Total Number of Pages: 12
Agency: Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of The UMC
Title of Report: Report to General Conference from the Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of The United Methodist Church
From August, 2009 to July, 2011, the Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of The United Methodist Church held six meetings to fulfill its mandate. It spent significant time in listening sessions in the United States, the Philippines, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Europe. What the Study Committee heard was both a deep commitment to the worldwide unity of the UMC and a deep yearning for change. All over the world people wanted to be part of one global church and yet there were many ideas for how to live more fully into our worldwide nature.
The requests for change were many: greater equality among the parts of the church; less United States dominance of General Conference; locating General Conference in countries besides the United States; moving cultural issues out of General Conference into Central Conferences; greater emphasis at General Conference on the mission of the Church. We heard requests for more opportunities for interaction among the Central Conferences. We heard negative comments on the politicization of elections, both of delegates and of bishops; we heard concern about salary inequalities and desire that economic conditions in episcopal areas be taken into account in determining bishop salaries. We heard many comments about The Book of Discipline, in particular of its irrelevance to impoverished portions of the world and the need for a more useful and contemporary book. We heard requests for a smaller global Book of Discipline containing only those things necessary to the identity and common mission of The United Methodist Church, and for separate Books of Discipline dealing with what are currently the adaptable portions of the Discipline. There were many issues concerning Boards and Agencies, structural problems, financing, social principles, and the great need for more educational opportunities in Africa and in the Philippines. The Study Committee is aware that some of these issues, such as salary inequalities, are not addressed in the proposed model, but that they should require further study for integral change.
The Committee has sought to address the concerns raised regarding the constitutional amendments passed by the 2008 General Conference and not approved by annual conference members: increased financial burdens due to an added layer of bureaucracy; weakening of the denomination’s connectional unity; and relativization of the Social Principles.
Since the earliest forms of central conferences in 1884 there have only been slow modifications with additional powers given to them up to the union of 1968. Despite repeated calls for changes, the denomination’s worldwide structure remained the same, mainly due to the U.S. church’s preoccupation with its own local concerns and interests. It is now imperative for The United Methodist Church to reconsider the global realities of its connection, as its parts outside the bounds of the United States, in particular in Asia and Africa, rapidly grow as never before. The Committee’s report, with three petitions and one model for conversation, constitutes its response to what its members heard. The Committee believes that living more fully into the worldwide nature of our church is a long process and it offers four next steps to the General Conference. Three are petitions to change the Book of Discipline. The most important of these is a covenant to continue shaping our hearts, minds and behaviors throughout our denomination. Another of these offers clarity about what parts of the Book of Discipline are truly global and what parts can be adapted by Central Conferences. Another proposed change instructs general agencies to “build up and empower ministry through sustainable programs and infrastructure which enable local and regional units to increase ownership and responsibility.”
The Committee’s fourth contribution is a model to stimulate and guide the continuing conversation about the most appropriate global model for our worldwide structure. The key lesson of the constitutional amendments passed by the 2008 General Conference is that the church must take time to think these issues through as carefully as possible. The Committee is proposing a model for conversation during the next quadrennium. This model, we hope, will stimulate proposals for action in the 2016 General Conference to change our worldwide structure. The Committee strongly believes that significant conversation on our worldwide nature must continue.
The Study Committee sees a worldwide United Methodist Church driven to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. To live more fully into this vision, we are working toward (1) deeper connections throughout the church, (2) greater local authority, (3) and more equitable sharing of power, representation, and responsibility around the world.
The twenty members of the Study Committee and its thirteen consultants represent the rich diversity within the United Methodist Church. Its first meeting was held in Atlanta, United States August 23-26, 2009. At this meeting, the Committee organized and identified issues, and adopted its policies and procedures. Members shared experiences from Central Conferences and Jurisdictional Conferences. They listened and asked questions, seeking to understand the life of the United Methodist Church throughout the world. Learning from previous work, the Study Committee saw the importance of transparency throughout the whole process. Out of this first meeting a process started with the leading words: transparency, listening and being in conversation. In order to be transparent and to get knowledge about the worldwide church, the Study Committee actively sought input from the United Methodist Church around the world. Invitation was send out to boards and general agencies, to caucuses and other church-related interest groups, to come and present their view of a worldwide church. Input was solicited from all affiliated autonomous and united churches. members of the Study Committee attended a variety of meetings to listen and share our process, including the World Methodist Council Executive Committee, Global Young People’s meeting in Europe, the European Methodist Council meeting in Spain, and the Methodist Church of Great Britain (with representatives of Methodist Churches in Ireland, Portugal and Italy). A website was started where everyone could give their input to the process and get information about the process. To be able to listen and be in conversation you need to meet people, therefore the Study Committee decided to place two of the six meetings in Central Conferences. The first meeting outside United States was held in Manila, Philippines, April 18-21, 2010. To be more effective the Study Committee was divided into four listening, groups when the next meeting was held in Africa, August 2010. The Study Committee met people in Liberia, Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Cote d’Ivoire. Between the meetings the Study Committee has been working in small working groups with different tasks to make the work move forward to the next meeting. Phone conferences and e-mail have been used in this work. The last two meetings were held in the United States, in Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Illinois in 2011 to finalize the work.
