After more than 40 years of ongoing debate at each of the General Conference meetings of the UMC, in 2016, once again the denomination failed to remove the harmful language and restrictions with respect to LGBTQ persons. Instead the Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church and was approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.
The 32 members of the Commission were named in 2016 and it began its work in January of 2017. Their report has now been issued and they have proposed the One Church Plan. The Council of Bishops announced the call to a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. The special meeting of The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly will be acting on the Commission’s report. Recommendations in report are supported by 2/3’s of the Council of Bishops, based on the proposals from the Commission on the Way Forward.
We encourage everyone to attend a conversation in Minnesota that is hosted by Bishop Ough:
-Alexandria UMC (2210 Sixth Ave. East)—Monday, Sept. 24, 6:30-9 p.m.
-Duluth: First UMC (230 E Skyline Pkwy)—Tuesday, Sept. 25, 6:30-9 p.m.
-Rochester: Christ UMC (400 5th Ave. SW)—Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6:30-9 p.m.
-Bloomington: Normandale Hylands UMC (9920 Normandale Blvd.)—Thursday, Sept. 27, 6:30-9 p.m.
-Maple Grove: Cross Winds UMC (15051 Weaver Lake Road)—Saturday, Sept. 29, 9-11:30 a.m.
-Mankato: Centenary UMC (501 S 2nd St.), Sunday, Sept. 30, 2:30-5 p.m.
-Woodbury: The Grove UMC (7465 Steepleview Road)—Monday, Oct. 1, 6:30-9 p.m.
We stand ready to assist local churches to determine if they want to join us as advocates for change within the institution and become Reconciling Congregations. We will reach out in mission to members of the LGBTQ community to welcome them to our churches and to affirm them as children of God.