February Conference will “Discern a Way Forward”

February Conference will “Discern a Way Forward”

2019 Special Session of the General Conference

Learn a bit more here:  https://rmnetwork.org/   and   http://www.umc.org/topics/general-conference-2019-special-session

Reprinted from the First Word Newsletter, January 23, 2019

At the end of February there is a meeting
that may shake and change our
Three plans are being presented for
consideration in a General Conference,
which has been called to discern “A Way
Forward”; they will only vote on items
related to one topic, human sexuality.
The Faith Quest class will be discussing
these in detail this coming month; if you
want to learn more, that would be an
excellent venue. In addition, the
Reconciling Ministries website also has an
excellent overview of the three plans –
while suggesting a fourth plan.

They are, in short: 1) making our rules
more restrictive, barring LGBTQ people
from ministry and from being married in
our churches by our pastors;

2) creating a
series of different conferences not based
on geography (as is done now), but on
the basis of where individual churches
and conferences stand, allowing for a
variety of opinions and practices; “We, the people of First United Methodist Church in
South Bend, believe that having an open heart, an
open mind and an open door means we are called to
share God’s welcome with all people. Each one of us
is a valued, beloved child of God.”’

3) allowing each conference to decide if
they will ordain and appoint LGBTQ
people, and each church to decide if they
will celebrate the marriages of LGBTQ
people. Lastly, the “simple plan” proposed
by the Reconciling Ministries group, is
simply to remove hateful and bigoted
language from our Discipline entirely.
Some plans imply there will be a split in our
denomination; all plans hope for unity.
One plan makes it punitive to split; two
plans are silent, and one plan makes it
relatively easy to split.
I have no idea which plan will be endorsed.
I do believe our congregation will be
discussing it intensely following the vote,
and we will all watch to see what others
Please be praying for our church to be
more loving and inclusive, and for our
representatives to demonstrate the love of

— Pastor Mary Hubbard




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