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Global Connection Plan

Northeastern Jurisdiction Global Connection Plan

February 12, 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The NEJ Global Structure Task Force (Task Force) has submitted the Global Connection Plan to General Conference for its consideration.

By way of background, the Task Force was appointed by the College of Bishops and has been meeting since July 2013. We were charged with considering and proposing recommendations regarding the global structure of The United Methodist Church (UMC).

One of our first actions was to develop a set of core values to guide our work:

  • Be Christ Focused - The denominational structure should reflect the teachings of and empower the mission of Jesus Christ.
  • Embody Structural Fairness - The denominational structure should provide for greater global equality in the church around access to services, participation in structures, and shaping the agenda of The United Methodist Church. Any plan should provide for an equitable global resourcing and distribution of apportioned funds.
  • Extend Community - Everyone, everywhere must be welcome and safe in The United Methodist Church. Any new structure must honor non-essential differences and defend the essential dignity and worth of all God’s children.

The Task Force has been in communication with other committees across the denomination which have worked on aspects of the global structure: the Connectional Table, the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters, and jurisdictional groups in the Western and North Central Jurisdictions.

The Task Force distributed two preliminary proposals (in March 2014 and September 2014) for consideration and feedback.  We have revised our proposal based on the input we received.

In summary, this final proposal recommends that:

  • The Global Connectional Conference will be similar to General Conference, except that it will ONLY deal with global issues and will be responsible for a Global Book of Discipline. 
  • The UMC will be organized into four continent-wide “connections”:  Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. 
  • Each of the four connections will have the option of organizing into regions. Each connection will be responsible for its own, connection-wide book of discipline, relevant to matters that are not global.
  • Annual Conferences will remain the same. 

The specific details of the Task Force’s proposal are included in the “Concept Proposal” below which explains each level of the proposed structure along with its roles and responsibilities.  We have also provided the legislation needed to amend the Constitution of The UMC, in order to allow for these changes. 

We offer this proposal in humility and in gratitude for God’s guidance.  

Tracy Merrick, Chairperson of The NEJ Global Structure Task Force

Task Force Members: Sara Baron, Scott Campbell, Darlene DiDomineck, Jen Ihlo, Sue Jamison, Scott Johnson, Judi Kenaston, Cynthia Ann Kent, Marilyn D. Kinelski, Larry Leister, Tracy Merrick, Derrick Porter, Morais Quissico, Denise Smartt Sears, and Eliezer Valentin-Castanon
Legislation assistance: Kevin Nelson

A - Legislation and Concept Proposal

C1 - Global Connectional Conference enabling legislation

C2 - Connectional Conference enabling legislation

C3 - Regional Conference enabling legislation

C4 - Annual Conference Provisions

C5 - Boundaries

C6 - Global Structure - Episcopacy

C7 - Global Structure - Judiciary

C8 - Name change to Global Connectional Conference

C9 - Name change to Regional Conference

D - Global Structure Proposal - FAQs

The Global Connection Plan is included as the following petitions in the 2016 Advanced Daily Christian Advocate:

ADCA Page Petition Number Legislative Committee Paragraph Number Petition Title
Concept Proposal:      
467 60981 CO   Global Connectional Conference
– Concept Proposal
Constitutional Amendments:    
407 60983 CO 00  Global Connectional Conference
– Connectional Conferences
407 60982 CO 8 Global Connectional Conference
– Name and Composition
410 60984 CO 9 Global Connectional Conference
– Regional Conferences
434 60985 CO 33 Global Connectional Conference
– Annual Conference Provisions
438 60986 CO 37 Global Connectional Conference
– Boundaries
784 60989 GA 2 Global Connectional Conference
– Name Change
784 60990 GA 2 Global Connectional Conference
– Name Change
1006 60988 JA 55 Global Connectional Conference
– Judiciary
1080 60987 MH 46 Global Connectional Conference
– Episcopacy
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