity, and doctrine, and the second to include adaptable items. Boards and agencies would be reconfigured to reflect global ministries (General Conference) and local ministries (Central Conferences).
The second proposal, proposed by the Northeast Jurisdiction, would recommend that each jurisdiction become a Central Conference, with a regional “Book of Discipline” addressing the needs of each region.
Rev. Jones invited thoughts and comments on these proposals be directed to the Connectional Ministries office by contacting Rev. Mike Bealla at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Bender at email@example.com.