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Guide to 2016 General Conference
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May 14, 2016

Warren Harper describes experience addressing General Conference
In a live video stream to the conference Facebook page, Advocate editor Madeline Pillow interviews Warren Harper, Virginia Conference lay leader, about his participation in the delivery of the laity address to General Conference. "It was exciting," Harper said, noting that he and five other conference lay leaders were "talking about the mission of the church and how that all tells our local churches how to do ministry in the communities of which they are a part." The video was produced by Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, and can be viewed on the conference Facebook page at

Tom Berlin blogs about why General Conference is such a difficult meeting
In his blog, "Three Important Words," the Rev. Tom Berlin, clergy head of the Virginia Conference delegation to General Conference, shares his thoughts about why it is such a difficult meeting. "I have been trying to understand why it is such a difficult meeting, even in a church that is doing so much good around the globe. We have spent considerable time just establishing the rules we will use to manage the numerous conversations that will come before us in the days ahead. Where there is low trust and high anxiety there will be lengthy discussion of rules. It may be that the reason for this atmosphere is the nexus of three issues ..." More ...

Nick Ruxton blogs about being on official General Conference press team
In his blog, "Through the Lens," conference vidographer Nick Ruxton gives "UMC nerds" a look at what goes into reporting on General Conference and what the Press Room looks like. More ...

May 13 wrap-up: Laity address, State of the Church report
After several days where General Conference delegates were clearly divided over Rule 44, on day four, they were urged repeatedly to work together, and shown examples of the good the church can do when it heeds that advice. In other news, demonstrations surrounding climate change, immigration and the church's stance on homosexuality were held. More ...

Schaefer, son join campout for LGBTQ rights
The Rev. Frank Schaefer and his son will join the Rev. Mike Tupper in a tent outside the Oregon Convention Center in Portland to symbolize how they say LGBTQ people are kept outside the doors of The United Methodist Church. Their protest is on the doorstep of The United Methodist Church's General Conference, which is considering sexuality legislation. More ...

General Conference 2016 has bumpy start
The third day of General Conference 2016 saw more conflict over whether delegates should use iPads or old-fashioned placards to signal a desire to speak on the plenary floor. Some participants said prolonged debate over rules and procedures illustrated the lack of trust here and the challenges of being a global church. More ...

Follow Virginia Conference reports from General Conference
Follow Virginia Conference Communications staff coverage of General Conference on the conference website at, the conference YouTube channel at, the conference Facebook page at, the conference Twitter feed at, and the conference Instagram page at To follow or participate in conversations about General Conference on social media, use hashtags #UMCGC, #UMC and #VAUMC.

Follow events at General Conference on computer, phone or tablet
Even if you're not in Portland, you can follow all the action at General Conference on your computer, phone or tablet.

♦ Bookmark the website. is the source for everything about General Conference 2016. News, blogs, resources, videos and photos about everything happening at General Conference are available in this central location. United Methodist Communications will update this page throughout the General Conference with the latest news and daily summaries that share the highlights of each day.

♦ Watch the live stream. Whenever the conference is in session, will feature live streaming video where you will be able to watch the voting, worship, speeches and celebrations happening on the floor of General Conference. The feed will be available in English, French and American Sign Language. The schedule is available online, just remember all times listed are Pacific Time Zone, and you may have to adjust.

♦ Get the app. General Conference 2016 has a mobile device application available in your app store (Google Play | iTunes). News, videos, photos and daily devotions are there now, and much more will be added and updated throughout General Conference.

♦ Follow on social media. Follow UMCGeneralConference on Facebook, @UMCGC on Twitter and umcgc on Instragram for stories, photos, videos and links. Use the official hashtag of General Conference 2016, #UMCGC, on any social media platform to join and follow the conversations of United Methodists all over the world. One of the easier ways to follow #UMCGC will be available at

♦ Keep up with specific legislation. If you are interested in a specific piece of legislation, possibly one submitted by your congregation or annual conference, you can track it on a webpage in the General Conference section of

For in-depth news and features about United Methodist mission and ministry, subscribe to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the Virginia Conference’s award-winning monthly magazine — now available in both print and digital formats. Click here to subscribe. Or call the Communications office at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or e-mail For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at




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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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