Special Session, General Conference of The United Methodist Church, St. Louis, MO
Saturday, February 23, 2019 to Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Add to my calendar


 'WAY FORWARD' after GC2019

Click HERE for video recording of March 10 LIVE STREAM panel Q&A with Bishop McAlilly & delegates about 2019 General Conference Special Session. The event was live streamed on Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m.  | DETAILS



Below articles begin with most recent
(April 17, 2019) and work backward.

Centrists, progressives to discuss church's future
LEAWOOD, Kan. (UMNS) — Unhappy with the results of General Conference 2019, about 600 centrist and progressive United Methodists from across the United States will meet May 20-22 at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. The question being asked: What should become of The United Methodist Church? Sam Hodges reports.
Read story

How will denominational divide affect mission? 
ATLANTA (UMNS) — During their spring meeting, directors of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries expressed pain over the deep divide that has occurred since the special General Conference and concern about how that divide will affect mission work and mission giving. Linda Bloom reports.
Read story 

Outcome of General Conference bittersweet
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodists who supported the Traditional Plan say the General Conference vote was the best way forward, but they added that it's not a time for celebration. Instead, they said, it is a time to let people know everyone is welcome in the church. Kathy L. Gilbert reports. 
Read story

Leaders pursue plan for new US structure 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Despite concerns the plan will be engulfed by the homosexuality debate, the Connectional Table is submitting legislation to create a decision-making body on U.S. matters. Heather Hahn reports. 
Read story

Global church wrestles with post-GC2019 pain 
MANILA, Philippines (UMNS) — United Methodists took time out of a joint international meeting to discuss the fallout of special General Conference. For some, it casts doubt on the future of a global church. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story 

Feedback sought on global Discipline effort
MANILA, Philippines (UMNS) — The fallout of the special General Conference has slowed a project to determine what in the Book of Discipline is adaptable in Africa, Europe and the Philippines. Instead of a vote on proposed revisions, church leaders plan to ask the 2020 General Conference for feedback. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story

Denomination's future under discussion — quietly
DALLAS (UMNS) — Discussions about the future of The United Methodist Church are quietly occurring among denomination leaders after a recent General Conference that underscored deep divisions over homosexuality. Centrists and progressives have begun to meet, and separate talks are underway between some who backed the Traditional Plan and some who favored the One Church Plan. Sam Hodges reports.
Read story

Seminary leaders stress inclusiveness after GC2019  
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Leaders of most United Methodist seminaries in the U.S. that train clergy for the denomination are stressing their inclusive policies after the special General Conference affirmed the church's LGBTQ bans. Jim Patterson reports.
Read story 

Resistance to GC2019 spreads
DALLAS (UMNS) — Resistance continues to the passage of the Traditional Plan at the recent United Methodist General Conference. It’s taking different forms and drawing in people who haven’t spoken out before. Sam Hodges reports.
Read story

Questions about task force ricocheting around church 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The integrity of The United Methodist Church's lawmaking body will be the focus of a special task force digging into possible voting improprieties at the recent 2019 General Conference. Some are already questioning whether a task force of 12 members of the Commission on the General Conference can fairly investigate, since the commission credentials and oversees voting at General Conference. Kathy L. Gilbert reports. 
Read story 

Task force to investigate GC2019 voting 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — General Conference organizers have appointed a task force to investigate possible improper voting at the recently completed special session of The United Methodist Church's top lawmaking body. Heather Hahn and Vicki Brown report. 
Read story
Denials, charges fly on GC2019 voting credentials

Western Jurisdiction team responds to GC2019 
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Western Jurisdiction leadership team met March 14 to discuss General Conference 2019. The team issued a statement calling on The United Methodist Church to "repent of the exclusionary principles of the Traditional Plan," which passed at General Conference. Greg Nelson reports.
Read story
Read statement
List of GC2019 petitions under court review
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A list of Traditional Plan and disaffiliation petitions approved by General Conference 2019 and under review by Judicial Council has been compiled by Ask The UMC and UM News, along with any amendments approved. 
Read list
Ask The UMC's FAQ about General Conference

GC2019 voting credentials under review
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — General Conference 2019 organizers are looking into whether ineligible people might have received credentials to vote during the special session. After an in-depth review, it appears possible that "a very limited number" of ineligible people who were correctly denied credentials by General Conference staff were later able to procure them, said the Rev. Gary Graves, secretary of the General Conference. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story
Read press release

Judicial Council to review GC2019 actions 
EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) — Headline-making decisions by the legislative body of The United Methodist Church will be reviewed next month by the denomination's top court. The two items on the April 23-26 docket deal with constitutionality questions related to the Traditional Plan and an exit plan approved by GC2019. Linda Bloom reports.
Read story 

German church won't impose Traditional Plan bans
FULDA, Germany (UMNS) — Stipulations in the Traditional Plan approved by General Conference 2019 are unacceptable, said the executive committee of The United Methodist Church in Germany. The committee said the church in Germany will not impose the stricter penalties on the church’s provisions on homosexuality. Klaus Ulrich Ruof reports.
Read story
Read statement

Ask The UMC - Questions about GC2019? Read the FAQ
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Many United Methodists have questions after General Conference 2019. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Read the FAQ
More Ask The UMC

'United Methodist Rural Advocates' issues statement about 2019 General Conference that ended Feb. 26  Many United Methodist churches in the Memphis Conference (West Tennessee and Western Kentucky) of The United Methodist Church are in rural locations. Your United Methodist Rural Advocates are glad that we were able to come together with other United Methodist brothers and sisters in St. Louis to find a way forward in a divisive time in the history of the Wesleyan tradition. We write to reaffirm our commitment to ...

