Recently, the Commission on a Way Forward presented an interim report to the Council of Bishops in which they shared their preliminary proposals. In a news release, the Council of Bishops reported they received three different options from the commission.
Proposal #1 – Maintain the current language in the Book of Discipline and strengthen accountability procedures.
Proposal #2 – Remove language forbidding ordination and marriage based on sexual preference from the Book of Discipline. Allow churches and conferences to work out their response to questions regarding LGBTQ inclusion in their local context. (Similar previous proposals have often been referred to as “The Local Option”.)
Proposal #3 – Create a system where 2 or perhaps 3 denominations with different standards regarding LGBTQ inclusion operate and share ministry together under the larger umbrella of United Methodism. In essence this plan would create 2 or 3 sub-denominations within one larger denomination.
Here’s what we know and what we don’t know from the Bishops Report.
I hope you find this blog helpful as you discern how to prepare the people of your congregation for the debate over the future of United Methodism. In my next blog, I will be writing about the best practices for leading a fruitful conversation about the future of the United Methodism and a few of common mistakes leaders make which prevent the conversation from being constructive.
Blessings to you and your church,
Wil Cantrell serves as the Associate Pastor of Concord United Methodist Church in Farragut, TN. Wil’s driving passion is to help people live an authentic life while experiencing a real growing faith in Jesus Christ. Previously, he served as the associate pastor at Middlebrook Pike UMC and as the pastor of Lebanon Memorial UMC (Lebanon, VA) before coming to Concord UMC in July 2015.