And so it begins…
Early yesterday (Monday) morning, we began plenary for General Conference, considering the petitions that have been approved by each legislative committee. We started off with Superintendency, considering a set-aside bishop petition. It was voted down, at the disappointment of many on the Council of Bishops, who were largely supportive of this change.
We then debated a petition on tenure for bishops (DCA 2109), which needed a two-thirds vote, and received a vote of 50.5% Yes, and 49.5% no. The overwhelming support of this petition signals a shift in the understanding of Episcopacy in our Church–certainly something to expect coming back to the General Conference for consideration in four years.
Conferences and General Administration presented a joint petition to equalize the representation of US and Central Conferences on the Commission of General Conference, along with electing representatives to Judicial Council and University Senate. We were informed that a collaborative group from the General Administration committee had come to a consensus about a plan to bring to the body, and the permission to publish that plan was granted by the plenary session. We will be able to read through this plan today (Tuesday), and will most likely begin legislative work on it at earliest, Wednesday morning (it needs to be in front of the body for at least 24 hours for consideration.) At the end of the day’s plenary, we finished 14% of our legislative work. Still a long way to go.
Your Louisiana delegation had dinner at the end of the day with Bishop Hutchinson, Kay Hutchinson, and many others that are working on General Conference staff this time around. We went then to worship, where we celebrated the journey we are all on together to share goals as Annual Conferences to work for vital congregations in the next quadrennia.