Reaction to GC2019 remains strong
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodists of varying perspectives continue to react to the General Conference decision to strengthen restrictions against ordination of openly gay clergy and same-sex unions. Protests have been widespread, and meetings by local churches and conferences to discuss the future are underway or planned. Sam Hodges and Kathy L. Gilbert report.
Read story 

Young adults reflect on Traditional Plan adoption
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Passage of the Traditional Plan by The United Methodist Church's top legislative body is either "in perfect harmony with the word of God" or "a time of grieving," depending on which young adult you ask. Jim Patterson spoke with some United Methodists about the outcome of GC2019. 
Read story

Beginning to look ahead after GC2019
ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — The Wesleyan Covenant Association is sticking around, and so are a number of church members who plan to continue defying the denomination's policies on homosexuality. Healing remains a work in progress. Heather Hahn offers an overview of some developments since General Conference adjourned.
Read story
GC2019 maps uncertain way forward

Memphis Methodists grapple with decision on gay weddings, clergy as Sunday approaches
Memphis Commercial Appeal - March 2, 2019
Read story.

GC2019 maps uncertain way forward

ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — More than 53 percent of General Conference delegates approved the Traditional Plan, which reinforces the church’s current bans on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy and same-sex unions. Still uncertain is how much of the legislation will take effect — or whether it will change the dynamic where a number of United Methodists openly defy these rules. Heather Hahn has an analysis. 
Read story

2019 General Conference passes Traditional Plan 
ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — In a 438-384 vote, delegates to The United Methodist Church's top lawmaking assembly approved a plan that affirms church policies on homosexuality and strengthens enforcement. A last-ditch effort to bring the One Church Plan back was defeated. The United Methodist News Service team reports. 
Read story 
Read Council of Bishops press release 
Traditional Plan advances as One Church, Simple plans fail 
Pensions, Traditional Plan top priority votes 

Conflict defines General Conference aimed at unity 
ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — United Methodists tried to come to terms with a General Conference that was meant to unify but instead underscored divisions and had all sides acknowledging a high level of pain. Sam Hodges has the story. 
Read story 
Key GC2019 votes prompt anguish, satisfaction 
Traditional and One Church backers gear up 

Wrap-up: Judicial Council at GC2019 
ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — At every General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top court rules on questions of constitutionality that come from that body. During the Feb. 23-26 special session, the stakes were high. Linda Bloom reports. 
Read story 
Court to GC2019: Legislation needs more work 
Court rules two GC2019 petitions unconstitutional 
Judicial Council cites 2016 decision in query at GC2019 

GC2019: The week in pictures 
ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — United Methodist News Service photographers captured the images from the special session of General Conference, which included passionate debate, prayer and protests. 
View photos 

Many came to witness United Methodist history 
ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — Clergy and laity observers at the 2019 General Conference reflect the theological diversity that’s challenging The United Methodist Church. Many say they came to pray and to watch history unfold as delegates grappled with legislative options regarding the church’s stance on homosexuality. Sam Hodges reports.  
Read story 

Audio stories from General Conference 2019 
ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — Audio stories from General Conference 2019 include daily wrap-ups of events in the voices of the delegates and others. 
Listen to audio stories 
Listen to Bishop Kenneth H. Carter’s ‘The Cross and Flame’ sermon

Memphis Conference Video: 

  • Bishop McAlilly recorded message at end of General Conference | DETAILS
  • Clergy delegates made passionate speeches on Feb. 26:                                          Sky McCracken  |  Eddie Bromley  
Assorted Memphis Conference Photos | CLICK HERE

Thank many from Memphis Conference who served in St. Louis



The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held Feb. 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. Delegates from around the world will be in attendance, including a delegation of four from the Memphis Conference.
The General Conference will act on a report from the Council of Bishops based on recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward. The 32-member Commission was appointed to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.


  • What is a General Conference Special Session? Why now? | DETAILS

  • ​Basic Q&A | DETAILS

  • ​Historical context video (By Susquehanna Conference) | DETAILS

  • Mission, vision, scope of Commission on a Way Forward | DETAILS

  • Archives of General Conference press releases | DETAILS

  • Glossary of General Conference Terms | DETAILS

  • 2016 Book of Discipline | DETAILS

  • Free training course: Exploring General Conference | DETAILS


  • Report from Commission on a Way Forward | English | Spanish

  • Overview of 4 plans | DETAILS

  • Constitutionality of plans | DETAILS

  • Potential clergy pension impacts Q&A (Wespath) | DETAILS

  • Trust Clause Q&A (General Council on Finance & Administration) | DETAILS


  • United Methodist News Service | DETAILS

  • Memphis Conference eNews | DETAILS

  • Advance Daily Christian Advocate (agenda, rules, delegate lists, petitions, reports from general agencies, commissions, study committees, info for delegates, codes of conduct) |


  • Feb. 14, 2019: God's Great Grace | DETAILS

  • Feb. 15, 2019: As We Prepare for General Conference | DETAILS


  • ​​Panel discussion (streamed Feb. 6) with speakers for major plans | DETAILS

  • Videos of different perspectives | DETAILS 

  • Statement from presidents & representatives of U.S. United Methodist colleges & universities | DETAILS

  • Letter from United Methodist Rural Advocates | DETAILS


  • Day of Prayer on Sat., Feb. 23 | DETAILS and SCHEDULE

  • ​Prayer resources for all | DETAILS  (This link doesn't work in some browsers.)

  • Prayer resources for young people | DETAILS


  • How to communicate with delegates | DETAILS



  • Volunteer marshals & pages from Memphis Conference | DETAILS

  • ​Bishops' Covenant for presiding | DETAILS

  • ​Communications Tool Kit for churches | DETAILS

  • Conversation resources | DETAILS