UMC Special General Conference
FAQ following Special General Conference
What was the Special General Conference in St. Louis?
The General Conference is the highest legislative body in the church and the only group who can decide church law and speak officially for the global denomination. 864 delegates (half lay, half clergy) from all over the world met in St. Louis on Feb. 23-26 to discuss and act on the report of the Commission on a Way Forward over the issue of human sexuality. The delegates also considered petitions other than the report from the Commission.
The General Conference decided to maintain language on ordination of LGBTQI persons and same-gender marriages in The United Methodist Church. The decision of the General Conference was to offer a majority support for the Traditional Plan. The vote was 438 to 384. The delegates then voted to ask the Judicial Council, the highest court in the denomination, to review the constitutionality of the approved legislation. Delegates also passed an exit strategy for churches who wish to leave the denomination. This legislation does not go into effect until January 1, 2020.
What is the Traditional Plan?
The Traditional Plan keeps the current language around sexuality and increases accountability by streamlining the processes to enforce penalties for violations of The Book of Discipline related to marriage and ordination of LGBTQI persons. Some parts of the Traditional Plan were ruled unconstitutional, and it will take some time to clarify which parts will become part of our church law and which parts will not.
What is the next step for the UMC?
Since the legislation is not the official church law until January 1, 2020, the bishops are urging all United Methodists to stay focused on the mission that glorifies God and reaches new people with the Gospel. Bishops will be holding meetings with clergy and laity in their annual conferences on how details will be handled in each area.
What does this all mean for Christ Church?
As stated above, it will take some time for these decisions to be clarified. Our Senior Pastor Shane Stanford, our Executive Team and church leaders will be meeting and bringing more information to the congregation in the days and weeks ahead.
Official christ church statement
On February 23-26, the United Methodist Church held a Special General Conference to debate our current position on same-sex marriage. At this conference, global delegates had the opportunity to vote on one of three potential plans. Christ Church supports the Modified Traditional Plan, which represents the historical, orthodox position of the Christian Church.
Christ Church prays that the global church continues to affirm scriptural authority as well as the current doctrine and discipline that has guided Christ Church for 63 years—the same doctrine and discipline that has been affirmed by every UMC clergy person and Bishop at their ordination.
Going forward we maintain our commitment to stand firmly on the following:
The Wesleyan Way of Salvation
The Historical Creeds of the Church
The Doctrine & Discipline of the United Methodist Church as currently written