From the July 18 Wesleyan Christian Advocate, the newspaper of the North and South Georgia Conferences of the United Methodist Church.
This week…504 delegates from the 15 Annual Conferences that make up the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church will gather at Lake Junaluska for their quadrennial conference.
Of that total, 56 delegates are from North Georgia and 24 from South Georgia.
The primary function of the Jurisdictional Conference is to elect Bishops. In addition the conference also has the powers and duties:
- To promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary and benevolent interests of the church and to provide for interests and institutions within their boundaries;
- To establish and constitute jurisdictional conference boards as auxiliaries to the general boards of the church;
- To determine the boundaries of Annual Conferences;
- To make rules and regulations for the administration of the church’s work within the Jurisdiction; and
- To appoint a committee on appeals.
The theme of the 2008 Conference is “Living the United Methodist Way.” During the conference there will be four “Teaching Sessions” around that theme….
Since there is only one Bishop retiring, there will only be one Bishop elected. Once one of the candidates receives over 50% of the vote, the Episcopacy Committee will meet to assign that new Bishop to an Episcopal Area, and assign other Bishops to new Episcopal Areas as needed….
According to the [United Methodist Book of] Discipline, Bishops are assigned to serve a four-year term and can be reappointed to the same area once. Under special circumstances a Bishop may be reappointed a second time, but then will have to move…. Since Bishop [Lindsey] Davis has served North Georgia for three consecutive quadrennium [sic] he will have to move.
With his strong emphasis on evangelism and new church development, Bishop Davis has served this area well. Under his leadership, the North Georgia Conference has become the largest conference in the connection (in the U.S.). Membership in North Georgia has grown by 65,000 new members since he was assigned here in 1996.
Bishop Davis’ written report to the 2008 SEJ Conference is here (PDF).