(RNS) — Maybe the third time would be the attraction for United Methodists awaiting a vote to formally cut up the denomination.
The United Methodist Church has introduced the dates for the subsequent assembly of its international decision-making physique after suspending its 2020 Basic Convention assembly 3 times for pandemic-related causes.
The subsequent Basic Convention can be held April 23 to Could 3, 2024, on the Charlotte Conference Heart in Charlotte, North Carolina, the denomination’s Fee on Basic Convention introduced Friday (Nov. 4).
“We’re honored to host the 2024 Basic Convention of The United Methodist Church,” Bishop Ken Carter of the Western North Carolina Convention mentioned in a written assertion.
“Our individuals are hospitable and welcoming, and we belief that the delegates who collect for what guarantees to be an historic gathering can be blessed by the town of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina and its heat and wonder.”
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The United Methodist Church’s Basic Convention usually gathers delegates from throughout the globe each 4 years.
Delegates have been anticipated to take up a proposal to separate the denomination — ostensibly, over disagreements on the ordination and marriage of its LGBTQ members — on the 2020 Basic Convention assembly, initially scheduled for Could 5 to fifteen, 2020, in Minneapolis.
However the Fee on Basic Convention postponed the denominational assembly twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic — first to August 2021, then to roughly the identical time in 2022, nonetheless in Minneapolis.
In March 2022, the fee introduced a 3rd delay, partially due to challenges acquiring vaccines and journey visas for delegates touring outdoors america. The assembly can be in 2024, it mentioned, although it didn’t give new dates or a location.
This prompted some United Methodists to launch the World Methodist Church, a brand new theologically conservative denomination, somewhat than wait two extra years for the result of a vote on a doable cut up.
Within the meantime, the denomination — one of many largest in america — has begun to splinter, with some church buildings selecting to depart the United Methodist Church for the World Methodist Church or to change into unbiased.
Friday’s announcement put a date and placement on the subsequent Basic Convention.
The Fee on Basic Convention decided Charlotte was “the location that finest met our diverse wants,” after weighing proposals from three unnamed cities for the suitability and capability of their assembly amenities, the provision of enough house, the proximity of resort rooms, their accessibility and the comfort of journey and prices, based on Kim Simpson, chair of the fee.
The Western North Carolina and North Carolina annual conferences will co-host the assembly due to the abbreviated timeline for planning, Simpson added.
The fee beforehand had scrapped plans to carry the 2024 Basic Convention in Manila, saying organizers couldn’t discover conference house obtainable for 2 full weeks to host the gathering of United Methodists from world wide. It could have been the primary Basic Convention assembly held outdoors the U.S.
The announcement nonetheless leaves a variety of questions unanswered, together with whether or not clergy and lay delegates elected to the 2020 Basic Convention will serve in 2024, or if the denomination’s regional annual conferences will elect new delegates to serve, as they might have for the usually scheduled 2024 Basic Convention.
The Judicial Council has not but dominated on associated questions, that are listed on the autumn docket for the denomination’s prime courtroom.
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