Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, in accordance with ¶603.5 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, calls for a special session of the annual conference on Saturday, November 12, 2022. The meeting will begin at 10am and will be a virtual session.
The purpose of the special session is to vote on any matters related to local church disaffiliations within the Alabama-West Florida Conference.
The window of opportunity to properly discern this next step before the 2022 session of annual conference in June is ending due to minimal availability of district superintendents. The bishop’s announcement of a called session allows local churches additional discernment and necessary conversations with conference leadership.
“Most of you know I have reiterated my desire to be a United Methodist bishop and also hope each member, clergyperson and church would choose to remain in the United Methodist Church,” stated Bishop Graves. “However, I am aware that some churches will choose to explore other options. I want to offer those who feel like they need to pursue disaffiliation an opportunity to do so that will allow all parties involved the necessary and appropriate time needed to prayerfully explore all options.”
The special conference session will consider only matters pertaining to local church disaffiliations; no other business may be considered.
Elected lay members of the 2022 June annual conference session will again serve as the voting lay members for the called session in November. Clergy membership of the annual conference is defined in ¶32 of the Book of Discipline. Specific delegate instructions and information will be distributed by Rev. Ashley Davis, AWF conference secretary.
**The Book of Discipline ¶603.5: A special session of the annual conference may be held at such time and in such place as shall have been determined by the annual conference after consultation with the bishop, or by the bishop with the concurrence of three-fourths of the district superintendents. A special session of the annual conference shall have only such powers as are stated in the call. (See Judicial Council decision 397)