Alabama-West Florida Conference Task Force Reviews Initial Denominational Plans

August 28, 2019

The Alabama-West Florida Conference Discernment Task Force met on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, at Greenville FUMC. This group had its inaugural meeting on July 16, 2019.
Since the first gathering in July, several denominational structure plans have come forth from various sources. The three working plans, thus far, are as follows. 
The Indianapolis Plan
UMCNext Proposal
Bard-Jones Strategy
The task force was divided into three teams to review the working plans. Each team was assigned a specific plan to review and was asked to comment on the following:

  • The strengths and challenges of the plan assigned;
  • How our annual conference would likely respond to the plan’s adoption by General Conference 2020;
  • How our local churches would likely respond to the plan’s adoption by General Conference 2020. 

The three aforementioned plans are a glimpse into potential legislation at General Conference 2020, which will be held May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis, MN. The legislation deadline for the upcoming conference is September 18, 2019. It is projected that these plans will continue to be modified until the deadline and new plans could emerge.
“Although it can be difficult to speculate on how General Conference 2020 will unfold, it is important to bring various theological perspectives to the table in our conference,” stated Bishop David Graves. “I feel that it will benefit our conference to project multiple scenarios so that we can properly lead the Alabama-West Florida Conference in the coming year. We ask for your prayers that we will arrive at a solution that will glorify God and enable us to reach people in the name of Jesus Christ.” 
The goal of the discernment task force is to have conversations that will provide guidance to potential strategic decisions that could come before the annual conference. The next meeting, under the direction of Dr. David Saliba of Perdido Bay UMC, will be in the fall after the legislation deadline has passed.