What We Heard
The following is a summary of what the study committee as a whole or in small groups heard across the connection.
I. General Conference
- GC should be limited to issues essential to identity and essence of UMC (Philippines, Maputo).
- Too much time is spent in GC onUSissues (Philippines, Europe); Central Conferences are forced into US issues (Europe).
- Take cultural items out of GC and place them either in Central Conferences, Annual Conferences, or Jurisdictions (Maputo).
- US not sensitive enough about keeping cultural differences in mind (Kamina/Lubumbashi)
- We need time and space opportunities at GC for Central Conferences to meet together around pan-continental Central Conference issues (Liberia).
- Need opportunities at GC to share Central Conference issues with the whole church, such as bringing issues that particularly affect African churches to the whole church (Liberia).
- Central Conference decisions made at the level of Central Conferences should be presented to GC (Liberia).
- We need greater transparency in Central Conference election of delegates to GC, and training should be made available to help delegates to fulfill their responsibilities (Zimbabwe).
- We should de-politicize the election of delegates to GC (Philippines).
- The varying cultures of the worldwide church should be taken into account in GC worship services (Cote d’Ivoire).
- The US location of GC, and the length of time it requires away from one’s home responsibilities, are problematic both financially and missionally (Philippines).
- GC too focused on legislation and too occupied with parliamentary rules (Europe).
- We are too focused on doctrine and polity and not enough on mission and life together (Europe).
- Consistency in election is critical; the diversity of term elections/elections for life/re-election brings chaos to continent ofAfrica(Congo,Maputo). Limit terms of office so that more people can become bishops (Liberia)
- Need consistency in election practices across church (Philippines)
- Where there is no itineration of bishops, the affected Episcopal area does the election (Zimbabwe)
- Bishops should be able to itinerate (Maputo)
- Inequality of salaries between bishops and pastors a problem (Philippines,Liberia)
- For the election of bishops, have a monitoring system with independent observers who supervise the process from nomination through election (Zimbabwe)
- Necessity, given strong cultural and language differences, for AC’s to elect their own bishops (Maputo, Kamina,Lubumbashi)
- More bishops are needed, but episcopal funds are allocated to travel to US for retired bishops rather than for appointment of more bishops as needed (Zimbabwe)
- CollegeofAfrican Bishopsonly has funding to meet once a year (Zimbabwe)
- Elections of bishops highly politicized [partly due to salary inequities] (Philippines)
- District Superintendents are extensions of office of bishop, and should be funded just as bishops are funded (Philippines)
III. Book of Discipline (BoD)
- No common BoD inAfrica(Zimbabwe,Congo)
- Widespread unavailability of BoD leads to arbitrary decisions (Zimbabwe) and to use of 1988 BoD as determinative (Maputo)
- Need for more general global BoD (Zimbabwe,Congo,Liberia,Philippines, Europe)
- Central Conference persons should write CC adaptations of BoD (Liberia)
- Central Conference adaptations should be in the language/s of the CC’s (Congo)
- Current ability to adapt BoD to CC’s very important (Congo,Philippines, Europe)
- Assimilate practices of Central Conferences into BoD (Liberia)
- No functional BoD (Maputo)
- What general church requires does not fit domestic and cultural needs of Central Conferences; need freedom and power to adapt Discipline and ministerial practices to local context (Philippines).
- Current BoD does not reflect cultural diversity (Europe).
- Current BoD overwhelmed with too detailed regulations (Europe)
- Better to keep a global BoD for at least a ten year period, thus requiring fewer translation and publishing costs (Europe).
