General Conference

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This section will be updated as more information becomes available. Please check back often. Updates will be indicated in bold or red font.

News & Stories from the General Conference

WV’s Judi Kenaston addresses delegates at UM General Conference
Judi Kenaston’s WV roots run deep, but in a new role, she now helps connect the mission and ministry of The UMC across the globe.

John Langenstein recently sat down with David Stilgenbauer and Ray Yarnall at the General Conference.
Laity delegates and friends filled the Richardson Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center Thursday evening for a Celebration of The Laity Dinner at General Conference.

Rural Chaplains at the Center of Three General Conference Resolutions
One of the groups working to maintain our local impact and meet the needs of our neighbors is the Rural Chaplains Association. Deaconess Gayle Lesure, a rural chaplain working in Clarksburg, W.Va. spoke with John Langenstein.

West Virginia Conference Members Volunteer at General Conference
The West Virginia Conference has several members serving in both roles across the General Conference. They make the trip to Charlotte and stay here without compensation, only coming to make sure the business of the Church can thrive.

Thankful for the Connection of the UMC
Audrey Stanton-Smith reflects on a connection that was brought full circle this week in her work at General Conference.

General Conference Passes New Retirement Plan for Clergy
The General Conference has approved the Compass Plan, a new way of handling clergy retirement funds. What does that mean for churches in the West Virginia Annual Conference?

General Conference Extends Sacramental Authority to Deacons
Deacons can now preside at the sacraments in their appointments without needing explicit permission from their bishop. See what this means to two deacons in the West Virginia Conference.

General Conference Resources


Behind the Scenes of General Conference (FAQs)

Informational Documents and Videos

The Road to General Conference

This infographic was produced by the Virginia Conference and has been edited with permission to reflect the West Virginia Conference. Download the full series here.




Dear United Methodist friends in West Virginia and Garrett County, MD –

On behalf of the 2020 General Conference delegation, we want to thank you for the precious time that you shared with us during our recent travels around the conference. Your worship of God, prayers for us and the work of the church, and holy conversations are blessings that will sustain us as we prepare and on our journey to Charlotte.

We are grateful for the gracious hospitality of St. Paul’s UMC in Oakland, New Martinsville UMC in New Martinsville, Bridgeport UMC in Bridgeport, UM Temple in Beckley, and Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston. Their staff and volunteers were patient when our video had hiccups and generous with coffee, snacks, lunch, and space. We appreciate your gifts in helping us do this work.

As we complete our final preparations, we continue to ask for your prayers. Our touchstone prayer prompt using Sue Nilson Kibbey’s breakthrough prayer structure is “Return. Renew. Restore”. The prayer focus was born of conversation that Rev. Nilson Kibbey led the delegation through that focused on Acts 15: 1-18, a recording of the Jerusalem Council – a time when the church made significant decisions about ministry.

The entire prayer that we’ve been praying that occasioned these prompts is this:

Almighty and gracious God, we, the people of the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, ask that you have mercy on your church. Once again, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us; renew and restore your church until we are made new. Instill within these delegates humble hearts and discerning minds that hunger and thirst for your righteousness and your vision for our future. Through the decisions of the General Conference, return to this church a passionate longing for the coming of your kingdom, and unite us in one mission: to reach and make new disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. Amen.

We continue to ask for the gift of your prayers as we do our work. It would be a precious gift if you and the congregations you attend would join your prayers with ours. We trust in God’s Spirit to make us into the spiritual leaders who will do the work we are called to do. You can continue to strengthen us for this journey by offering your prayers.

With gratitude – Rev. Amy Shanholtzer, Head of General Conference Delegation


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A DELEGATE? Delegates are not representatives. That is, they are not sent to “represent” the views of their conference, local church or any particular constituency. The annual conference "delegates" authority to each person elected to vote their conscience, as moved by the Holy Spirit, about the matters before them. Delegates are to cast their votes based on what they believe is best for the life and witness of the entirety of The United Methodist Church worldwide and its related ministries.