On March 19, the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church announced the postponement of the 2020 General Conference Session due to the rapid and unpredictable spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The 2021 GC Session will be held in Indianapolis, Ind., and is currently scheduled for May 20 through May 25. It was originally scheduled for June 25 through July 4, 2020.
As planning for the meetings moves forward, more details are emerging about what the 2021 GC Session will look like. While the entire Session will be livestreamed, seating during the meetings to be held on Thursday, May 20, and Friday, May 21, will be available only for the 2,700 delegates who represent the world field. However, beginning Friday evening through Tuesday, May 25, space is available for approximately 20,000 visitors as the meetings will take place in a larger area where the exhibit hall was originally planned to be. Livestreaming will continue throughout the Session and is available to all.
While there are a variety of aspects to the GC Session, it is primarily a spiritual and business meeting of the World Church. During the meetings, world leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are elected and items of worldwide significance are decided, such as fundamental beliefs, constitutional changes and Church Manual items.
President Ted N.C. Wilson emphasized that leaders were still planning for a very meaningful and inspiring Session but with a reduced footprint. “The 2021 General Conference Session will still be focused on mission,” he said. “However, we now are in a time where we find we need to reduce our financial footprint. However, this does not stop us, as Seventh-day Adventists, from participating in our communities through Total Member Involvement. We can be anchors of stability and pillars of hope to those around us."
Other changes for the 2021 GC Session include the absence of exhibits, since some days of the Session will be held in the room previously designated as the exhibit hall. Additionally, no ancillary meetings will be held.
More information is available about the 2021 General Conference Session on a continually updated page (https://session.adventist.org) where Wilson asks all members to continue to pray for God’s leading. “As we look forward to the 61st General Conference Session, let’s pray together for God’s leading in a marvelous way as we plead for the outpouring of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit in anticipation of the soon second coming of Jesus Christ.”