- A global BoD can only give general guidelines, not precise legal stipulations, because of the wide differences of cultural and legal settings (Europe)
IV. Social Principles
- Must be sensitive to cultural differences (Zimbabwe)
- Very strong social ministry across African conferences and inPhilippines (noted in every area we heard from).
- Best to take cultural differences (homosexuality) out of Book of Discipline and leave such issues to Central Conferences (Maputo)
- Child labor an issue (Cote d’Ivoire); inLiberia, child apprenticeships. Work with parents, such as family farms, a norm.
- Human trafficking and sex trade an increasing problem (Cote d’Ivoire)
- In US, “justice” orients mission; inCote d’Ivoire, mission is to help people, and to train people to help. Organized humanitarian work, and fight against discrimination (Cote d’Ivoire)
- Missionof church transcends races and regions (Philippines)
- Agencies/donors typically do not listen to needs and priorities of local church. Ideally, AC leaders would meet, share and list concerns, organize workshops together, then ask for funding. Programs are typically determined by US; if aUS group wants church to do something, money is available, but ifZimbabwe initiates it, funding is difficult to find (Zimbabwe).
- Why not African Board of Missions, funded by African conferences? (Zimbabwe)
- UMCOM training not applicable to African situation (Zimbabwe)
- Some boards and agencies of GC are irrelevant to situation of CC’s (Philippines)
- Need for regional boards and agencies (Philippines)
- Although GBOD has planted an Upper Room ministries office in South Africa, the greater needs for educational/spiritual resource materials throughout the continent outstrip the financial capacity to print, distribute, or purchase them (GBOD)
- GBOD experimenting with hiring local people for onsite training systems; “We need strong and robust regional efforts to build sustainable local ministry efforts” (GBOD).
- Boards and agenciesU.S. oriented; come to European Central Conferences with US-based perspective or resources. Difficult for them to understand fully the cultural and social contexts of the Central Conferences (Europe).
VI. Pan-Connection Issues
- Easier to travel to US than to various African AC’s/CC’s. Funding available from US for former, not latter.
- Need time and place and funds to meet
- Appreciate ability to share experiences through Central Conferences (Cote d’Ivoire)
- There are regional issues, and the regions of the UMC need to gather to address regional issues (GBOD).
- Poverty inAfricaleads to financial dependence on US church
- Strong desire that US funds be used to start projects that will provide sustainable source of African income so that African churches can be more self-supporting (Liberia, Congo)
- CCs must do their share in contributing financial resources to the whole church (Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Philippines)
- Pastors are paid less than they can live on; necessary to provide pastors with living wage (Congo, Liberia)
- GCFA doesn’t cover travel within continent, but only to US (Zimbabwe)
- Power and financial resources linked too strongly; hence non-monetary resources of African church not recognized as valuable (Zimbabwe)
- Rising new communities do not have the resources available to sustain growth of the church (Maputo)
- Churches inEuropegive more per capita than US churches. European Central Conferences contribute to general funds and to mission projects and theological education. European Central Conferences do various ministries cooperatively on equal terms (Europe).
- Ministerial education problematic and uneven across church (Philippines,Liberia)
- Accessible educational institutions a huge need (Liberia)
- Difficulties of intra-African travel make participation inAfricaUniversity difficult for non-Zimbabwean Africans.
- Poverty makes tuition requirements a huge barrier (Congo)
- Lack of education and no common language are two of greatest barriers to progress and ability to work within the connection (Congo)
- Lack of basic structural needs, such as electricity, dormitories, and mattresses for students in new UM University (Congo)
- Need for lay education at all levels (Liberia,Zimbabwe)
- Need for local educational resources (Zimbabwe)
- Need for African developed educational resources for whole church (Zimbabwe)
- Lack of clarity regarding relationship between the conference andAfricaUniversityboard (Zimbabwe)
- Only a minority have internet access; need for hard copy accessibility (Zimbabwe)
- Need education for women, laity
- Association of Conference Lay Leaders US dominated; need regional association of lay leaders (Zimbabwe)
- Need for Council of Laity, parallel to Council of Bishops (Zimbabwe)
- Education for laity—especially Staff Parish committees—essential (Liberia,Zimbabwe)
- Board of Laity holds seminars to train lay leaders; also, have aLayLeadershipAcademy (Cote d’Ivoire)
- Legal issues inMaputo involving courts, break-away pastors
- UMC presence in South Africa creating problems as Methodist Church of South Africa members switch to UMC, especially because of its more democratic structure (Maputo)
- Need for greater transparency and greater democracy in all processes of global and local church life, but especially in terms of pastoral appointments (Maputo)
- Disparity between nature and practice of Central Conference churches and jurisdictional churches an enduring problem (Philippines)
- Missionaries fromAfricaandPhilippines to US (Philippines, Liberia)
- Crucial for European churches to be and remain part of the worldwide UMC in order to be fully recognized as a church and not a sect. Ecumenical relations very important (Europe)
- Current UMC structures too complex and place unnecessary strain on small local congregations (Europe)
- Need for clarity and details concerning any restructuring proposals, and for teaching sessions across the church prior to any General Conference legislation (Confessing Movement)
- We promote our Catholicity by taking our diversity seriously, such as by promoting regional boards and agencies in places other than theUnited States (National Association of Asian American United Methodists)
IX. From the Report of the Study Committee on the Relationship Between The United Methodist church and the Autonomous Methodist Churches in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Affirm a mutuality of mission, extending itself in both directions
- Create a comprehensive committee on Connectional Program, to meet once per quadrennium.
