United Methodist Agency Responses to General Conference 2019

Juicy Ecumenism | 4/17/2019 | Dan Moran
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In the wake of the momentous and emotional Special General Conference held in St. Louis, several general agencies of the United Methodist Church (UMC) have issued formal, written statements in response. In other agencies, notable staff have expressed their own opinions publicly. The passage of the Traditional Plan was certainly a landmark moment in the history of the denomination. The official churchwide offices are created by General Conference to perform services that local congregations and annual conferences cannot, and they are funded through general church funds. Their goals are to carry out the programs adopted by General Conference and to provide “a common vision, mission and ministry for the entire global church.”

Jeff Walton has reported on General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe’s press release. Displeased with the decisions made by the global legislative body, she wrote that “The 2019 General Conference brought unbearable pain to the body of Christ,” and that “The delegates’ resistance to hear and honor the presence and voices of LGBTQIA people has created a wound. The wound may one day be healed by the grace of God, but the scar left behind will be visible forever.” She hopes the church will see the error of its ways, adding: “Our prayer must be of repentance. We must seek forgiveness. We must call on Christ to heal all of the brokenness we have imposed on the body.”

Leaders - Connectional - Table - CT - Vision

Two leaders of The Connectional Table (CT), formed in 2004 “to discern and articulate the vision for the church and the stewardship of the mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church as determined by General Conference” gave a less partisan response. CT Chair Bishop Christian Alsted and Chief Connectional Ministries Officer the Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai issued a joint statement acknowledging the...
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