AC 2009 to vote on proposed constitutional amendments


By Sandra Burnett
Co-leader, Memphis Conference delegation to General Conference 2008

At the 2009 session of the Memphis Annual Conference, members will vote on proposed constitutional amendments for the United Methodist denomination. The 32 proposed amendments were approved by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body.
 Twenty-three of the amendments center around changing the term “central conference” to “regional conference” and also making it possible to create a regional conference in the United States.
The remaining nine amendments deal with various issues. They include church and conference membership; composition of annual and jurisdictional conferences; inclusiveness of the church; representation for newly created conferences at general, jurisdictional and central or regional conferences; the judicial council; episcopal elections; fiduciary responsibility; and the participation of deacons, associate members, provisional members, and local pastors in the election of delegates to general and jurisdictional conferences.
The amendments will be voted on during the 2009 Memphis Annual Conference session as they are written. They can be debated but not changed.
Our desire is for every delegate to be as informed as possible before voting. Each delegate is urged to attend the Pre-Conference Briefing for your district where these amendments will be presented and discussed. The dates, times and places of the Pre Conference Briefings are: 
• Asbury and McKendree Districts, May 12, St. Paul UMC, 7pm.
• Dyersburg and Paris Districts: May 7, Dresden First, 6:30pm
• Jackson and Brownsville Districts, May 11, Medina First, 7pm
• Paducah District, May 21, Mayfield First, 6:30pm.
Editor’s note: For a more detailed look at the proposed amendments, see “Constitutional Amendments to be voted on by 2009 AC” on page 4A.