In short, the Commission has studied and prepared 3 plan options to effectively address the matter of human sexuality and the United Methodist church. These plans will be presented by the Commission on a Way forward at the 2019 General Conference in February 2019. The 3 options under consideration are the Traditional Plan; the One-Church Plan; and the Multi-Branch Plan. Through its deliberation, the Commission on a Way Forward is recommending the One-Church Plan.
Summary of The One Church Plan
“The One Church Plan removes the language from The Book of Discipline used in the United States that restricts pastors and churches from conducting same-sex weddings and annual conferences from ordaining self-avowed practicing homosexual persons. It adds language that intentionally protects the religious freedom of pastors and churches who choose not to perform or host same-sex weddings and Boards of Ordained Ministry and bishops who choose not to credential or ordain self-avowed practicing homosexual persons. Central conferences can adapt portions of The Book of Discipline for their own contextual practices and are not bound by decisions taken in Jurisdictional Conferences. This plan provides United Methodists the ability to address their missional contexts in different ways.”
For more detail on the One Church Plan and the other 2 plan options, a comprehensive report is available at the Missouri Conference website under the subject of Legislative Updates on the Commission on a Way Forward, click here.
— Trish Gunby