May 8, 2024 Weekly Update

Jared   -  

Greetings church!

Our denomination’s general conference wrapped up last week, and my oh my did they accomplish a lot! Missionaries were commissioned, ministries and achievements celebrated, and new legislation passed that makes the UMC a much more inclusive and welcoming expression of God’s church! I shared some of these updates on Sunday, but here are a few more so you can be informed about our denomination:

The efforts to make our worldwide UMC more equitable and fair passed the first stage of legislation. The Regionalization Initiatives passed by 78%. While our whole denomination remains united by our shared doctrine and theology, this legislation will allow each area of the world to do ministry in its own context.

The conference approved Full Communion with the Episcopal Church, recognizing sacramental rights and sharing clergy. This legislation now awaits adoption in the Episcopal church.

U.S. Annual Conference apportionments will be lower over the next 2 years. This will affect some of our shared ministry in our general agencies, but if collection rates are higher than 90%, it will demonstrate that churches are not as fragile as perceived, and the base percentage rate will rise slightly.

Bishop Tracy Malone of the East Ohio Conf became the first black female president of the Council of Bishops

Bishop David Wilson of the Great Plains Conf became the first Native American Bishop to preside at General conference.

With a 93% approval rate, General Conference voted to remove the ban on ordination of LGBTQ+ clergy. Delegates also voted that superintendents are not to penalize clergy or churches for holding – or refraining from holding – same sex weddings. Our denomination took a major inclusive step, but made room for liberty of conscience for the local church and clergy.

Our church’s social witness – the Social Principles – deleted the phrase that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” This harmful language has been a divisive driving force in our denomination since it was first included in 1972. New

In addition to the language changes regarding human sexuality and inclusiveness, the Social Principles address the importance of advocating for human dignity and combating racism and other threats, caring for creation and the environment, standing against social ills, and supporting healthy community in all its forms, including economic, social and political.


Deacons were granted Sacramental Authority to offer holy communion and conduct baptisms where they have been appointed to serve, which is usually in ministries of outreach beyond the local church.

Disaffiliation and Re-affiliation: Delegates removed Paragraph 2553 from the Book of Discipline, ending the disaffiliation policy that was added by the special 2019 General Conference. They also required annual conferences affected by disaffiliation to develop grace-filled policies for reaffiliation of churches that want to rejoin the denomination.

The five current and five retired bishops of the Western Jurisdiction (our jurisdiction) put together a short pastoral message highlighting the work of our denomination at General Conference. Watch here:



Pastor Jared