How to Best Prepare for the May 13 Special Session of the Arkansas Annual Conference

By Todd Burris, Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services for the Arkansas Annual Conference and Rev. Dr. Tony Griffin, President, Conference Board of Trustees

What is the upcoming Special Session about?

The purpose of the upcoming Special Session of the Arkansas Annual Conference is stated in its call: 

The consideration of ratification of disaffiliation agreements from the Conference Board of Trustees with various congregations of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, in accordance with ¶2553 of The 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the Principles adopted at the 2021 Arkansas Annual Conference Session and Judicial Council Decision 1379. 

When and where will this Special Session be held? 

Saturday, May 13, 2023, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Horner Hall in the Hot Springs Convention Center.

Who should participate in this meeting?

All current clergy members of the Arkansas Annual Conference, including appointed licensed pastors, are authorized to participate. Lay members who are authorized to participate are those lay members who were last seated at the June 2022 Annual Conference session, as provided by paragraph 602.5 of the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Any lay member unable to attend because of death, serious illness, or cessation of membership who can not be replaced by an alternate to the June 2022 Annual Conference session, may be replaced by a lay member duly elected by the charge conference.

May visitors attend?

Yes.  But this limited seating is first-come, first serve. 

Will there be any other business items on the agenda?

No. According to the Book of Discipline, the only matters for consideration are those specified in the call. 

How can people best prepare to participate in this Special Session?

Learn about the Beliefs of the United Methodist Church, found here

Learn about the Discernment Process for Disaffiliation, found here

Watch a video provided by Bishop Laura Merrill, found here

Study the Principles for Disaffiliation adopted by the Arkansas Annual Conference in 2021, found here.

Learn about the local churches seeking disaffiliation here

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