Calendar Item 313

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The Petition is amended as follows:

The Council of Bishops in consultation with Inter-Jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy shall appoint a Jurisdictional Study Committee to examine the best number and boundaries of jurisdictions and episcopal areas in the United States. The committee will use the 2017-2020 quadrennium to create and present a detailed report on missional priority and strategy to the 2020 General Conference. This report is to include but not be limited to the analysis of: historical perspectives, current reality, demographic changing trends, emerging missional reasons/values, financial implications, changes to the jurisdictional conferences' and episcopal area boundaries, the number of jurisdictions in the U.S., and addtional data as appropriate. The report will include specific recommendations and a strategic implementation plan.

The voting membership of the committee shall be composed as follows:

- Bishops: One bishop from each of the five Colleges of Bishops

- 1 clergy and 1 lay person, chosen from each of the five jurisdictions

- The ethnic and gender balance in the committee's membership should reflect as much as possible the make-up of the UMC's lay membership in the U.S.

Funding for the meeting expenses of the episcopal members will come from the Episcopal Fund, and funding for the other members will come from the General Administration Fund.

Given the importance of this strategic work, the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church at Portland, Oregon, will defer all decisions to reduce the number of jurisdictions, the number of episcopal areas and the number of bishops in all five U.S. Jurisdictional Conferences (being proposed for 2016) to the 2020 General conference. This legislation will be effective at the conclusion of the 2016 General Conference.

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