Transcript: GC Video Wrap: May 20
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Skyler Nimmons: Hello friends, I’m Skyler Nimmons of the Indiana Conference.
Greg Nelson: And I am Greg Nelson of the Oregon-Idaho Conference.
Skyler Nimmons: We are here to bring you highlights of the last day of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference here in Portland. And we hope to show you some of the behind-the-scenes people and places that were a big part of this two-week meeting.
Greg Nelson: A few of my favorite people are nearby—the ones in the green vests, some of the more than 600 volunteers from United Methodist churches in this area who gave their time and talents to ensure our 3000 guests had a good Portland experience.
Skyler Nimmons: Greg, tell us how you feel this last day of conference?
Greg Nelson: I feel that the host team succeeded in their goal of demonstrating extravagant hospitality.
Skyler Nimmons: (turns and claps for volunteers) Yes, you guys did a great job. Thanks for hosting.
Greg Nelson: By the way, the Oregon Convention Center is a LEED platinum-certified building. Every effort is made to reduce waste and recycle within the facility. The roof of the 500,000 square foot building is covered with solar panels for energy efficiency.
Skyler Nimmons: And let’s see how the delegates used their energy today.
Greg Nelson: A general church budget of $604 million dollars for the next four years was approved. That’s a slight increase over the budget approved in 2012. The only modification on the floor was an additional five million dollars for the Central Conference Theological Education Fund.
Skyler Nimmons: Petitions to divest from fossil fuels and from companies that participate in the occupation of Palestine were defeated. The body also voted to affirm the current practice and add specific language to the Book of Discipline that prohibits investment in private prisons.
Greg Nelson: Delegates supported a proposed constitutional amendment to add “gender” and “age” to the list of qualities that will not be discriminated against in the life, worship and governance of the church. The amendment is structured to preserve gender or age-based groups, such as youth groups. The constitutional amendment heads next to 2017 annual conferences where it needs two-thirds of the total vote to be ratified.
Skyler Nimmons: A motion to set mandatory retirements for Central Conference bishops was approved, effective immediately.
Greg Nelson: The General Conference bid a fond farewell to outgoing General Conference secretary Gere Reist , who has served in that position since his election in 2004.
Skyler Nimmons: Four delegates gave a parting message to attendees to go home with a renewed commitment to model what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Skyler Nimmons: It’s been great to be in the Rose City.
Greg Nelson: It’s been great to welcome our church.
Skyler Nimmons: It’s hard to squeeze in so much information in a few minutes, but remember you can find all things General Conference at our website, umcgc.org.
Greg Nelson: And follow along on social media with #umcgc.
Skyler Nimmons: Join us in Minneapolis in 2020!