From the Desk of Bishop Webb: General Conference postponed until 2024
The following note was sent by Bishop Mark J. Webb to the Upper New York Conference on March 4, 2022.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your comfort delights my soul.
Dear Sisters and Brothers of The Upper New York Conference,
The Commission on the General Conference has announced that the 2020 General Conference of the United Methodist Church rescheduled for Aug. 29 - Sept. 6, 2022, will not be held. Instead, the next General Conference will take place in 2024.
Click here to read a statement from the Commission on General Conference.
Unfortunately, our reality of unresolved differences and anxiety that have been a part of our life together over the last few years will continue. I know there are many ranges of reaction and emotion to another postponement of General Conference and the discernment of our shared future of ministry and mission.
I also know that this decision, along with the subsequent announcement that the Global Methodist Church has decided to launch on May 1, 2022, raises many questions. It is my commitment to offer accurate information in a spirit of transparency to address those questions appropriately and as quickly as possible.
The Biblical narrative reminds us that God’s people always journey amidst the unknown, yet with a certain faith that the God who leads is faithful, consistent, and reliable. We will have challenges in the weeks and months ahead. We continue in a hard season. My prayer is that we lean into what is certain. God has called us, gifted us, and invited us to partner with God in offering the good news of Jesus Christ to one another, our communities, and the world. While challenges swirl around us and uncertainty seems to rule the day, the mission of the Church has not nor will not change. Keep your focus there!
I also pray that we will demonstrate to one another every aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. This is not a time to minimize one another or see one another as the other. We are entering a season where we are invited to come alongside one another and help one another discern the path that God is calling each one to take. The reality is that some will leave The United Methodist Church, and some will continue within The United Methodist Church. We have an opportunity to bless that discernment and pray for God’s power to equip one another for future ministry and mission in the name of Jesus Christ.
Whatever the future holds within our beloved denomination, I have great hope for the Church of Jesus Christ. That hope is found in the power of who Jesus is and what Jesus does to transform lives. Our world stands in desperate need of a change that only Jesus can bring. Keep sharing Jesus! Keep going deeper in your journey as a follower of Jesus. Keep saying yes to being the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus everywhere you go. That’s our call – that’s our purpose. If we do that, we will be found faithful, and God will bless all that we do in God’s name.
I am praying for you, your congregation(s), your communities, and all that will come in the days ahead.
Mark J. Webb
Resident Bishop, Upper New York Area