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Diverse Delegation elected

Posted: June 10 2019 at 06:00 PM
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2020 General and Jurisdictional Delegation. From left-right: Ronnie Lyall, Gregory Gross, Hwa-Young Chong, Nadia R. Kanhai, Luis Reyes, Alka Lyall, Lonnie Chafin, Rita L. Smith, Nancy Pendergrass, Jessie Cunningham, Mark Manzi, Britt Cox and Brian Gilbert. (Not pictured: Adrian Hill and Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger)

After mastering the voting electronic keypads and a total of 20 ballots, annual conference members elected three clergy and three lay delegates to the 2020 General Conference and three clergy and three lay delegates for the Jurisdictional Conference, along with two clergy and two lay alternates. 

The equal and diverse delegation includes some new faces and some who are serving again. The delegation is made of 50% female and 50% male delegates, 50% new and 50% experienced delegates, including four new laity and four new clergy. Three delegates are under age 35, which two are new to the delegation.

In order of election, the delegates are:

General Conference Lay: Lonnie Chafin, Nadia R. Kanhai, Adrian Hill  (Vice Chair).
General Conference Clergy: Alka Lyall (Chair), Luis F. Reyes, Gregory Gross.
Jurisdictional Conference Lay: Rita L. Smith, Jessie Cunningham, Ronnie Lyall.  
Alternates: Nancy Pendergrass and Mark Manzi
Jurisdictional Conference Clergy: Hwa-Young Chong, Jacques A. Conway, Brian Gilbert. 
Alternates: Britt Cox and Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger

The delegation's Chair Rev. Alka Lyall of Broadway UMC in Chicago said there's a good representation of the conference among the group, but they have work to do starting this summer.

"On behalf of the delegation, I would like to thank all the members of our Annual Conference for showing your faith in us and for supporting us in this work," said  Lyall. "It is not a surprise to many that our denomination is in a very fragile place. The church is fragmented, so the work that we as delegates are called to do is more crucial than ever before. We will do our best to do the right thing. As the delegation of Northern Illinois Conference, we are committed to the work of justice and full inclusion of all persons." 

The delegation's goal is to be as transparent with our work as they possibly can and will be sharing dates of their future meetings. 

General Conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., May 5-15, 2020. The North Central Jurisdictional Conference where Bishops are elected will be held in Ft. Wayne, Ind., July 15-18, 2020.

The delegation covets your prayerful support and you can follow them on Facebook for updates and news at

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