PANAMA CITY, Panama (UMNS) – The Rev. L. Fitzgerald Reist announced today that the number of delegates for the 2012 General Conference will be near the 1,000-delegate limit.
"Although a variety of opinions have been expressed, I've heard strong pleas to retain similar numbers as before, and I believe any significant reduction in the number of delegates should occur in concert with a more comprehensive look at the whole process," said Reist, who is secretary of the quadrennial legislative gathering. "It's essential that we not undermine the level of trust. With so many substantive changes expected to be considered during the 2012 General Conference, it is important to avoid any perception that a reduction in the number of delegates might somehow be intended to influence outcomes."
The exact number of delegates will not be available until calculations have been completed, but the secretary of each annual (regional) conference will be notified by Dec. 1 how many delegates their conference will have. General Conference will meet in Tampa, Fla., in spring 2012.
Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, encourages leaders of United Methodist Men and women who support men's ministry to stand for election as General Conference delegates during their next annual conference sessions. "The future of this denomination is largely dependent on having a significant ministry to and with men," said Hanke.