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United Methodist Church Postpones General Conference amid COVID-19 Pandemic

United Methodist Church Postpones General Conference amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The United Methodist Church, anticipating action on a proposal that could split the denomination, has postponed its quadrennial General Conference, which was scheduled for May 5-15 in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Convention Center notified the Executive Committee of UMC’s Commission on the General Conference that the venue was not holding large events through May 10, a news release from the church’s press center said.

The convention center’s restrictions, the release said, are based on Minnesota Department of Health recommendations to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, which has caused a global pandemic of respiratory illness and death. The virus is also known as COVID-19.

The release quoted Kim Simpson, chair of the General Conference Commission, who said the convention center’s restrictions are “not unexpected based on the current guidance from health officials, and we expect to move forward with new plans as quickly as possible.”

The release said the commission “has been monitoring the situation for some time” and had scheduled a teleconference of the full commission for March 21 to discuss plans for the event. Only the full commission has the authority to change the date of the General Conference, the release said.

As of Wednesday, that teleconference was still scheduled, the release said, but added that it’s uncertain when the commission would be able to…

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