- Encourage ongoing program of visitation of bishops and lay and clergy leaders to facilitate mutual understanding of each partner’s context of mission and ministry.
- Support and enable direct relationships between local churches and Annual Conferences.
- Activate the Conference of Methodist Bishops
- All communications between The UMC and the Methodist churches ofLatin Americaand theCaribbean be conducted through official lines of authority in the official languages of the receiving churches.
- Official Web pages include links to each other’s Web pages.
- All GC documents be translated into Spanish and made available to delegates whose language preference is Spanish.
- That all our churches join in being a prophetic voice in the face of multiple social justice issues, particularly to injustices caused directly and indirectly byU.S. international policies.
A Covenant for The United Methodist Church as a Worldwide Church
Proposed New ¶ after ¶124
United Methodists throughout the world are bound together in a connectional covenant in which we support and hold each other accountable for faithful discipleship and mission. Integrally holding connectional unity and local freedom, we seek to proclaim and embody the gospel in ways responsible to our specific cultural and social context while maintaining “a vital web of interactive relationships” (¶131). Through a worldwide covenant relationship, we carry out our missional calling beyond national and regional boundaries. For our connectionalism to become a living practice, we need to carry the worldwide nature of The United Methodist Church deep into the life and mission of our local congregations. Only when we commit ourselves to interdependent worldwide partnerships in prayer, mission, and worship can connectionalism as the Wesleyan ecclesial vision be fully embodied. Guided by the Holy Spirit, United Methodist churches throughout the world are called afresh into a covenant of mutual commitment based on shared mission, equity, and hospitality.
In covenant with God and with each other:
We affirm our unity in Christ, and take faithful steps to live more fully into what it means to be a worldwide church in mission for the transformation of the world.
We endeavor to understand, respect, and embrace the diversity of ethnicity and culture in our denomination, and commit ourselves to mutual love and trust.
We participate in God’s mission as partners in ministry, recognizing that our God-given gifts, experiences, and resources are of equal value, whether spiritual, financial, or missional.
We commit ourselves to full equity and inclusion in our relationships, structures, and responsibilities for the denomination.
We enter afresh into a relationship of mutuality, creating a new sense of community and joyously living out our worldwide connection in mission for the transformation of the world.
Litany for the Covenant of The Worldwide United Methodist Church
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we affirm our unity in Christ.
People: We will take faithful steps to live more fully into what it means to be a worldwide church in mission for the transformation of the world.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we endeavor to understand, respect and value one another.
People: We embrace and celebrate the diversity of ethnicity and culture in our denomination, and commit ourselves to mutual love and trust.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we participate in God’s mission as partners in ministry.
People: We gratefully recognize that our God-given gifts, experiences, and resources are of equal value, whether spiritual, financial or missional.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we commit ourselves to full equality.
People: We uphold equity in our relationships, structures, and responsibilities for the denomination.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we enter afresh into a relationship of mutuality.
All: With God’s grace we joyously live out our worldwide connection in mission for the transformation of the world.
Global Book of Discipline Petition
New Part II, ¶101 (Renumber Parts III, IV and V)
The Book of Discipline reflects our Wesleyan way of serving Christ through doctrine and disciplined Christian life. We are a worldwide denomination united by doctrine, discipline and mission through our connectional covenant. The Book of Discipline expresses that unity. Each central conference may make changes and adaptations to the Book of Discipline to more fruitfully accomplish our mission in various contexts. However, some portions of the Book of Discipline are not subject to adaptation. The following parts and paragraphs are not subject to change or adaptation except by action of the General Conference. The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters has primary responsibility for proposing to General Conference revisions to this paragraph.
