A Way Forward

Learn more about LGBTQ+ inclusion into the UMC

Latest Update

"The United Methodist Church’s top court has clarified what parts of legislation heading to the 2019 General Conference pass constitutional muster.

Now it’s up to plan supporters to decide how they will respond to the Judicial Council’s ruling.

“Whether a piece of proposed legislation is a good idea or not, that’s outside the purview of the Judicial Council,” said the Rev. William B. Lawrence, former Judicial Council president and one of the United Methodists who filed a brief in the case.

“The Judicial Council is only authorized to rule on if something is constitutional as proposed legislation.”

Put another way, the church court did not endorse any proposed legislation but instead ruled on whether the denomination’s constitution allows General Conference to enact such legislation in the first place."

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A Way Forward

The United Methodist Church at its 2016 quadrennial General Conference asked the bishops of the denomination to lead in a time of division and anxiety over the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the UMC. Shortly after the General Conference, a task force was created to study and make recommendations to the Council of Bishops (all active bishops in the UMC.)

Recently, that task force made its report to the Council of Bishops, who have in turn made their own recommendation to the General Conference. That recommendation is known as the “One Church” model where annual conferences will have the authority to decide if they will ordain LGBTQ persons and local congregations and clergy will have the authority to decide if they will allow and officiate same-sex weddings.

Two additional options will be presented to the General Conference — the Traditionalist Plan would affirm the current language in the denomination’s Book of Discipline, the denomination’s governing document, and seek to strengthen enforcement. The Connectional-Conference plan would allow conferences to choose among three connectional conferences for affiliation. The connectional conferences would align based on theology or perspective on LGBTQ ministry — be it traditionalist, progressive or allowing for a variety of approaches. This plan would require multiple amendments to the denomination’s constitution.

The three proposals that emanated from The Way Forward Commission have been written and made available in four languages. The proposals will be considered at a called General Conference February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, MO. Conversation regarding these proposals is encouraged and will be facilitated by Mount Olivet church leaders during the Sunday school hour, every third Sunday of the month through March, 2019.

What's Next?

Beginning September 16 at 9:40 AM, and every third Sunday of the month through March of next year, Pastor Ed will offer presentations to explain the proposals and update the congregation on progress that is being made regarding the General Conference. These will be recorded so you may access them later, if necessary.

Still have questions?