Conservative United Methodists gearing up for church court battle over ‘Traditional Plan’

www.christianpost.com | 3/23/2019 | Staff
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Theologically conservative members of the United Methodist Church are preparing to argue in front of the denomination’s highest court in defense of a plan approved last month to strengthen the Church’s stance against homosexuality and gay marriage.

The United Methodist Judicial Council is scheduled to meet April 23-26 in Evanston, Illinois, to hear challenges to “The Traditional Plan,” a measure approved at the UMC’s special session of General Conference last month.

April - Docket - Items - Pastor - Timothy

The official April docket includes two items: the first being from Pastor Timothy Bruster of the Central Texas Annual Conference requesting that the Judicial Council review the “constitutionality, meaning, application, and effect of the adopted legislation referred to as the Traditional Plan.”

The second item came from the UMC Council of Bishops, who submitted a request on Mar. 6 for the Judicial Council to determine the constitutionality of Petition 90066, which changes the denomination’s policy on congregation disaffiliation.

Statement - Mar - Council - Bishops - Petition

According to a statement released Mar. 6, the Council of Bishops opposed the petition, which allows for an easier dismissal process for congregations, including allowing them to keep their property and financial assets.

The Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News Magazine, told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday that the Judicial Council will be considering the constitutionality of all parts of the Traditional Plan, with some parts having greater focus.

Parts - Plan - UM - Church - Constitution

“They will determine which parts of the plan are consistent with the UM Church Constitution and can therefore be implemented as passed,” explained Lambrecht.

“They will also be ruling on the disaffiliation petition that set a process for local churches to use in leaving the denomination while keeping their property and assets. They will determine whether that disaffiliation process is consistent with the UMC Constitution and therefore be able to take effect.”

Lambrecht - Organization - General - Conference

Lambrecht added that his organization was assisting some General Conference...
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