Skip to Main Content

Updates from Your NIC Delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences

Posted: March 10 2024 at 12:00 AM
Author: Rev. Alka Lyall, chair, and Adrian Hall, vice-chair, of the NIC delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences

Gc2020 Logo Clr




All delegation meetings are open meetings. 

Meetings run from 3 to 8 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Before dinner housekeeping and logistical information are processed.

All are welcome to join the delegation after 6 p.m. for any of these meetings, when conversations on content begin.

If you wish to join one of these meetings, please inform the delegation by email so that they have enough seating for all guests.

NIC Delegation Learns Implications of Key Legislation


The Northern Illinois delegation to the United Methodist Church General and Jurisdictional Conferences met on March 10 at St Mark United Methodist Church in Chicago, and we continued to discuss pertinent issues related to our work in Charlotte.

General Conference meets April 23 through May 3 in Charlotte, N.C.

We first met with Rev. Victoria Rebeck, the NIC director of communications. Because events happen and activities move quickly at General Conference, Rev. Rebeck and the delegation discussed strategies for sharing information so that we can keep our conference up to date on breaking news.

Next, we heard from Dr. Mittie Quinn, the coordinator of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC). The Love Your Neighbor Coalition is a partnership of 15 UMC-related caucus groups working for a just, inclusive, and grace-filled denomination. They are working hard to offer opportunities and resources for fellowship and community building at General Conference. LYNC will be sponsoring the Daily Offerings, such as a hospitality room, an international craft market, a prayer room, and more.

LYNC will also host these events at First UMC in Charlotte:

  •  April 21, 3 to 7 p.m.: International worship and love feast
  • April 22, 7 to 9 p.m.: Fellowship meal and worship celebrating Earth Day (guest speaker: Dr. Musa Dube, professor of New Testament at Candler School of Theology)
  • April 28, 12:30 to 4 p.m.:  LYNC Celebration barbeque
  • May 4, 9:30 a.m.: Sending forth/commissioning service

Some of our delegates summarized important legislation that we'll be processing in our legislative committees. We want the UMC to continue progressing as we promote the geographical regionalization of the denomination, removal of the harmful language in the Book of Discipline, and a proposed revision of the Social Principles.

Our final meeting takes place on April 7 at 5:45 p.m. at First UMC in Elmhurst. It will include a worship service in which delegates are sent forth for their work. Bishop Dan Schwerin will speak and lead a prayer over the delegation.  We invite you to attend this service and send us forth with your blessings. If you cannot attend in person, you can watch the livestream on the church’s Facebook page. 

Reminder: if you are going to General Conference as volunteers, pages, marshals, observers, or supporters, please let the Northern Illinois delegation know by filling out this Google form: This allows us to include you in NIC-related gatherings at conference.

Want to contact the delegation? Use this email address:

Visitors (those who are not registered under some official category) to General Conference may come to the Charlotte Convention Center to obtain a daily credential as an observer. It is expected there will be a cost of $10 per day for visitors.

NIC General Conference delegation meets Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth and brushes up on parliamentary procedure

Update: Feb. 21, 2024

The NIC delegation to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences gathered on Feb. 11 at First United Methodist Church in Evanston They first met with Bishop Cedrick D. Bridgeforth of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area in the Western Jurisdiction, who spoke about his hope and vision for the UMC. As a former delegate to General Conference, he gave us much-appreciated tips about building coalitions with other like-minded delegates to maximize our impact. Bishop Bridgeforth also encouraged us to pay attention to legislation that may not have gained the same traction as those proposing regionalization, revision of the Social Principles, and removal of prohibitive language, but, if passed, will have great impact on ordained ministry.

We also were trained in parliamentary procedures by Revs. Preston Price and Katie Voigt. This gave our first-time delegates a good start on navigating the conference.

Rev. Bob Burkhart, a retired elder, spoke to us about the inequity of Wespath’s proposed new pension plan. It would likely give lesser benefits to incoming clergy and those who do not serve congregations that can afford the same package as larger, better-resourced churches. Rev. Burkhart urged us to remember that our financial decisions today will have a huge impact on our church in the future.

Our next meeting is scheduled for March 10, from 3 to 8 p.m., at St. Mark UMC, Chicago. We plan to hear from the Love Your Neighbor Coalition about their vision for legislation at General Conference and the future of the UMC. We will also spend time looking at the legislation that we need to pay attention to in specific legislative sections.

At our final meeting on April 7, we will have a “sending forth” service in which Bishop Dan Schwerin will participate. We are in the process of finalizing the location. We invite you to join us to pray for us and to send us forth with your blessings.

We invite conference members to contact us via email

If you are going to General Conference as volunteers, pages, marshals, observers, or supporters, please let us know by filling in this form.  


