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Day Seven: May 1, 2012

Guaranteed Appointments Eliminated

Tampa, FLA. (UMNS) - Many delegates were surprised and even shocked by how quickly a far-reaching proposal that takes away the security of guaranteed appointments for ordained elders breezed by The United Methodist 2012 General Conference. The item was approved as part of a large number of proposals in the assembly"s April 30 consent calendar. The consent calendar is a tool used by General Conference to expedite legislation wherein recommendations from legislative committees with no more than 10 votes are grouped and passed together. Click here for more.

Social Principles Preamble Changed to Declare, "God"s grace is available to all"

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - "We stand united in declaring our faith that God"s grace is available to all, that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus." So said the delegates to the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church in approving an addition to the beginning of the preamble to the denomination"s Social Principles. Click here for more.

Delegates Make Commitments to Global Church

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - As with a number of other items that were resolved without much notice in the morning plenary May 1, delegates to the 2012 General Conference approved two pieces of legislation that further the global ministry of The United Methodist Church. The Pacific Islander Ministry Plan was approved on the morning"s consent calendar, making it the sixth racial-ethnic ministry plan for the church. The consent calendar comprises a large number of petitions that are acted upon at the same time. Full story here.

"Plan UMC" for Agencies Heading for Debate

At this point, much of the talk in the halls of General Conference is not about the Call to Action restructuring plan or the alternative Plan B. The talk is of "Plan UMC," a compromise involving people who developed both proposals to reconfigure agencies working with delegates from the central conferences. The new legislation is printed in today"s Daily Christian Advocate. The General Conference Committee on Calendar and Agenda expects the full assembly to take up restructuring legislation on Wednesday, May 2. Full report here.

Pan-Methodists Celebrate Together

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - After several hundred years of separation, members of six Pan-Methodist denominations have committed to ministry together. The United Methodist Church is the last of the denominations to adopt the full communion agreement, which was celebrated May 1 during the 2012 General Conference. The affirmation establishes a new relationship among the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, African Union Methodist Protestant, Christian Methodist Episcopal, Union American Methodist Episcopal and United Methodist denominations. Click here for full article.

Higher Education Night Gives Delegates Chance for Fellowship with Students

Tampa, FLA. (UMNS) - Student performances, fellowship and good food gave delegates and visitors to General Conference 2012 a chance to learn about the global network of United Methodist and Methodist higher education on a more personal level. "Fellowship, community, gifts all come together " it"s the best way to do it, education at its best," said Rodney Smothers, a delegate from the Baltimore-Washington Conference. "It"s a great way to showcase the talents of the different schools. You get a chance to talk to the students when they aren"t performing." More here.

GC2012 Radio: May 1, 2012

Tampa, FLA. (UMNS) - It was a busy day. Today"s show features analysis from UMNS reporter Kathy Gilbert and UMR managing editor, Sam Hodges. Kathy talked with me about her morning, which was spent covering what might be the story of the day: the end of job guarantees for elders in the United Methodist Church. Sam gives a preview of a new UMC restructure alternative, commonly called "Plan UMC." And, Art McClanahan caught up with volunteers working to feed the hungry. Hope you enjoy the show! Click here for broadcast.

Daily Christian Advocate Copies Available Online

A first for General Conference, the Daily Christian Advocate editions are available each morning online in addition to printed copies. As you follow the live stream, click here to follow along or use as a reference. The link is also available on the AWF Web site here.

Photo of the Day

The Alabama-West Florida delegation, spouses, conference staff and friends gathered for a fellowship dinner Tuesday evening, May 1, 2012.

A Word from an AWF Delegate

"The 2012 General Conference has provided a sense of change this quadrennium. Delegates are seated at round tables in small groups, which allows us to experience holy conferencing with other delegations while remaining close with our own. The daily schedule seems more humane this year with set end times for dismissal. I'm also pleased to see the growing number of international delegates that truly gives global flavor to General Conference. I will return home with a renewed sense of the vitality of the United Methodist Church throughout the world and a desire that Methodists in the USA pray that sense of vitality. It is an honor to serve the Alabama-West Florida Conference in this role and I look forward to a productive remainder of the week."

-Dr. Lawson Bryan, First United Methodist Church, Montgomery

Tomorrow's Highlights

-Reports from Administrative Committees

-Calendar Items & Conference Business

-Plenary Session to include Elections of Secretary-designate of the General Conference, Commission on the General Church, General Agencies, Trustees of John Street Church

-Evening Worship

Stay Connected During General Conference

General Conference Web site: www.gc2012.umc.org

Agenda: Click here

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gc2012 (join the AWF conversation at #awfcg12)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gc2012

Live Stream: Click here

Photos: Click here for the UMNS galleries

Digital Lounge"casual conversations about what is happening at General Conference: Click here

Video Archives: Click here

Legislation Tracking: Click here

*E-news updates will either be sent at the conclusion of the day or at the beginning of the next as a recap.

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