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General Conference 2016: Portland Venue Tour

The United Methodist Church will gather for its next General Conference in May, 2016, but work behind the scenes is well underway. Delegates from 130 annual conferences will be part of the event at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. It is a time of prayer and planning to guide the denomination for years to come, and a huge undertaking. Members of the Commission on General Conference recently visited the General Conference site for a behind-the-scenes look, and you can go along too via this virtual tour.

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(Locator: Portland, Oregon)

Narrator: Every four years, thousands of United Methodists convene for General Conference-- two weeks of worship, fellowship and voting on new guidelines for the church.  All that work will take place in 2016 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. We followed along as members of the planning committee toured the site.

Kim Simpson: The convention center here in Portland is a really nice facility. Plenary room is nice and big with good options. Lots of breakout rooms and rooms for legislative committees and other needed rooms like Central Conference breakout rooms.

Stephanie Henry: I’m excited about the plenary floor that is wider this year instead of longer. Hopefully we’re really being intentional about making sure that everyone is able to be seen.

John Hiller: The facility has a nice modern look. There is artwork all over. There are bright colors throughout the hallways.

Kim Simpson: I especially like the interesting artwork. There’s a pendulum that swings, that knocks a round disk down every hour, sort of like you find in the Smithsonian. And I think that’s very interesting they would have that in a convention center. You don’t normally find art like that.

Stephanie Henry: The facility in Portland, this convention center, is LEED-certified platinum. So it means that they are being really intentional about their sustainability. They have water-saving fixtures in the bathrooms. And they have recycling and compost containers across the facility.

John Hiller: Portland has a wonderful public transportation system. They have the MAX light rail that runs all around town. There’s also a streetcar so that you can get around the town easily.

Kim Simpson: See ya’ll there!


Follow along with all the planning and news about the next General Conference.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Fran Walsh, 615-742-5458.
This video was first posted in May, 2015.