General Conference to hold 10th Session in Sept and Dec

THE 10TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE will be held from Sept 3 to 8 and Dec 6 to 7, 2012. The General Conference is held once in four years.

The theme for the 10th Session this year is “Becoming partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). is scripture verse is a reminder that we are created in God’s own image, and we are called to be restored in that image.

Speaking on this theme will be a few foreign bishops from Methodist churches which have close connections with us. e bishops will be taking turns to speak at our devotions. eir rich spiritual experience will enliven our worship experiences during the conference.

Each Annual Conference sends seven ministerial delegates and seven lay delegates to the General Conference, making the full house of a General Conference comprising 42 people.

Some conference delegates will participate in the vespers and worship services, and church members can pray for the church in the prayer room which will be set up during the conference.

One item which will be watched with interest in this conference will be the election of a bishop. As the incumbent Bishop Dr Robert Solomon would have served three full terms, a new bishop will have to be elected at this session.

According to the “Book of Discipline”, elders eligible for the election would be those who,

a) Have been serving as an elder for at least 10 years and is a Singapore citizen,
b) Must not be retiring during the quadrennium or have been elected to three full terms as bishop, and
c) Are not concurrently any president in an Annual Conference. e elder will have to secure at least two-thirds of the votes to be
elected bishop.

Another business item will be petitions by members of e Methodist Church in Singapore to propose changes in our church law. ey do so by submitting petitions to the General Conference. e last day for submission of a petition is July 5, 2012 – 60 days before Sept 3, 2012.

In recent years, the General Conference was held in two parts – the first in September and the second in December. One advantage of having a two-part General Conference is that the first part will enable a bishop to be elected before the Annual Conference Sessions are held in November.

If no bishop is elected in September, the election will be carried out in December, and this raises the probability that another election for a new president of an Annual Conference would have to be carried out should a November-elected president be elected the bishop.

Lim Soo Chin is the General Conference Secretary.

Deadline for submitting petitions

HERE IS HOW you may submit petitions to the General Conference for consideration.

The Book of Discipline ¶207 stipulates that petitions must comply with these conditions:

1) ree copies of the petition must be sent to the Secretary of the General Conference or a designated petitions secretary.

2) Each petition must address only one paragraph of the Book of Discipline or, if the Book of Discipline is not affected, one issue.

3) Each petition must be signed by the person submitting it; accompanied by appropriate identification, such as address, local church, or Methodist board or agency relationship.

4) Petitions must be received by the petitions secretary no later than 60 days prior to the opening session of the General Conference (July 5, 2012).

If you are submitting a petition, please mail it before the deadline to:

The General Conference Secretary

The Methodist Church in Singapore 70 Barker Road #06-00

Methodist Centre

Singapore 309936.