By: Bishop Laurie Haller

A special called General Conference will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, from February 23 – 26, 2019.

The purpose of the General Conference will be to receive and act on the report from the Commission on a Way Forward around our denominational stance on human sexuality based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized by General Conference 2016 and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Disciplineconcerning human sexuality and explore options to strengthen the unity of the church.

Please click here to access the Advance Edition Daily Christian Advocate, which 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. 

Saturday, February 23, will be the General Conference Day of Prayer. On this day before the General Conference officially begins, conference delegates and bishops will spend the day praying together with a two-fold focus: Praying for the 2019 Special Called General Conference and Praying for Increased Effectiveness in our Mission. We invite you to join us in prayer on February 23. Click here to see the schedule for the Day of prayer. You can see details here. The event will be live-streamed at www.umc.org/live.

Please pray for wisdom and clarity for our Iowa lay and clergy delegates.

Clergy: Lilian Gallo Seagren, Katie Dawson, Brian Milford, Barrie Tritle, Diane Wasson Eberhart, and Thomas Shinkle. Alternate: Sean McRoberts

Laity: Phil Carver (chair), Norma Morrison, Becky Heeren, John Rothlisberger, Darcy Rubenking and Craig Scott. Alternate: Margaret Borgen

Post General Conference Debriefing Sessions

I will be present at three locations around the conference to debrief and answer questions about the 2019 General Conference. At least one of the locations will be live-streamed. Laity and clergy are encouraged to attend whichever session is most convenient for you. 

  • Sunday, March 10 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Salem UMC, Cedar Rapids
  • Saturday, March 16 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. New Hope UMC, Des Moines
  • Sunday, March 17 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Trinity UMC, Fort Dodge

In addition, there will be a clergy orders gathering on April 8 and 9, location TBD. I will also be present at our annual Laity Day on Saturday, April 6 at Collegiate UMC in Ames. There will be a Q&A about General Conference as part of this day.