Recently the Council of Bishops agreed to recommend to the Special Called Session of General Conference The One Church Plan. A few folks have been wondering why. Some have even suggested that the bishops were wrong in favoring one plan over the other two put forth by the Commission on A Way Forward. Still others are wondering why we even need to talk about human sexuality at all. “After all,” they say, “the Bible is clear.”
We have a wide-range of opinions and a variety of theologies within our Methodist family. The One Church Plan provides conferences, churches, and pastors the flexibility to uniquely reach their missional context while retaining the connectional nature of The United Methodist Church.
The One Church Plan allows for contextualization of language about human sexuality in support of the mission; and allows for central conferences, especially those in Africa, to retain their disciplinary authority to adapt the Book of Discipline and continue to include traditional language and values while fulfilling the vision of a global and multicultural church.
This plan also encourages a generous unity by giving United Methodists the ability to address different missional contexts in ways that reflect their theological convictions. The One Church Plan removes the restrictive language of the Book of Discipline and adds assurances to pastors and Conferences who due to their theological convictions cannot perform same-sex weddings or ordain self-avowed practicing homosexuals.
Please remember that bishops have no vote in this legislative process. Our charge is to lead the denomination and to maintain the unity of the body. We each do that seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our recommendation will come before the entire church for final determination and vote. I hope this is helpful information. Members of the IGRC Delegation would love to hear from you should you have questions or input regarding this matter.
I want to invite ALL IGRC United Methodist to join together in prayer. Here are three ways that you might consider yoking together in prayer as we await the Called Session in February 2019: