ST. LOUIS – In the wake of the special called session of the General Conference and the passage of the Traditional Plan and a disaffiliation plan that allows churches to more easily leave the denomination, the Connectional Table (CT) encourages United Methodists to take a breath, take time to process what has happened and to be in prayer as we seek to understand what the outcome means for the future of our church.
We call the church to prayer for the grieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual people and their allies. We ask for prayer for the delegates, bishops, members of the Commission on a Way Forward, the Commission on the General Conference staff, the pages, interpreters, marshals and all others who worked tirelessly to make the Special Session happen. We ask for prayer for all United Methodists around our worldwide connection.
In his opening address as first presider of this General Conference, CT Chair Bishop Christian Alsted noted that the conference was governed not only by Robert’s Rules of Order, but also by Methodism founder John Wesley’s General Rules: do no harm, do good and stay in love with God by using the means of grace. “I believe this is what our fellow United Methodist people expect of us,” Bishop Alsted said. “I believe this is what Jesus Christ expects of us.” These rules must guide us through this time of great change.
“It will take time for us to truly understand and process the impact of what has happened,” said Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, Chief Connectional Ministries Officer of the Connectional Table. “Many are dealing with deep emotions and deep pain. We must now care for one another, pray for our church, and take the time to respond and not react. God loves all of us, no matter who we are and which positions we took. God loves us and is still calling us to be in mission and ministry in the world.”
The Connectional Table will continue the work of discerning and articulating the vision, in collaboration with the Council of Bishops, and stewarding the mission, ministries and resources of The United Methodist Church. We will seek to follow Wesley’s rules to do no harm, do good and to stay in love with God through the means of grace. We will pray for United Methodists and for the future of our Church. And, above all, we will follow Christ’s command to love one another. We urge all United Methodists to do the same.
About the Connectional Table: The Connectional Table works to steward the mission, vision and ministries of The United Methodist Church. For more information, please visit www.resourceumc.org/en/churchwide/the-connectional-table.
Media Contact: Emily Clemons