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Methodist Conference?

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Last Sunday's Circuit Songs of Praise was based on the great hymns of Charles Wesley and his Methodist founder brother John. And it was John Wesley in 1744 that called the first Methodist Conference. He gathered together his assistants (both ordained ministers and itinerant lay preachers) to confer together about 'what to teach, how to teach, and what to do, i.e. how to regulate our doctrine, discipline and practice.'
The contemporary Conference is a gathering of representatives from each Methodist district, along with some who have been elected by the Conference and some ex officio members and representatives of the Youth Assembly. Representatives are a mixture of lay people, ordained presbyters and deacons. Presbyters and deacons also have their own separate gatherings before the main, decision-making session.
Business for the Conference to decide upon is prepared by the Methodist Council, an elected body that meets regularly. Memorials to Conference may be sent by districts ahead of time, and representatives to Conference may introduce Notices of Motion.
What was covered at this year's Conference? We'll tell you tomorrow!

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