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Vol. 1, No. 8 - Friday, May 4, 2012

General Conference ends late Friday night
General Conference finished its business at 10:30 p.m. Friday and, after 11 days of worship and legislation, the 2012 General Conference adjourned.

Restructuring plan declared ‘unconstitutional’
Plan UMC, a plan to restructure The United Methodist Church that was adopted earlier this week by General Conference, was declared “unconstitutional” today by the United Methodist Judicial Council. In its decision, the Judicial Council said the plan was “constitutionally unsalvageable.” More …

Two more General Conference votes to be reviewed by Judicial Council
Two other actions of the General Conference were referred to the Judicial Council for review. The Judicial Council has deferred until the fall a decision on the constitutionality of the removal of guaranteed appointment for elders. In the fall, the Judicial Council will also consider the constitutionality of the decision allowing each annual conference to reduce the number of at-large lay members of annual conference by not counting clergy who voluntarily indicate that they will not attend the Annual Conference session.

Delegates approve plans to reduce size of agency boards
Late Friday night, with all other restructuring plans either voted down or ruled unconstitutional, General Conference delegates voted to approve plans submitted by several General agencies to reduce the size of their boards.

Two Virginians elected to general agencies
The Rev. Stephen Hundley was re-elected to serve on the General Council on Finance and Administration board. The Rev. Ileana Rosario was elected to the Commission on the General Conference.

Budget for 2013-2016 is 6% lower than previous budget
General Conference approved a budget of $603.1 million for the 2013-2016 quadrennium. This budget is 6% less than the 2009-2012 budget. According to Moses Kumar, General Secretary of the General Council on Finance and Administration, this is the first time The United Methodist Church has reduced its budget from the previous quadrennium.

General Conference modifies clergy pension plan
By a vote of 819 to 78 on May 3, the 2012 General Conference approved a modified Clergy Retirement Security Program. The plan combines a defined benefit component with a defined contribution component, like the clergy’s current retirement program, but with a reduced benefit for clergy and, consequently, a lower contribution for U.S. annual conferences. It is only mandatory for full-time clergy. More …

General Conference changes name of Lay Speaking Ministries
After lengthy discussion and debate, General Conference voted to change the name of Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay Servant Ministries.

Delegate remains hopeful in discouragement
On the last day of General Conference, the Rev. Marc Brown, conference director of Connectional Ministries, said he is “hopeful in my discouragement. I am hopeful because I have faith in God.”

Get the news about 2012 General Conference
Visit the official General Conference page (, the United Methodist News Service page ( and the General Conference blog page ( for stories about The United Methodist Church’s legislative assembly. For pictures and stories about Virginia Conference participants at General Conference, click here.



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