|Portland to host 2016 General Conference|
The Hope for Africa Children's Choir performs at the 2008 General Conference
in Fort Worth, Texas. A UMNS file photo by Paul Jeffrey.
By United Methodist News Service*
Nov. 13, 2009
Portland, Ore., will be the site for the 2016 General Conference, the top legislative assembly of The United Methodist Church.
Bishop Robert Hoshibata
The assembly, which gathers every four years, will meet at the
Oregon Convention Center. The tentative dates are May 10-20, 2016,
according to the Commission on the General Conference.
“I believe the Portland area will afford the General Conference a
fine experience in West Coast hospitality,” said Bishop Robert
Hoshibata, who leads the church’s Portland Area.
We will do all we can to make it a warm and welcoming place where we
can do the work of the church in an atmosphere of grace, as well as
sharing the gifts of the Portland area with the wider United Methodist
He added that it would also be a great experience for United
Methodists in the area to be able to see and participate in the event.
The site of the General Conference has traditionally rotated among the
church’s five geographic U.S. jurisdictions. Portland is in the Western
Jurisdiction, which last hosted the assembly in 1996, in Denver.
The 2008 assembly was in Fort Worth, Texas, in the church’s South
Central Jurisdiction. Tampa, Fla., in the Southeastern Jurisdiction,
will host the 2012 meeting. Tampa was also the site of the Nov. 11-13
meeting of the commission, which plans and directs the General
Sixteen potential Western Jurisdiction sites received a request for
a proposal to host the assembly. Portland was one of five finalists
considered by the site selection team. Other cities were San Jose,
Calif., Long Beach, Calif., Los Angeles and Seattle.
Factors considered in the site selection included suitability of
facilities, availability of adequate space, proximity of hotel rooms,
cost of lodging, meals, airfare, meeting space, and sales and room
Randall Miller, chairperson of the Commission on the General
Conference, said Portland’s hospitality and its “greenness” added to
the city’s appeal. Portland was named the “Greenest City in America” by
Popular Science in 2008.
“Portland not only has a commitment to recycling, but also to green
energy,” he said. “A lot of the buildings have been designed to take
advantage of green energy sources, and the way the city is structured
in terms of transportation minimizes the use of cars. In many ways,
Portland conforms with the values we have in The United Methodist
Church about being wise stewards of God's resources.”
Delegates from the United States, Africa, Europe and Asia will attend
the gathering, which is expected to attract up to 6,000 visitors. The
economic impact of the event on the Portland area is roughly estimated
to be about $7 million, according to the commission.
Portland is a part of the denomination’s Oregon-Idaho Annual (regional)
Conference, which has more than 32,000 members and 213 local churches.
*This story is based on a press release from United Methodist Communications.
General Conference News
General Conference 2008
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