We are eleven (11) weeks out from perhaps the most momentous General Conference in our lifetimes. I have heard from many delegates some very significant concerns about the lack of organization and communication from the event organizers.
- There is no published list of delegates. There is a list from 2020 that has not been updated. The 2020 list was not complete and any new elections (some legitimate and some questionable) happened months ago.
- There is no contact information for any delegate. We are able to find the US delegates and their contact information on conference websites, so the real impact of this is to completely isolate delegates from outside the US and place them in a communication vacuum leading up to their arrival. This means we cannot communicate with one another to carry out our work.
- Whole delegations from Africa report they have not received a letter of invitation from the General Conference, which is a prerequisite to apply for a visa.
- Many delegates, US and abroad, do not have a working Delegate ID number that allows us to log into the website.
- Many delegations, US and abroad, have received no flight information for attending GC.
- Many delegations, US and abroad, have received no hotel information for attending GC.
- I am a delegate with the same email address from 2019 and I have not received a single communication from the General Conference.
We are calling on Gary Graves, the Secretary of the General Conference, to immediately issue a public statement—and a direct email to delegates—with process and timeline to address these concerns.
Only recently was the updated list of petitions released—477 pages of reading bliss. You can find that here: https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/general-conference-2020-advance-daily-christian-advocate
Here is the website for General Conference: https://www.resourceumc.org/en/churchwide/general-conference-2020 (It is still officially called GC2020 because it was postponed.)
Here is a good piece for GC newcomers from UM News: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/a-beginners-guide-to-general-conference
Rev. Dr. Mark Holland
Executive Director, Mainstream UMC
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