Parts I-IV (new Parts I-V)
1. Constitution ¶¶ 1-61
2. Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task ¶¶ 101-104
3. The Ministry of All Christians ¶¶ 120 – 142
4. Social Principles Preface, Preamble and ¶¶160 – 166
Part V (new Part VI)
5. The Local Church and Church Membership ¶¶200-205
a. The requirements, definition, and meaning of membership ¶¶214-242,
b. local church organization ¶¶243-252, 259-260
6. Ministry of the Ordained ¶¶ 301-341, 343, 346-348, 353-369
a. Paragraphs 324.3 through 324.7 are not global
7. The Superintendency ¶¶401-417, 419-435
8. The General and Central Conferences ¶¶501-11, 540-591
9. The Annual Conference ¶¶ 601-612.1, 631, 635, 657-658
10. Administrative Order
a. General provisions ¶¶ 701
11. Church Property ¶¶ 2501–2512, 2524, 2532
12. Judicial Council ¶¶ 2601-2612, 2701-19
Addition to ¶335.(3) as a new (e): Annual Conference boards of ordained ministry outside the United States are empowered to set different educational standards for candidates for full conference membership and ordination as elders so long as they include courses in United Methodist history, doctrine, polity and evangelism.
Addition to ¶330.(3) as a new (d): Annual Conference boards of ordained ministry outside the United States are empowered to set different educational standards for candidates for full conference membership and ordination as deacons so long as they include courses in United Methodist history, doctrine, polity and evangelism.
General Agencies Petition
Amend ¶701.3 and create new ¶701.4:
Insert the following after “capable of rapid response:”
They contribute to the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church both in the United States and in other parts of the world through a collaborative systemic and holistic approach. They build up and empower ministry through sustainable programs and infrastructure which enable local and regional units to increase ownership and responsibility.
A Model for the Worldwide Structure
Of The United Methodist Church
- As the highest legislative body of the United Methodist Church, the General Conference has the authority for all things distinctively connectional and is the only body that speaks for the entire church.
- TheUnitedMethodistChurchshall consist of Central Conferences.
- A Central Conference shall be created in theUnited Statescomprising the five jurisdictions. The U.S. Central Conference shall have the rights and privileges defined by the Constitution except for the election of bishops which would continue to occur in Jurisdictions. Central Conferences would not alter the Global Book of Discipline which could be changed only by action of the General Conference.
- Existing Central Conferences will remain the same, except that a larger Central Conference shall have the right to create jurisdictions within its boundaries.
- Central Conferences across the connection shall be decision-making bodies for initiatives, programs, and matters related to their particular missional contexts.
- There will be a reconfiguration of agencies including some agencies that are global and others that are regional.
- There will be a reconfiguration of connectional funding to the effect that some funds will be global and under the authority of the General Conference, and others be local and under the authority of the Central Conferences.
- Economics within episcopal areas shall be taken into account in determining Bishops’ salaries.
THE BOOK OF DISCIPLINE
- The Book of Discipline shall be comprised of two volumes.
- Volume I shall be the Global Book of Discipline, which is amendable only by the General Conference:
- Constitution ¶¶ 1-61
- Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task ¶¶ 101-104
- The Ministry of All Christians ¶¶ 120 – 142
- Social Principles Preface, Preamble and ¶¶160 – 166
- TheLocalChurchand Church Membership ¶¶200-205
- The requirements, definition, and meaning of membership ¶¶214-242
- Local church organization ¶¶243-252, 259-260
- Ministry of the Ordained ¶¶ 301-341 (with the exception of ministerial educational standards), 343, 346-348, 353-369
- The Superintendency ¶¶401-417, 419-435
- The General and Central Conferences ¶¶501-11, 540-591
- The Annual Conference ¶¶ 601-612.1, 631, 635, 657-658
- Administrative Order
- General provisions ¶¶ 701
- Church Property ¶¶ 2501–2512, 2524, 2532
- Judicial Council ¶¶ 2601-2612, 2701-19
- Volume II shall consist of all paragraphs not included in Volume I and be adaptable by the Central Conferences in accordance with their missional and cultural contexts.
FUNCTIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY
- Worship and Worldwide Missional Celebration
- Maintaining the Connection
- The Global Book of Discipline (Volume I) including Social Principles
- Reports from the Central Conferences concerning changes made to their respective Volume II of the Book of Discipline
- Opportunities for Central Conferences to engage with other Central Conferences in their geographical area to address common issues
- Election of Judicial Council
- General Church Programs and Initiatives
- Financial Action on Global Funds
- Accountability for Global Agencies
- Doctrines and Rituals for Worldwide Use
- Opportunities to engage with Ecumenical Partners/Affiliated Churches delegates
- Central Conferences shall have the right to create jurisdictions within their boundaries for reasons such as the geographical size of the conference or different language areas within the conference.
- Election of Bishops and Episcopal Assignments in Central Conferences without Jurisdictions
- Establishment of Boundaries for Annual Conferences and Episcopal Areas in Central Conferences without Jurisdictions
- Formulation of Petitions to General Conference for the Global Book of Discipline (Volume I) and making changes in Volume II of the Book of Discipline
- Equitable Sharing in the Mission and Support of the General Church
- Financial action on Central Conference funds
- Accountability for relationships with Regional Agencies (United Methodist or ecumenical)
- Educational Standards and Opportunities for Clergy and Laity
- Lifting up Lay Leadership
- Existing Central Conferences may meet as they do currently; and the US Central Conference may meet either before or after General Conference. The general Church fund shall provide for the expenses of the sessions of Central Conferences.
- Judicial Court
- Election of Bishops and Episcopal Assignments
- Establishment of Boundaries for Annual Conferences and Episcopal Areas
- Formulation of Petitions to the Central Conference for changes in Volume II of the Book of Discipline
- Election of Delegates to General, Central, and Jurisdictional Conferences
- Formulation of Petitions to General Conference for the Global Book of Discipline (Volume I) and to Jurisdictions and/or Central Conference for changes in Volume II of the Book of Discipline
- The Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of The United Methodist Church will present a model for a new worldwide structure at the 2012 General Conference.
- The Study Committee will develop a study guide on the proposed worldwide structure of The United Methodist Church for study and response by annual conferences during 2012-2014.
- The Connectional Table shall enable a process to support the study and receive the results. In the fall of 2014, the Connectional Table shall oversee the development of recommendations, petitions, and constitutional amendments for the 2016 General Conference based on their consideration of the study results.
Membership of the Study Committee:
Bishop Christian Alstead, Northern Europe Central Conference
Dr. David Beckley, Mississippi Annual Conference
Ms. Elisabeth Englund, Sweden Annual Conference
Rev. Ruby-Nell Estrella, Philippines Annual Conference
Ms. Sandra Ferguson, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
Dr. Richard Grounds, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference
Bishop John Innis, West Africa Central Conference
Bishop Scott Jones, chairperson, South Central Jurisdiction
Rev. Dr. Ilunga Kandolo Kasolwa, North Katanga Annual Conference
Mr. Matthew Laferty, East Ohio Annual Conference
Rev. Forbes Matonga, West Zimbabwe Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Timothy McClendon, South Carolina Annual Conference
Ms. Christina Mlambo, East Zimbabwe Annual Conference
Rev. Lyssette Perez, Greater New Jersey Annual Conference
Rev. Joon-Sik Park, West Ohio Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Bruce Robbins, Minnesota Annual Conference
Bishop Leo Soriano, Philippines Central Conference
Rev. Dr. Cathy Stengel, Upper New York Annual Conference
Dr. Marjorie Suchocki, California-Pacific Annual Conference
Ms. Monalisa Tuitahi, California-Pacific Annual Conference
Bishop Minerva Carcaño (Affiliated Autonomous Churches in Latin America)
Bishop Lindsey Davis (General Council on Finance and Administration)
Rev. H. Eddie Fox (World Methodist Council)
Bishop Larry Goodpaster (Council of Bishops)
Mr. Moses Kumar (General Council on Finance and Administration)
Bishop Bruce Ough (General Board of Global Ministries)
Bishop Gregory Palmer (Council of Bishops)
Mr. Thomas Kemper (General Board of Global Ministries)
Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader (Ecumenical Officer)
Bishop Roy Sano (Affiliated Autonomous Churches of Asia)
Rev. Stephen Sidorak (General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns)
Bishop Patrick Streiff (Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters)
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson (General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns)
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