March 23, 2020
Nashville, Tenn.: Subsequent to the announcement by the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference that the 2020 General Conference will be postponed, the full Commission met March 21, 2020 to determine next steps to take in setting a new date.
After hearing recommendations from Sara Hotchkiss, Business Manager of the General Conference, and discussion of possible alternatives, the Commission made a determination that the General Conference will not meet in 2020 as originally planned and elected to work toward setting a date in 2021.
“As we looked at the complex issues that we will need to navigate to reschedule the event and the lack of options available, it does not appear feasible to plan for 2020,” said Kim Simpson, chair of the Commission. “These issues include the undetermined length of the pandemic, uncertainty around travel bans in different areas of the world, delays in processing visas due to government and business closures and other questions.”
In giving direction for next steps, the Commission resolved that holding the event in Minneapolis is a high priority and authorized the business manager to pursue negotiations regarding other dates available at the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2021.
“The Dakotas-Minnesota Area Host Team has done a wonderful job in partnering with us to prepare for this event, and we are grateful for their willingness to continue to work with us as we move toward a new date,” Simpson said.
“As many groups have cancelled and are being rescheduled, they are given priority by venues they have already been working with,” said Hotchkiss. “Continuing to work with the Minneapolis Convention Center and area hotels will help us avoid competing with other groups for space in those facilities if they did not already have a contract.”
Hotchkiss said that steps are being taken by their travel agency regarding flights booked for delegates and others who booked through ADTRAV:
- ADTRAV will cancel all flights booked for primary delegates.
- Travelers will only need to call ADTRAV if they booked a personal ticket for themselves and/or a family member with ADTRAV (855-417-8789).
- Each traveler will receive a copy of the RezConfirm showing that the flights were canceled.
Regarding hotel reservations, Connections Housing will be sending emails regarding individual reservations made through them for the GC2020 hotel block. There is no penalty for this cancellation. No deposit was charged for reservations, therefore no refund is due and no further action is required regarding hotel reservations.
Once new dates for the General Conference are set and adjustments with current vendors are made, additional information will be sent out to delegations regarding a timeline and next steps.
About General Conference
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs.