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Archives: 2019 General Conference News

 
Alabama-West Florida Bishop David Graves answered questions in the packed sanctuary at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala. The gathering was one of many held in churches around the globe to hear the three main legislative options that emerged for special General Conference 2019. Photo by Luke Lucas, AWF Communications Specialist.

Big crowds for meetings on denomination’s future

Most meetings about the special 2019 General Conference feature tutorials on the legislative options for helping the denomination remain unified despite persistent division over homosexuality. Read More

The Rules Committee of the Commission on General Conference discusses plans for one legislative committee at the 2019 special session. From left are Stephanie Henry, chair of the Rules Committee; commission members Audun Westad and Stanislas Kassongo, and translator Isabelle Berger. The commission met Oct. Oct. 3-5 at Epworth by the Sea in St. Simons, Ga. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Plan approved for GC2019 decision-making

The Commission on General Conference has decided on a process to help delegates to the 2019 special session do the legislative work together. Read More

North Katanga Area Bishop Mande Muyombo speaks about the benefits of a United Methodist Communications project in his episcopal area. Muyombo spoke during at presentation Sept. 4 at an Africa College of Bishops’ retreat Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

African bishops reaffirm stance on marriage, vow to maintain unity

United Methodist African bishops unanimously reaffirmed their view that marriage is between one man and one woman and vowed to “maintain the unity” of The United Methodist Church. Read More

The Rev. Maxie Dunnam speaks in 2014 in Atlanta. Dunnam, on behalf of the Renewal and Reform Coalition, submitted some modifications to the Traditional Plan. He and other advocates for current church policies on homosexuality are promoting the modified Traditional Plan. Photo by Steve Beard/Good News Magazine.

Groups push for modified Traditional Plan

Advocates for maintaining church policies on homosexuality are championing their own version of the Traditional Plan at the special 2019 General Conference. Read More

Bishop Kenneth Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, is among those writing briefs to the Judicial Council about three plans emerging from The United Methodist Church's Way Forward process. The Judicial Council has been asked to rule on the constitutionality of those plans before they're considered by the special session of General Conference. Carter is shown during a May 2018 press conference in Chicago. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Arguments mount on Way Forward plans

Nearly 30 briefs, totaling hundreds of pages, confront the Judicial Council as it prepares to consider the constitutionality of three plans for reshaping The United Methodist Church. Read More

The Rev. Jay Williams, lead pastor of Union United Methodist Church in Boston, speaks about his problems with the One Church Plan during the For Everyone Born convocation in St. Louis. Williams is a supporter of the Simple Plan legislation to remove restrictive language against homosexuality. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS

New group pushes Simple Plan as way forward

A new group, Methodists for the Simple Plan, promotes legislation it says will allow full participation of LGBTQ individuals in the life of the denomination. Read More

Bishop Kasap Owan Tshibang, a founding member of the Africa Initiative, addesses General Conference delegates and bishops meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, for training. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

African leaders support Traditional Plan

Latest Africa Initiative gathering draws General Conference delegates and bishops for discussion and training. Read More

embers of MARCHA, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., pray together following a panel discussion on proposals to end The United Methodist Church’s division over homosexuality. From left are: the Rev. Ana Awilda Nolla, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, Rosie Rios and the Revs. Rosario Quiñones and Rosanna Panizo. Photo by Gustavo Vasquez, UMNS.

Hispanic/Latino caucus supports One Church Plan

MARCHA passed a resolution backing the One Church Plan. Read More

Church members react to the three published plans for the future proposed by the Commission on a Way Forward.

Top court sets October oral hearings

The United Methodist Judicial Council will hold a hearing in October to rule on whether the proposed legislation for plans for the special General Conference in February 2019 is constitutional. Read More

Before the Special General Conference in February 2019, the Korean Association of The United Methodist Church urges the church to pray and work for unity.

Korean United Methodists choose prayer over plans

Before the Special General Conference in February 2019, the Korean Association of The United Methodist Church urges the church to pray and work for unity. Read More

United Methodist deaconess Elizabeth Jill Luat speaks during a forum on plans developed by the Commission on a Way Forward held in Manila, Philippines. Luat is a 2016 general conference delegate. Photo by Gladys Mangiduyos, UMNS.

Filipinos discuss Way Forward plans

Two conversations organized by groups in The United Methodist Church in the Philippines focused on proposed legislative plans for the denomination's future Read More

LGBTQ advocates conflicted on way forward

LGBTQ advocates conflicted on way forward

A number of United Methodists who support LGBTQ equality see real progress in the One Church Plan. Still other advocates prefer what’s being called a Simple Plan. Read More

Church members react to the three published plans for the future proposed by the Commission on a Way Forward.

