World Church Executive Committee Votes to Postpone General Conference Session

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The Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (EXCOM) voted March 19, to postpone the 2020 General Conference Session until May 2021. The vote comes after a March 17 recommendation from the General Conference Administrative Committee (ADCOM) to delay the 2020 General Conference Session (GC Session) by up to two years due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2021 General Conference Session will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is currently scheduled from May 20 through May 25. It was originally scheduled from June 25 through July 4, 2020. 

The Impact of COVID-19

The novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has spread globally since the end of 2019. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global health emergency and on March 11, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. As of now, the virus has infected more than 230,000 people. There have been more than 9,300 associated deaths.

“The Church has consulted with senior representatives of the World Health Organization structure and we are recommending that the Church take a careful approach to large gatherings including the General Conference Session,” said World Church Health Ministries director Peter Landless. “We also recommend that each region adhere to the proclamations of their local health organizations to find ways to maintain local church operations and mission through alternative means.”

Meeting from around the world via teleconferencing technology, the Executive Committee considered two recommendations that emerged from a series of official conversations and meetings at World Church headquarters. General Conference Session planners, health professionals, legal advisors and administrators explored possible alternative plans for the 2020 General Conference Session in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Conference Crisis Management Committee considered the possible alternative plans and made two recommendations to the ADCOM, including postponing the 2020 General Conference Session. 

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