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Commission offers video resources for UMC, delegates to 2019 General Conference

June 20, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Commission on a Way Forward is offering several videos that document the experiences, hopes, dreams, concerns, approach, and learnings of the 32-member Commission, which recently completed its report that will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference of The United Methodist Church.

The purpose of the videos is to give viewers "a sense of how the Commission built relationship and community, how it developed and worked to maintain hearts of peace as we accomplished our work, and how the Commission developed the plans that the church will see in its report," said the Commission moderators Bishops Ken Carter, Sandra Steiner Ball and David Yemba.  

"We hope that you will take these gifts and use them to prepare for the upcoming General Conference.  We hope that you will listen deeply for God's voice and wisdom in the midst of our words.  We hope that you will get a sense that this work is not and will not be easy, but that we have a choice of approaching our work with either a heart of war or a heart of peace," said the moderators in a letter accompanying the videos.

The moderators said they hoped the delegates to the 2019 General Conference will be inspired and motivated to intentionally choose to prepare and to act and respond to General Conference with a heart of peace.  "We have learned that this makes all the difference in how we treat one another and therefore listen to one another."

Click here to read the full letter of from the moderators.

Here are the first videos released this week. More videos will be released next week.

1. "Gil Rendle: a parable for today" is a video featuring Commission on A Way Forward Consultant Gil Rendle. Gil shares a story that illustrates the difference between positions and interests. When we are able to move from holding onto our positions to seeking to understand each other's underlying interests we are better able to move forward together. (length 5:14).

Gil provides these questions for reflection:

  • How can I become more aware of my own interests so that I am not confined from seeing more by my own position?
  • How (and with whose help) can I listen for the interests of others?

Download the video here; watch on YouTube.

2. Gil Rendle gives an overview of the "Purpose, Principles and Importance of the work of the Commission on a Way Forward." This video was recorded during the final May 2018 Commission meeting of the Commission on A Way Forward and gives an in depth theological and technical overview of the work of the commission that helps to frame the work that is being asked of the delegates to the February 2019 General Conference. (length 54:18).

Gil provides these questions for reflection:

  • What is the new way in which I should approach my leadership in shaping the future mission of the church?
  • Who should I seek to serve in my decision making about the future?
  • What are the values that will best serve the purpose of the whole church in the future?

Download the video here; watch on YouTube.

3. Bishop Grant Hagiya, a member of the Commission on A Way Forward, shares reflections about the book "Anatomy of Peace." Bishop Hagiya shares why the principles of this book help us make a fundamental shift from battleground to a place where people can have open and honest dialogue with one another. (length 5:44)

Download the video here; watch on YouTube.

4. Donna Pritchard (clergy, Pacific Northwest Conference), Tom Salsgiver (clergy, Susquehanna Conference) and Leah Taylor (laity, Texas Conference) are all Commission on A Way Forward members.  They share reflections on their work, the value of connection and the relationships they formed during their time together on the Commission.  (length 7:02)

Download the video here; watch on YouTube.

About the Commission: The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to LGBTQ inclusion and resulting questions about the unity of the church.

For more information on the Commission on a Way Forward, visit

Twitter: @UMCForward

MEDIA CONTACT: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
[email protected]

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