Bishops Hold Information Sessions as Defiance of General Conference Action Strengthens

UPDATED March 14

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Excuse me: Are these "Information Sessions"open to the members and press or CLOSED like the way forward sessions?

Of course, we cannot totally blame the bishops for the current chaos,(after all, it has been 50 years brewing), but we can point out their arrogance in trying to steer a charade through non-negotiable issues. I quit attending a UMC church, the church of my boyhood, baptism, scouts and infinite open dish dinners, when the choo-choo went completely off the track with a lesbian bishop. With some things , even Lazarus would say, "Its all over. There's no hope!"
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Are there any UMC bishops with the honesty, integrity and courage to say, "No more fighting. Give it up! Split it up and let's get on with life, witness and worship!"?

Reese 219 days ago

An accurate statement of the situation

Within the historical context of what started this mess in the first place: liberal/progressives wanted to change the denominations understanding of sexual immorality.


"The only reason that this [full inclusion of LGBTQIA persons] is singled out is because [in 1972] there were arguments over what was sexual immorality and what constitutes marriage, thus clarifying statements were needed. Had such arguments not arisen, such statements need not be made. You fight the church, the church clarifies, then you condemn the church for clarifying. That is pretty juvenile really." https://unsettledchristianity.com/a-response-to-the-baltimore-washington-bishop/#comment-1369121

betsy 220 days ago

God's will and power

In Acts, the Bible tells us that Mattias was chosen as a disciple to fill the vacancy created by Judas' betrayal and death. If God could make His will known by the casting of lots then why couldn't He make His will known by a vote of the UM General Conference? I know that I was not the only Methodist praying that His will would be done in the days leading up to the vote. I am convinced that if it was God's will for the one church plan to pass, then it would have passed. I think everyone needs to back up and consider what God is doing. Because all of the human actions (weaponizing Robert's Rule's of Order, withholding apportionments, etc) are useless if their goal is to achieve something outside of God's will.

Virginia Berger 223 days ago

Check out these thoughts

from Tom Lambrecht. GC2019 was surrounded by an unprecedented amount of prayer and yet the outcome is still being challenged because, for some, it is still not the correct answer and never will be. https://goodnewsmag.org/2019/03/two-questions-from-st-louis/

betsy 220 days ago

Starving the beast

I think the congregations who withhold apportionments as an act of defiance against the Traditionalist majority will probably be matched by those Traditionalist congregations who start withholding their apportionments in utter frustration over the denomination’s lack of leadership in abiding by and enforcing our Book of Discipline and our understanding of Christian marriage as between one man and one woman. Apparently the constitutional roadblocks in reforming ourselves and creating enforcement mechanisms are just too engrained in a system designed to support the institutional status quo. Eventually the institutional beast will starve, forcing dissolution of the “United” Methodist Church and hopefully two new Wesleyan groups, denominations, worship traditions (whatever you want to call it) will rise from the ashes and thrive as they pursue their missions consistent with their understanding of God’s will. The leadership of the annual conferences (that’s primarily you Bishops) need to quit with the rah rah speeches and trying to convince the laity that nothing will change for their particular conference and start leading us in a new direction, facing the reality that the UMC is mortally wounded and like that famous egg, can’t be put back together again.

John 224 days ago

Why Starve the denomination

I believe that this is going to come to a head well before Minneapolis. There appears to be a solid movement of Moderates and Liberals towards a US based denomination that is based around the US context and its needs. I am sure the Traditionalists can survive and pursue ministry globally without our involvement or money. As much as I want to believe in a single UMC it is clear that the differences are irreconcilable. The property issue will work itself out simply based on the shear amount of property that will leave hands. The Bishops and the judicial council will have to resolve the situation to avoid an impossible legal situation. My only hope is that whatever new thing comes from middle and left that it is solely a US based mission to avoid what happened this year at GC 2019. The type of clashing cultures should never take place again. The best way of doing this is limiting our participation to just the World Methodist Council. Each country should be allowed to express Wesleyan theology in a way that best meets their culture, countries laws, and their interpretation of the Bible. The US created this horrible mess because of the culture wars between rural- urban and red-blue. The only way this stops is for both sides to leave and move on.

eric 224 days ago

You are right, time to split

If the vote at GC2019 had gone the other way, Traditionalists were prepared to leave the UMC via the WCA. Progressives were not prepared for the vote to go against them. However, now they see the need to leave as our two ways of viewing the Bible are so different. Church leaders need to give up on unifying us and make plans for a fair and equitable split. However, it does no one any good to delay the split any further. Church leaders need to actively and quickly respond with a viable plan to split. Dragging their feet to postpone the inevitable is no longer an option.

Steve 223 days ago

so...

Your thought is to shrink the governing size down to where you will have a majority to get your way? And it will be okay to force traditional US methodist congregations to agree with it? Why can't you just accept organizing your own new church? Changing these teachings and these rules are a big deal for christianity. Why can't you respect those who don't think God condones these changes?

td 223 days ago

agree with split.

Seems the easiest split path would use a mechanism that already exists where a local church can declare themselves reconciling- and then allowing churches that declare themselves reconciling to have the right to leave with their property. I accept and respect those who want to change the teaching and rules; i don't agree with their beliefs and i don't think they should have to stay and hide their gospel calling. But honestly, there must be respect for those US methodists who want to adhere to traditional Christian sexual teachings.

td 222 days ago

Annual conference decision

Each annual conference is the only authority that can decide what to do with individual church properties.

Anonymous 222 days ago

The Annual Conference and Jurisdictions are key

We have an episcopal system of governance with checks by the Jurisdictions and Annual Conferences. We will only see movement when the Annual Conferences begin to leave. I will bargain that the Traditionalists will begin to panic if they start to see what is left after the supporting conferences leave is small. The global conferences who support the traditional perspective don't want to see a break up as it will destroy their financial and educational sources. They don't want to change and they have very good reasons in some case but they want the financial support to stay. If the western jurisdiction goes that will begin a tide that will solve the problem well before Minneapolis 2020. If you want to see change force the actual power mechanisms to leave.

eric 221 days ago

Everybody's for diversity until they aren't.

Very conservative of you. And I agree. You can't have 99% of the funding controlled by the 50% who provide the 1% of funding.

Our structure is designed to be an impediment to your opinions, however. Almost none of our conferences don't have a rural element. The conferences have varying degrees of urban centers. I think its highly likely that either this year or next, we have a contingency of around 14 to 20 U.S. "conservative" conferences break off and about 14 progressive conferences break off. The remaining liberal/moderate/mixed conferences will remain. The annual conferences, where the power is, will decide individually how to handle the issue going forward. The bureaucracy at the AC level will fight to survive, so that's hard to say what happens in each conference. The bishops and judicial council don't have authority to give away annual conference assets.

I see our connection moving to 3 denominations with a strong affiliation due to connections in pension administration, UMCOR and anything else we can all agree to support (likely not much). We spent 20 years discussing this and this is likely the best we can do.

Anonymous 222 days ago