Plans prayerfully pondered by United Methodists

Church members react to the three published plans for the future proposed by the Commission on a Way Forward. Read More

The Rev. Tom Steagald of Hawthorne Lane United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, reads the One Church Plan during a break at the July 17 Uniting Methodist Conference in Dallas. The three plans and the full Way Forward report were part of the Judicial Council’s October docket. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Court docket details proposed plans for UMC

The first public details of proposed legislation setting out three proposals for resolving the denomination’s differences over homosexuality are part of the Judicial Council’s October docket. Read More

Uniting Methodists get strategic

Uniting Methodists get strategic

The Uniting Methodists group went beyond talking up the One Church Plan to discussing strategy and tactics for getting it passed at the special General Conference set for February 2019. Read More

Members of the 2016-2020 Judicial Council pose for a group photo. The United Methodist Council of Bishops has asked the denomination’s top court to rule on the constitutionality of the legislation submitted by the Commission on Way Forward. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Bishops seek court ruling on Way Forward plans

The Council of Bishops has asked the denomination’s top court to rule on the constitutionality of some of the legislation heading to the 2019 special General Conference. Read More

Delegate Pierre Kasongo (right) and other members of the Tanganyika delegation vote on legislation while listening to a translation of the 2016 General Conference proceedings. The Commission on General Conference said translations of the Way Forward proposals are coming. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Translated Way Forward coming July 30

The organizers of General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly, announced that they expect the needed translation work to be completed this month. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward convened Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tenn. The commission is still working on possibilities for the denomination’s future. Photo by the Rev. Maidstone Mulenga

Bishops amend what’s heading to GC2019

The Council of Bishops has amended its call for the 2019 special General Conference so that legislation comes from the Commission on a Way Forward — not the bishops. Read More

Members of the 2018 Michigan Annual Conference meet in Traverse City, Mich. Conferences, including Michigan, voted on resolutions that signal their aspirations for the special General Conference in 2019. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Annual conferences mixed on bishops’ plan

Some have endorsed the bishops’ recommended One Church Model. Some want a more traditionalist approach. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough (left) greets Bishop Scott Jones prior to the May 22 oral hearing before the United Methodist Judicial Council in Evanston, Ill. The two argued different positions before the court. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Court ruling spurs competing interpretations

Focus now turns to how the special General Conference will determine which pieces of legislation are “in harmony” with its stated purpose. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward converse with each other as they complete their final commission meeting on May 23 at the Upper Room chapel in Nashville, Tenn. Many commission members credit the book “The Anatomy of Peace” with helping them work together. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Can a book help the church stay together?

A number of delegations to special General Conference are reading “The Anatomy of Peace” to prepare for their work. Here's why. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough (left) speaks during a May 22, 2018, oral hearing before the United Methodist Judicial Council, meeting in Evanston, Ill. At right is Bishop Scott Jones. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Question to court: Who can submit petitions?

In a two-hour session, streamed online, Judicial Council heard arguments about petitions related to the special General Conference in 2019. Read More

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton (center), who leads the New York Conference, speaks during a meeting of the Commission on General Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Seated to the left and right are Duncan McMillan, the commission chair, and Moses Kumar, General Conference treasurer. Photo by Art McClanahan, Iowa Conference.

Paying for the special General Conference

The Commission on General Conference approved registration fees for visitors to GC2019. A big concern is helping delegates do their work. Read More

North Texas Conference Bishop Mike McKee leads discussion about the Commission on a Way Forward. McKee has been holding a series of meetings across the conference, and this was one held April 12, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Richardson, Texas. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Hitting the road for Way Forward

Bishops take different approaches to sharing about effort to hold the church together amid conflict over homosexuality Read More

Sara Hotchkiss, in red, speaks during the Commission on General Conference meeting Oct. 7 at Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, Ala. Earlier in the meeting, Hotchkiss helped explain plans for the special General Conference in 2019. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Planning the special General Conference

As church heads into ‘uncharted waters,’ the Commission on General Conference offers an overview of what to expect in 2019. Read More

Members of the Council of Bishops listen as Bishop Bruce R. Ough reads a statement about sexuality and the church from the Council at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The Council of Bishops has called a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019 to take up bishops’ proposals related to church unity and homosexuality. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.

Bishops set date for special 2019 General Conference

The special meeting will deal solely with the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, charged with finding ways to foster church unity amid deep differences around homosexuality. Read More

Delegates consider legislation during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Reactions vary to 2019 special General Conference

Some say timing suggests 'lack of urgency' but others note logistical challenges. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area, presides over the May 19 afternoon session of the 2016 United Methodist General Church in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS

Bishops planning for 2019 General Conference

The United Methodist Council of Bishops intend to call for a special 2019 General Conference. Read More