Organizers have announced that the next General Conference will be Aug. 29-Sept. 7, 2021, in Minneapolis, despite pleas that the decision-making body not meet at the start of the academic year. However, the organizers are still looking for ways to ensure delegates, even if they can’t meet in person, can participate online in what many expect to be a historic legislative meeting. United Methodists in the Minnesota and Dakotas conferences have been making plans to host General Conference in Minneapolis since 2013.
The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly — postponed from this May by the COVID-19 pandemic — faces multiple proposals to resolve longtime debate around LGBTQ inclusion by splitting the denomination along theological lines.
The postponed General Conference will remain at the Minneapolis Convention Center as originally planned. The Commission on the General Conference authorized Sara Hotchkiss, business manager, to pursue new dates with the venue after it canceled events into this May because of the virus. “The hospitality industry has been devastated by COVID-19 with staffing levels significantly reduced, so negotiating amid the pandemic was a much slower process,” Hotchkiss said in a statement. “I am grateful for our partnerships in the industry we have built over the years that assisted us in getting our foot in the door early enough to find any dates in 2021,” she said.
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