Present: Ryan, Laura, Paul, Lonnie, Curtis, Gail and Bishop Trimble.
There was discussion of how the conferences are holding their Annual Conferences this year. Virtual meetings can have up to 1,000 participants with break-outs, etc. Some have already been held, others are slated for later this fall.
The possibility an NCJ Delegate Gathering was explored. This would be a virtual gathering and would likely only need to be a half day, providing a refresher on most items. We could survey delegates in early spring to see what they would like to see covered.
The delegates who attend would be those elected to attend the 2020 Conferences; although they will be held in August and November of 2021, they are still the 2020 Conferences. Items to be covered could include looking at the proposed Protocol and other legislative items. A deadline for legislative proposals has not been set, although the Discipline Timeline suggests 270 days.
The NCJ Conference will be held the second week of November in 2021. Information from the Episcopacy Committee and Task Force regarding the election of two, one or no Bishops, as well as possible boundary changes would need to be explained. The Task group exploring possible changes has not met yet and no dates have been set for a meeting.
Depending upon the outcome of the General Conference, we may not even know which conferences and congregations are opting to stay with the UMC by November of 2021. This also would impact how boundaries are set. A possible scenario is: GC Decision in 2021 to follow Protocol (versus stalemate) – NCJ (with no decision yet from Annual Conferences) –Annual Conferences meet in 2022 – Organized Separation/Disorganized Separation. Meanwhile NCJ won’t know what the financial impact would be or what the conferences can support. It seems we might have to consider a special session in 2022. If we decide to do that, perhaps no election would be held in 2022.
We will wait until September to send out a survey to delegation heads to see if they are continuing to meet and what concerns they have.
There was some discussion of the impact of COVID-19. It was noted that small churches actually seem to be faring better during these times than the large ones. Chris shared that in New England following the World War I, 1/3 of the churches closed!!
A note will be sent to the groups that received funds through NCJ asking how things are going. Have they held meetings? How have things changed? We need to know if further funds are necessary. Lonnie will write something and Ryan will send it out.
We will check in again on August 13 at noon.
MInutes approved August 13, 2020 (7-0)