NIC General Conference delegation learns about regionalization and met with leaders from the Africa Forum

Update: Jan. 29, 2024

The NIC delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences  met on Sunday, Jan 21st and had a fruitful time of conversation and deliberation with Rev. Izzy Alvaran, who shared updates on the collaborative work done by the leadership of the Christmas Covenant, the Connectional Table and the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters on the 'Regionalization'  legislation and how we can continue our work to support and promote it. We also met with leaders from the United Methodist Africa Forum to build relationships with them, applaud their work of organizing and speaking for themselves, and express our support for them in our mutual commitment to fully be the church God is calling us to be. 

Jessie Cunningham, one of our faithful and committed lay delegates, had to step down this year because of her own health and her current family needs. We are grateful for her leadership and for all the ways she made a difference in our conference and denomination. Ronnie Lyall was elected on the North Central Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy, to replace her, and Nancy Pendergrass became a voting lay delegate, leaving us with no lay reserves to the Jurisdictional Conference. 

Our next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, February 11th from 3-8pm at First UMC, Evanston. Realizing that many of our delegates will experience the General Conference as a delegate/reserve for the first time- we are planning for a training on parliamentary procedures under the expert leadership of Revs. Preston Price and Katie Voigt. A few other details are pending and will be shared when confirmed.

As we get closer we will also start having conversations with all of you who will be going to General Conference as volunteers, pages, marshalls, observers and supporters. If you already have finalized your plans feel free to share them with us here

If you plan on attending our delegation meeting, please do send us an email so we can ask the church for ample seating to accommodate all of you.

To stay informed on all updates on General Conference, please click here and do keep us in your prayers.

NIC General Conference delegation learns about justice legislation and African unity commitment

Update: Jan. 16, 2024

Your delegates to the twice-postponed 2020 General Conference had been anxiously waiting for January 2024. We entered the year with the energy and anticipation for all that we have been waiting for: new/updated legislation, orientation to the schedule, and expectations on how we will need to pivot from how we were preparing in 2019. Our world is different from what it was in 2020, but one thing is common and true for us as delegates: we are United Methodists and we continue our work as United Methodists committed to a fully inclusive church that seeks justice and equity for all.

To that end we heard from Wespath about the changes they are proposing for clergy pensions, folks from Creation Justice Movement about how we can be better partners and stewards of God’s resources, and from United Methodist Kairos Response, asking for our support of the legislation that they are bringing to General Conference.

At our next meeting on Jan. 21, we will learn more about the Christmas Covenant and their collaboration with the Connectional Table and the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters as they propose the edited and revised legislation on regionalization and the United Methodist Africa Forum to build and strengthen our relationships with our African siblings who have created this forum for the same purpose.


NIC General Conference delegation in preparation mode

Update: September 5, 2023

The last few months have been pretty quiet for the General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates.  Most annual conferences were busy processing congregation disaffiliations and we as delegates were waiting to see how that would affect the delegation pools and what the process for submitting new legislation would be—if that was even going to be possible.

As of this writing a little over 6,000 churches have disaffiliated, some of which had among their membership delegates who had submitted petitions to be considered at General Conference (April 23 to May 3, 2024, Charlotte, N.C.). While the General Commission on General Conference grapples with what to do about those petitions, it accepted additional petitions until Sept. 6.

If you wish you can click here for more details on this and other matters related to the General Conference.  We hope to know the answer to the petitions question—and receive any new petitions—before the end of the year. We will report back to you when we have the answers.

As of now, we know that the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and the Connectional Table, in collaboration with the authors of the Christmas Covenant have approved a new petition on regionalization to be submitted to the General Conference. 

As we get back into the rhythm of meetings and preparation, please continue to hold us in prayer. Thank you for your continued trust in us.

News & Announcements

Delegation At Beumc Merged30percent

Bishop Schwerin's Reflections on General Conference 2024

Bishop Dan Schwerin offers some reflections after listening to how news of The United Methodist General Conference is being received in Northern Illinois.

Cheryl Weaver Web Image

Cheryl Weaver Named Chief Benefits Officer for NIC and Wisconsin

Rev. Cheryl Weaver, Wisconsin Conference’s benefits officer, will also serve Northern Illinois Conference in this capacity, beginning June 1.


General Conference 2020 (2024) Updates

The UMC General Conference (postponed from 2020) came to order on the morning of April 23. Follow daily reports focusing on topics of interest to Northern Illinois Conference readers.

Nic At Gc 1 Smaller

Northern Illinois United Methodists Working and Helping at General Conference

General Conference takes thousands of people to help the event run smoothly and do its work. United Methodists from across Northern Illinois partici…