Bishop Carter Announces a Virtual Special Session of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference

February 1, 2023

By: Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.

Dear Clergy and Laity of the WNC Conference,

In accordance with Paragraph 603.5 of the 2016 Book of Discipline and Rule 32 of the WNCC Rules of Order, Bishop Ken Carter is calling a Special Executive Session of Clergy Members at 9:00am and a Special Session of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference at 10:00am, to be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Both meetings will be held virtually.

The sole purpose of the called executive session of clergy members is to vote on clergy withdrawals. The sole purpose of the called session is to vote on the WNC Conference Board of Trustees' recommendations for churches choosing to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church through the authorized process outlined in Paragraph 2553.

We continue to be in dialogue with local churches and clergy.  Our desire would be that no local church or pastor departs from the United Methodist Church.  We do understand that a small number of churches have already made this decision.  Where there is particular conflict within local churches, we have created space for patience, listening and grace.  We also appeal to a small number of local churches who have brought a lawsuit against the annual conference to work within the guidelines of Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline.  Extended participation in the lawsuit will prevent these churches from participating in the disaffiliation process prior to the December 31, 2023 deadline.

By holding a Special Called Session, churches departing to become independent congregations or members of other present or future denominations can begin to live into their futures.  And in the same manner, clergy who depart can follow their callings to new ministries apart from The United Methodist Church.  Both the clergy session and the special session of annual conference will conclude with a blessing by Bishop Carter. 

If needed, there will be another called Special Session of the Annual Conference in the late fall of this year for those churches who find themselves needing more time for prayerful discernment throughout the spring and summer.

 More details for both special sessions will be announced as they become available

The Peace of the Lord,

+Bishop Ken Carter
Western North Carolina Conference
The United Methodist Church

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