The leaders of the United Methodist Church agreed to a service of appreciation for African American members who remained within the denomination throughout the segregation era, during its annual conference, Oct 16-18. Slated for Pittsburgh in April 27, 2004, the service strives to resolve the ongoing discrimination Black Americans may face in the current day.
In 2000, the General Assembly held a similar conference of repentance and reconciliation, in which the church formally apologized for the racism African Americans once incurred. Next year’s service will be conducted by the denomination’s Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns and the Black Methodists for Church Renewal.
In other areas, the 2003 committee agreed to many administrative changes. Beginning from 2008, individuals and local churches will not be allowed to petition the assembly directly. Also, bishops will be allowed to serve as chairs to legislative committees.
In areas concerning spiritual growth, the committee planned for daily Bible study and time with prayer partners for meditation. Optional communion services during the noon hour each day will also be held.
The United Methodist Church, with over 8 million members, is one of the largest protestant denominations in the United States.