Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
This past October, I presented an overview of the Connectional Conference Plan to South Central Jurisdiction delegates at a gathering that was held to help them prepare for the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. Although many attending that meeting arrived assuming the Connectional Conference Plan would not get any traction at General Conference, I was surprised and intrigued by how many were more open to the plan’s potential as they began to better understand it. That experience has stayed with me, as has the reality of our increasing polarization around the One Church and Traditional Plans.
Recently, the Commission on a Way Forward moderators issued a letter inviting the church into a deeper discussion about the Connectional Conference Plan. In response to that invitation, and because I am concerned about our deepening polarization and the fact that the Connectional Conference Plan has yet to be fully explored, I have prepared a reflection that I have attached: An Opportunity to Take a Fresh Look at the Connectional Conference Plan.
Of course, I would love to receive your feedback. Even more importantly, however, I hope this offering will spur the church as a whole, and General Conference delegates in particular, to take a fresh look at the Connectional Conference Plan and include it in their continuing discernment about God’s Way Forward for the entire United Methodist Church.
Grace and peace,
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The final report of the Commission on a Way Forward has been released in English, French, Portuguese and Swahili; all four official languages of the General Conference. The report will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. Subject to final copy editing, the report will be printed in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) in November. Here is a statement from the moderators of the Commission and the President of the Council of Bishops on the release of the report:
“To the People of The United Methodist Church,
“We offer the final report of the Commission on a Way Forward, translated in the four official languages of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. In the Nicene Creed, we are taught the marks of the church—one, holy, catholic and apostolic. We are catholic in that we care not only for the parts of the church, but more significantly for the whole. We have refrained from commenting about the plans contained in this report until the time when our sisters and brothers could read this in their own first language. With this distribution, we give thanks that this work can now begin, and we can have a conversation that represents our global and catholic nature—more fully who we are as The United Methodist Church.”
The Commission says farewell after the last meeting in May in Nashville.
Bishops Sandra Steiner Ball and David Yemba
Moderators, Commission on a Way Forward
Bishop Ken Carter
President, Council of Bishops
Here is the link to the English Version.
Here is the link to the French Version.
Here is the link to the Portuguese Version.
Here is the link to the Swahili Version.
Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church