Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, released this statement regarding the postponement of the 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference:
Friends, just as we are navigating changes locally during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also necessary scheduling shifts occurring across the denomination. The 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference scheduled for July 15-17 at Lake Junaluska is being postponed. The UMC Council of Bishops will schedule a new date for the quadrennial gathering of jurisdictional delegates after a new date for the postponed 2020 General Conference is set.
The Commission on the General Conference announced that General Conference will be rescheduled sometime in 2021, but no firm date has been announced.
Much work is being done to ensure that the best decisions are made in regards to caring for the jurisdictional matters that require the attention of delegates – including the election of bishops. Further details regarding the SEJ Conference will be shared as they become available.
We are living through a time when there are more questions than answers, and each day is filled with opportunities to stretch our capacities for patience and flexibility. Thank you for your continued faithfulness and focus on our mission in all circumstances.
Prayerful consideration is also being given to how we can most responsibly gather for the 2020 session of the South Carolina Annual Conference. More information will be available soon.
It is important for all of us to continue to center our own decisions about the safety of our families, our churches, our communities and ourselves on the guidance of health experts. Our Coronavirus Resources page – umcsc.org/coronavirus – is updated daily with links to resources to help you continue your remarkable work in ministry and mission in new and different ways.
Please keep in your prayers all General Conference delegates, Jurisdictional Conference delegates, the members of the Commission on the General Conference, and all church leaders. Continue to pray for those affected by COVID-19, for those experiencing stress and anxiety, for those facing financial uncertainty, for the medical professionals treating and caring for patients, and for those working to ensure a healthier future for all of us.
May God fill you with peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope.
Grace and peace,
L. Jonathan Holston