General Conference delegation chairs, annual conference communicators, and directors of connectional ministries gathered last month in Portland, Oregon to receive information and build relationships in preparation for May’s United Methodist General Conference. Barbara Dick, a lay delegate who attended the Pre-General Conference briefing, served as a silent monitor during the Christian conferencing practice session. “I support the attempt to introduce a more gracious method than Robert’s Rules of Order to the decision-making process of General Conference,” Barbara said. “The UMC is a work in progress, opening to the leading of the Holy Spirit as we grow in community. The practice session helped delegates get comfortable with the new method and lifted up some potential areas of improvement for the GC Commission.” If approved by the General Conference, the small-group method of discernment will be used for conducting conversations related to LBGTQ legislation, providing detailed input on the consensus of the entire body as decisions are made.