May 20, 2020
Statement from The General Conference Commission
The date for the 51st Quadrennial Session of the General Conference has been changed to July 6-11, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. This change in dates has necessitated other modifications. The Council of Bishops recommended to the General Conference Commission and the General Conference Commissioned has voted to suspend campaigning activities for those candidates for Bishop, General Officer and Judicial Council effective May 20, 2021 to February 28, 2021. This entails public campaigning, including traveling and advertising. It also forbids candidates from being solicited to for ads and paying for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and other events. However, this recommendation does not prevent candidates from being invited to preach or preclude them from making private phone calls to delegates.
Candidates have been campaigning for four years, spending much time and money in pursuit of an opportunity to serve the Connectional church. The rescheduling of the General Conference to 2021 would add a fifth year of campaign travel and cost, which would be onerous and burdensome; spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of uncertainty and travel complications. To that end, many of the candidates have requested that action be taken to provide a break from campaigning.
We trust the candidates and the Connectional Church will be governed by this decision.
Bishop John F. White
Chair of the General Conference Commission