General Conference will be held May 10th-20th, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. General Conference is always a great chance for us to provide advocacy and visibility for collegiate ministry. The UMCMA has advocated for a number of collegiate ministry related issues within the United Methodist Church. UMCMA was active in the 2008 and the 2012 General Conferences to pass critical legislation that helped all of collegiate ministry. Some of those changes that we celebrate are in a document that can be downloaded by clicking here.
As collegiate ministers (Chaplains, Wesley Foundation Directors, church-based collegiate ministers and everyone in between) we know that you know the importance of sharing our collective transformative story. We on the ground are the best communicators of the amazing work that is happening in collegiate ministry! We would like you to join us in being a visible witness at General Conference in 2016. If you can give a day, a couple of days, or a week, we want you to be part of this experience, so we will be getting a house a short distance away and a hotel room across the street from the convention center.
In particular, we want to invite you and your students to Higher Education Day on Monday, May 16th. There will be a Higher Education 15 minute presentation during the afternoon plenary and GBHEM will be hosting the "Higher Education Night" celebration of ministry. This is the only FREE meal of General Conference and will be a BIG deal. GBHEM has asked for our help in saturating the entire building, ALL DAY, with students, campus ministers and supporters. This will be our strongest opportunity to really demonstrate the breadth of our support. During the day we will have t-shirts for everyone to wear and that night we are asking students to wear their respective college t-shirts or sweatshirts and a button and ribbon that says, "I'm a Student, Talk to Me" so that they can share their story. GBHEM is anticipating 1500 people at this reception and celebration.
In the midst of this push towards General Conference 2016, we invite all of our members to submit legislative petitions to our 2015 Summer Institute to be considered for endorsement by UMCMA and submitted to the 2016 General Conference.
As always, let us know if you have any questions or concerns. A new day is dawning in collegiate ministry in The United Methodist Church and it's exciting to see it unfold.