Before I Take The Next Breath A Sudden Response to General Conference 2019 by Alex Joyner
No one should be held responsible for what she or he writes in the 24 hours after a cyclone like the one that just tore through The Dome in America’s Center. So I’ll hope you’ll extend me that grace as I offer, before taking the next breath, some initial thoughts and reactions to the Called General Conference of The United Methodist Church just ended in St. Louis:
A cyclone didn’t really hit the arena. It just felt that way. I should be clear about this, (though so much else isn’t.)
Other outlets will offer you much more accurate information about what happened, and I’ll be sharing trusted sources as they come along, but in short, a “Traditional Plan” was chosen by a majority of the 864 delegates as a way forward for the denomination. The Traditional Plan retains the current language of The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, which forbids clergy from conducting same-sex marriages as well as the ordination of “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.” It also adds some new measures of accountability for clergy, bishops, and annual conference boards of ordained ministry. The measure passed by a final vote of 438-384.
The General Conference also adopted a new procedure for churches that wish to disaffiliate from the denomination.
Having said that, all of these measures will be reviewed by the denomination’s Judicial Council, which reported to the Conference on Tuesday morning that a significant number of petitions, if passed as is, would be unconstitutional. Since most of the constitutional issues were not addressed by amendments, it seems that big parts of the Traditional Plan may not go into effect. In that case, we would retain the current language in the Book of Discipline.
The One Church Plan, which was endorsed by a majority of the Council of Bishops, was vigorously debated but failed on a 374-449 vote. That plan would have created space for the ordination of LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriages without requiring any church or clergy person to act against conscience.
District E.S. Pastors will gather for
two-hour GC Review, Sat. Mar. 2
All Eastern Shore Pastors will meet with District Superintendent Joyner on Saturday, March 2 from 10-12, 2019 for a General Conference Review session at Bloxom Mission House of Prayer on 25585 Shore Main Dr., Bloxom, VA 23308. “General Conference—What Just Happened?” will be a time of reporting and processing the events of the recent Called General Conference in St. Louis. We will conclude with a time of worship. Registration not required.
Submit your questions now for Mar. 4 livestream event with Bishop Lewis
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis will hold an address entitled “State of the Church: Where do we go from here?” on Monday, Mar. 4, following the Special Session of General Conference. The event will be livestreamed at www.livestream.com/vaumc/stateofthechurch from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. featuring an address by Bishop Lewis as well as time for Q& A. The event footage will be archived at the same link for later viewing. Questions for this Q &A period may be sent to email@example.com to the event and during the event. For questions about the event, contact Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Marc Brown at MarcBrown@vaumc.org.
PICS FROM 2019 GC
Find photos of our 22 clergy and lay delegates as well as supporting clergy and lay from Virginia Conference. CLICK HERE
DISTRICT COURSE: Tuesdays, March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 2019, Devotional Life the the Wesleyan Tradition, sponsored by the E.S. District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries. It’s great for Lent as it is structured around Wesley’s “means of grace.” This course covers Scripture, the Lord’s Supper and fasting which were all major features in John Wesley’s devotional life. It's not just for lay servant/speakers; anyone can participate. Registration and more...
DISTRICT WORKSHOP: On Saturday, March 23, 2019, 2 identical 2-hr workshops being offered -2 locations, 2 different times. How can churches spend less time meeting and more time in ministry? A simplified single board structure makes it possible for your church to better focus on leadership equipping, missional alignment, and your next steps in ministry. Rev. Alan Layman, pastor of Grace UMC will present the NOW (Nurture, Outreach, Witness) model for small membership churches. He will share how NOW has worked in his church. Registration and more....
Saturday March 16, 6-8:30 PM is FAMILY GAME Night at Trinity United Methodist Church, 109 Plum Street, Cape Charles. Some games will be available or bring your favorite! Refreshments provided.
DEADLINE FOR ARTICLES: "The Shoreline" is a weekly newsletter. Submit brief articles to Connie Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday morning, 9 am.