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GM Church General Conference Delegates Allocated to Provisional Annual Conferences and Districts

By Dianne Burnett

On Monday, March 4, 2024, the Transitional Leadership Council approved an allocation of 260 delegates to the Global Methodist Church’s convening General Conference set to take place in San Jose, Costa Rica, September 20-26, 2024. Delegates will be elected from among clergy and laity in the new denomination’s provisional annual conferences and districts in Africa, Europe, the Philippines, and in the U.S. The allocation was carried out using a carefully devised formula to guarantee a fair and equitable distribution based on the number of churches and full-time clergy in each area.

A second allocation of delegates will be announced shortly after June 1, 2024, to ensure fair representation for new provisional annual conferences or districts that join the GM Church between March and June.

“This was a daunting task, so I am very thankful for my sisters and brothers who faithfully and fairly worked together to address it,” said the Rev. Mike Grant, a member of the GM Church’s Transitional Commission on the Convening Conference and the chairman of its Credentialing Committee. “Even though local churches are joining the GMC on almost a weekly basis we knew we’d eventually have to choose a date and apply the formula we created for allocating delegates. But we wanted to wait as long as we could, so we could allocate them as fairly as possible. We hope that making another allocation of approximately 100 more delegates, will create room for those regions still seeking to join the GM Church and attending its convening General Conference.”

Not surprisingly, over 90 percent of the 260 delegates that were allocated in the first wave went to provisional annual conferences and districts in the U.S. Over the past five years local churches in the U.S. were allowed to exercise a provision in the The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, allowing them to disaffiliate from the denomination. Thousands have since joined the GM Church and have worked together to organize 17 provisional annual conferences and three provisional districts in the country.

However, United Methodist local churches in the rest of the world were denied the opportunity to exercise the same provision. Many of them are petitioning the UM Church’s impending General Conference (Charlotte, North Carolina, April 23 – May 3, 2024) for the right to exit the denomination so they too can join the GM Church. Still, 245 local churches in Africa, Europe, and the Philippines have already managed to join the GM Church despite major obstacles to doing so.

“I am sure people all across the GM Church are thankful for the hard work that is being done by dedicated clergy and lay volunteers,” said Cara Nicklas, chairwoman of the Transitional Leadership Council. “These allocations will allow our provisional annual conferences and districts to schedule elections, which will in turn allow duly elected delegates to begin preparing for our convening General Conference.”

According to the formula, every provisional annual conference or district is entitled to at least two delegates, one lay person and one clergy member. Others received delegates based on the number of local churches and full-time equivalent clergy members in their conferences or districts. The Allegheny West Provisional Annual Conference, covering the state of Ohio and the western area of Pennsylvania, was allocated 32 delegates, making it the largest delegation thus far. It is followed by the Trinity Provisional Annual Conference (composed of local churches in Arkansas, Louisiana, and the eastern region of Texas) which was allocated 26, and the North Carolina Provisional Annual Conference which received 24.

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Dianne Burnett is the Global Methodist Church’s Executive Director of Communications.

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