February 19, 2019

Welcome to the WJ Update!

With the United Methodist General Conference on Saturday, Feb. 23, the Western Jurisdiction communicators will be using this tool to help you stay connected!

This "pre-conference" edition will provide you with details about what is coming in the days ahead. Starting Friday, Feb. 22 you will get a daily version of the WJ Update with news and perspectives from the ground in St. Louis.

Also, learn more on the newly updated Western Jurisdiction website at

Wrapped in Prayer

General Conference is wrapped in prayer. The year-long Praying Our Way Forward initiative ends with a day of prayer on Saturday, Feb, 23, the day designated for preparation and prayer preceding the official start of General Conference.

View a schedule for the day.

How to hack The United Methodist Church in 11,397 easy steps

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith welcomes a
fellow pastor to his church

In an insightful interview, progressive United Methodist blogger and reserve GC2019 clergy delegate, the Rev. Jeremy Smith offers his thoughts on the upcoming special session, the art of online advocacy, and some advice for leaders who may need to respond to a hurting church.

"My drive for an inclusive church is from an LGBTQ activist I heard 15 years ago in Boston: there will still be gay kids born to straight parents in whatever church there is, so we cannot allow oppression to reign anywhere."

Read more from this blogger on the Western Jurisdiction website

Learn more about the plans for a way forward

When delegates gather in St. Louis in a few days, they will have four major proposals to consider as a way forward for The United Methodist Church. Watch this video panel discussion with advocates for the Simple Plan, One Church Plan, The (modified) Traditionalist Plan, and the Connectional Conferences Plan.

video screen shot

 Watch the video on

Petitions At General Conference

 Any Organization, Lay Member, or Clergy Member in the United Methodist Church had the opportunity to turn in petitions related to the matters at hand. There are now 78 petitions that will be acted upon on the floor of General Conference and you can find them all in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA). It has been the work of the Committee on Reference to determine which petitions will be addressed, making sure the petitions are “in harmony” with the purpose of General Conference.

For this special session, petitions must be "in harmony" with the purpose of the call to gather.

Read about the history and get details on the petitions on the Western Jurisdiction website.

Social connection during GC2019

During General Conference 2019, you'll be able to engage with the people at the Special Session and others around the world that want to be a part of the historic conversation.

Western Jurisdiction will be present on Facebook (/wjumc), Twitter (@wjumc), Instagram (@wjumc), and SnapChat (@wjumc). Follow ongoing updates, and tag us with your questions, news, and photos.

Read more about using Social Media on the Western Jurisdiction Website

Watch General Conference live

looking at laptop

Beginning on Saturday, Feb. 23, General Conference will be streamed live by United Methodist Communications. You can see the live feed at

St. Louis is in the Central Time Zone. The rules of General Conference call for a 6:30 adjournment, but the body can vote to suspend that rule.

Preliminary schedule:

  • Saturday, Feb. 23 – 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Day of Prayer and Preparation
  • Sunday, Feb. 24 - 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Report from the Commission on a Way Forward and selection of plan(s) to refine.
  • Monday, Feb. 25 - 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 pm.
    Legislative Committee of all delegates (chaired by a delegate)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 26 - 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 pm.
    Plenary session to make final vote and recommendations. (bishops will preside)



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