Way Forward Petitions Submitted to Judicial Council for Review

Bishop letterhead

Three sets of petitions relating to the work of the Commission on a Way Forward have been submitted to The United Methodist Church Judicial Council for a declaratory decision to determine their constitutionality and adherence to the 2016 Book of Discipline.

These petitions – one set each for the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan and the Traditional Church Plan – have been placed on the Judicial Council’s docket for review in October. Translations of the full report from the Commission on a Way Forward were completed and distributed July 31. Read the report in EnglishFrench, Portuguese and Swahili here.

These documents represent the conclusion of 17 months of tireless work, discussion and discernment by Commission members and the Council of Bishops. During its meeting in May, the Council of Bishops voted with an overwhelmingly majority – myself included – to recommend the One Church Plan to delegates to the special called General Conference in February 2019 in St. Louis. In the fall, I will provide a synopsis on the One Church Plan that highlights the main points of what led the majority of the Council of Bishops to this recommendation.

On Saturday, Aug. 18, a joint event sponsored by the North Texas Conference’s Board of Laity and Lay Servant Ministries – entitled “Listening for the Way Forward” – will address these petitions and provide an opportunity for us all to have open conversations on this important topic. This event will take place at Aldersgate UMC in Carrollton, and I encourage you share your thoughts and questions. You can register for the event here.

Over the next several months, I ask that you – clergy and laity– pray not only for the process we have in place to decide matters such as this but also for discernment on direction for the future of The United Methodist Church. I pray that we, the clergy and laity, continue to pray for and serve the mission field to which our God in Christ has called us.

Bishop signature

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018