Following their July meeting, the Council of Bishops' Executive Committee asked all current residential and retired bishops to nominate up to five persons by August 15 for the Commission on a Way Forward committee. At that time, they expected to name the Commission members by August 31, with a target of October for an initial meeting.
This resulted in well over 300 nominees for Commission membership, including names that were previously submitted to either the president or executive secretary of the Council, therefore the committee says that an overwhelming number of nominations has delayed the appointment of members. More time is needed for all nominees to be given adequate consideration.
"We are well along in prayerfully vetting each of the nominees to create a Commission that reflects the global and theological diversity of the church, as well as Commission membership that is truly open to finding a way forward," said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, President of the Council of Bishops. "However, the enormity of the task, the desire to do it well and the urgency of beginning this work all need to be balanced."
The Executive Committee will meet next by conference call on September 9 to consider a proposed list of 20-25 Commission members. Once the Executive Committee agrees on a final membership list, the full Council will be given an opportunity to approve the commission membership.
"I am still very hopeful we can assemble the Commission and begin its work this Fall," Bishop Ough said. "In the meantime, I urge the entire church to join the bishops in praying our way forward."
Adapted, Diane Degnan, Director of Public Information, United Methodist Communications
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