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GC2016 Audio: Statement from the Council of Bishops

 

 

Speaking on behalf of the Council of Bishops, its President Bruce Ough read a statement expressing the unanimity of the Council. Beginning with Galatians 3:25-29 he read words of scripture that include, “all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” He acknowledged, “this is a time of great crisis and great opportunity.” The statement included five sections – unity, prayer, processes, next, and continuing discussions. The statement proposed “that in place of the allotted legislative time we spend 1 – 2 hours of plenary time in prayer, confession, and then exploration of a creative way forward.” The statement also proposed deferring “all votes on human sexuality and refer the entire subject to a special commission” that would examine the Discipline as well as hear “from many people” about how the current Discipline “contains language which is contradictory, unnecessarily hurtful, and inadequate for the variety of local, regional, and global contexts. A special called two to three day General Conference might be called in 2018 or 2019. In the mean time, the Bishops “will continue to explore options to help the church to live in grace with one another – including ways to avoid further complaints, trials, and harm while we uphold the Discipline.”