General Council 44 Has Been Postponed
In light of concerns regarding COVID-19, the decision has been made to postpone General Council 44, previously slated for July 2021 in Calgary, AB, to 2022. Commissioners came to this decision at a special electronic meeting of the 43rd General Council held on June 20, 2020. Minutes from this meeting will be posted to the United Church Commons in the coming days.
In our current reality, the COVID-19 pandemic requires restrictions on the ways in which people travel and gather together; restrictions that will be in place for an indeterminate amount of time. Planning the General Council, as with any large, in-person event, requires considerable time, work, and a clear knowledge of any requirements and restrictions well in advance of the event itself.
"As we look forward to hosting GC44 in Calgary, Alberta, we also want to be respectful of every person's health and wellbeing during this pandemic time," said Sue Brodrick, co-chair of the GC44 Planning Committee. "The GC44 Planning Committee wants this meeting to be a great experience for all Commissioners, global partners, staff, and guests; we anticipate that, by moving GC44 to 2022, we can accomplish this."
Naturally, this decision has a ripple effect beyond the actual meeting dates, including extending the terms of the Moderator, the General Council Executive, General Council 43 Commissioners, and members of various committees. The GC44 Planning Committee will be providing the regional councils and the National Indigenous Council with more details, including revised deadlines for electing GC44 Commissioners and submitting proposals, directly in the next few days.
More information, including answers to some frequently asked questions, will be made available in the coming weeks. Updates will be posted here; stay tuned to the General Council 43 website for further information.
In-person gatherings of the General Council are one of the important ways in which the United Church discerns how to respond to God's call. We look forward to a 44th General Council gathering that is safe and accessible for all who come. Meanwhile the 43rd General Council will continue to convene annually by electronic means to consider routine business and urgent items.