Bishops Offer Pastoral Word, Make Key Decisions at May 2019 Meeting

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Having read the complete statement twice

I still don't know exactly what they are saying/ how they are being prophetic; but that is not unusual out of the COB. I really wish they would give a clear answer to this question: "•What is the core of the gospel that we share?" I don't believe there is any agreement as to what our gospel message is.

betsy 9 days ago

Bishops statement

I have tried to translate the main elements of the Bishops statement.
“ there is an emerging discernment that the power and hope in our connection resides in the annual conference, which is closer to local churches and better honors our different contexts.”

Translation: We do not want to enforce the new rules across all our conferences.


“And there is a strong conviction that we cannot arrive at solutions that enhance our unity in our legislative processes. “

Translation: We need to find a way to ignore GC.


“There is also a renewed commitment to seek new ways of being in relationship. In the words of the Mission, Vision Scope of the Way Forward, “We should be open to new ways of embodying unity that move us beyond where we are in the present impasse and cycle of action and reaction around ministry and human sexuality. Therefore, we should consider new ways of being in relationship across cultures and jurisdictions, in understandings of episcopacy, in contextual definitions of autonomy for annual conferences, and in the design and purpose of the apportionment.”

Translation: We will be creating a looser confederation of conferences to replace The United Methodist structure.


“There is a sense among the Council that we are in untenable times. To this end the Council is exploring models and plans of new forms of unity, including work being done in Africa, Europe, the Western Jurisdiction, a new Methodism, the gifts of the black church, among creative experiments in annual conferences and a connection of new expressions of United Methodism.”

Translation: The Western Jurisdiction is rebelling and we have no way to keep them under control. So we will just have to go with it.

Do I have those translations about right?

Kevin 12 days ago

I think you are pretty close

"Translation: We do not want to enforce the new rules across all our conferences."
My Translation: We still think the OCP is a better model, otherwise we're going to lose a lot of people. We want to pass the buck to the annual conferences to handle it all independently.

"Translation: We need to find a way to ignore GC."
My Translation: We want to keep Unity above other items; together we are stronger. That means ignoring GC.

"Translation: We will be creating a looser confederation of conferences to replace The United Methodist structure."
I agree with your translation.

"Translation: The Western Jurisdiction is rebelling and we have no way to keep them under control. So we will just have to go with it. "
My Translation: We have a lot of disparate parts pulling in different directions. We'd like to keep unified, as much as we can. That is going to require a lot of give and take, lest things all blow up. We could really use a MacGyver here.

JR 9 days ago

Enforce and Destroy.

I see where you are coming from. If the Bishops would only enforce GC's will and the Discipline then everything would be alright. The Left and Center realizing that they couldn't win would just give up or leave. But that is exactly what is happening right now. GC has spoken and the Judicial Council has supported their actions. Now the hard part for Traditionalists to accept which is the decline of the denomination. A lot of pastors will retire (and we don't have a pipeline to replace them), a lot of pew sitters will simply leave or lower giving and Jurisdictions, conferences, and congregations will reject and leave the communion. This is a right that was given to them and they have until 2023 to leave. This isn't a long time to build a new US-based denomination. You can't MAKE people support a position that they don't agree with and you can't make them stay through the COB. So the left and center are making plans to leave in a similar fashion to how the Traditionalists did. But they will more than likely just leave before GC 2020 or shortly after. The sooner the Bishops realize this the quicker we all can move on. They must lead us through this transition and not hide in Episcopal language.

Eric 9 days ago