On Sunday, January 13, during the Sunday School hour, I will be leading an Informational Session regarding the report of the Commission on a Way Forward. This will include information pertaining to proposed plans of the larger United Methodist Church in regards to its position on human sexuality. There are currently three plans that are being considered: the One Church Plan, the Connection Conference Plan, and the Traditionalist Plan. Each plan will be presented to the attendees of this session.
The three plans will be discussed, debated, and voted upon by a special General Conference to be held on February 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri. The time is now for our church to meet about this issue. It is estimated that 864 delegates, including those from our conference, will be in attendance to discuss a way forward in dealing with the issue of homosexuality within the church. Quite frankly, it’s our turn to tackle this issue and take a position as a denomination. Other denominations have already visited this subject matter and have taken their position. Because we have witnessed the divisiveness of other denominations, many United Methodist people are fearful that our own church will split or break apart. However, this issue must be visited. It will not go away. The church has been in debate on this matter since 1972.
In preparation for our church’s informational meeting, I would encourage attendees to first view one of the many YouTube videos that discuss this issue in detail. A good presentation of the plans are the videos presented by Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball of the West Virginia Conference. Another interesting view is from PBS’s In the Contrary series. One of the programs, produced in 2015, is entitled Dividing the United Methodist Church.
A one-hour meeting to review these plans is hardly an accommodation of all the information that needs to be covered, but at least it is a good start. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall for those interested in attending. Thank you.