February 23, 2019

Welcome to the WJ Update!

As the specially called session of General Conference starts today, here are some stories about what to expect and what's happening. Find stories and commentary to learn more and check out past issues of Western Jurisdiction Update for more information and links to even more!

You can find a live feed of the conference at
You can also find coverage of the General Conference from United Methodist News Service at

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

General Conference Day of Prayer

History is being made in St. Louis. Not only will the special called session of General Conference, Feb. 23-26, be the first special session since the one in 1970 that dealt with the organization of The United Methodist Church, but the Day of Prayer on Saturday will be historic, too.

It will represent the first time that a general session has been launched with such an extended period of communal prayer: Six-and-a-half hours, beginning at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time and ending at 3:30 p.m. CST.

Read more about the day of prayer and how Western leaders will be part of the day.

View a schedule for the day.

The four value cocktails available inside the ‘bar’ at #GC2019

Each of the four plans under serious consideration at #UMCGC embody four values United Methodists hold as they consider a way forward. Will delegates be able to recognize how much they actually share in common and build off of that?

For example, all four plans place some value on unity, but each arrives at it in a different way, with delegates bringing both unique understandings of what unity is, and varying degrees of interest in it.

Read more about the values of the plans on the Western Jurisdiction website.

The world is watching

(c) St. Louis Post Dispatch

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch website

One aspect of the Special Called Session is that the secular press and world will be watching.

Given the emotionally charged topic of the special session of General Conference, more reporters from secular news agencies are attending, watching, and writing about what we do in St. Louis

Here's an article from St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


Commentary: Looking to Acts 15: A Special Session of the Church

In the build-up to this 2019 session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in St. Louis there are lots of meetings. The Judicial Council meets. The Bishops meet. Most of the General Boards and Agencies meet in some form or another. And the various caucuses and interest groups usually meet as well. There are a lot of meetings.

After all, this is a big deal. When you try to get a denomination of about 12.5 million members together to make decisions, you try to get as much face-to-face time in as possible.

But again, this is not the first special session and it will not be the last.

Read all of Jim's thoughts 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. Please keep this in mind as you review the following times. The rules of General Conference call for a 6:30 adjournment.

Preliminary schedule:                                                                See the official online schedule

  • Saturday, Feb. 23 – 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Day of Prayer and Preparation View or Download a detailed schedule
  • Sunday, Feb. 24 - 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Worship, 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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