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Michigan elects diverse delegation

Delegates to 2020 General Conference will arrive in Minneapolis in 285 days

The United Methodist General Conference is coming to Minneapolis in May of 2020, and The Michigan Conference will be there.

KAY DEMOSS
Senior Content Editor

Electronic voting was used for the first time at the 2019 Michigan Annual Conference. It speeded the process considerably, especially the balloting for General and Jurisdictional conference delegates. 

“Polls” opened on Friday morning, May 31, with a ballot taken just before lunch. Members voted for those who had been nominated in advance and others who were nominated from the floor. As in 2016 (and 2019) the number of Michigan General Conference delegates to the 2020 General Conference is four Clergy and four Laity. An additional four Clergy and four Laity were elected for Jurisdictional Conference; plus four alternate delegates, two Clergy and two Laity.

There was one election on the first ballot. Laura Witkowski, the morning’s preacher, was chosen by the laity gathered in Governors’ Hall. By the end of the day on Friday, members of The Michigan Annual Conference had elected all but three of its delegates for the 2020 General and Jurisdictional conferences.

Balloting continued through Saturday, June 1. The election of delegates was completed by 7:45 pm. The Clergy took nine ballots to elect and the Laity 13.

The delegates, in order of election are … 

          General Conference Laity: Laura Witkowski, Diane Brown, Jennifer Peters, Nichea Ver Veer Guy
          General Conference Clergy: Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, Paul Perez, Joy Barrett, Megan Walther
         
          Jurisdictional Conference Laity: Ruby Anderson, Hoon-Yung Hopgood, Ruth Sutton, Lisa Hahn
          Jurisdictional Conference Clergy: Charles Boayue, Joel Fitzgerald, Christina Wright, Brad Bartelmay

          Jurisdictional Conference Lay Alternates: Brenda DuPree and Gordon Grigg III
          Jurisdictional Conference Clergy Alternates: Sherri Swanson and Matt Weiler

The Michigan delegation for the 2016/2019 General Conferences was comprised of persons elected by the West Michigan and Detroit conferences. The 2020 delegation is the first to be elected by the new Michigan Conference. The delegation is a diverse group with regard to gender, race, and age. The delegation includes a youth (age 17), a young adult (age 21); and an additional six delegates under age 40, making this a younger than average delegation.

General Conference will be held in Minneapolis, MN, May 5-15, 2020. Ft. Wayne, IN is the site of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference, July 15-18, 2020. Please begin your prayers now for the important work ahead of The Michigan Conference delegation.

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