General Conference 2019 Information

Critical Meetings and Events Precede Pivitol Special General Conference

By Walter Fenton

As 864 delegates plan to gather in St. Louis, Missouri for a called General Conference, important United Methodist Church bodies are making decisions sure to impact the gathering slated to meet February 23-26, 2019.

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Published 10/11/18

Whither the Gracious Exit – Committed or Constrained

By Keith Boyette

Does anyone still assert with a straight face the absence of irreconcilable differences in The United Methodist Church? The arguments advanced in support of each of the plans addressed in the report of the Commission on a Way Forward strain credulity in their effort to posit that we can be united in one enterprise. Each of the plans emphasize how we are not one church.

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Published 9/13/18

The Connectional Conference Plan

By Walter Fenton

Perhaps the most creative approach for preserving United Methodist Church unity, while also facilitating some separation for the sake of peace, is the Connectional Conference Plan (CCP). Unfortunately, it is also the most complicated and time- consuming of the three plans the Commission on a Way Forward is putting before the special General Conference slated to convene in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019.

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Published 8/20/18

The Traditional Plan

By Walter Fenton

In January 1999 the Rev. Don Fado of St. Mark’s UM Church in Sacramento, California, presided at a same-sex union. An additional 67 UM clergy claimed they co-officiated at the faux wedding – same-sex marriage being neither recognized by the church nor the state at the time. Formal complaints were lodged against the clergy participants, but the charges were dropped and no one involved was held accountable.

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Published 8/15/18

The One Church Plan

By Walter Fenton

The One Church Plan (OCP) is predicated on two straightforward assumptions. Flowing from these assumptions proponents are asking the 2019 General Conference delegates to make a few changes to The United Methodist Church’s The Book of Discipline.

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Published 8/8/18

FAQs, Number 2 – The State of the United Methodist Church

By Keith Boyette

Over the past several weeks a number of important developments have occurred in the UM Church, and the Wesleyan Covenant Association has received a number of questions regarding them. This is the second issue of Outlook attempting to help WCA members navigate the latest news.

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Published 7/27/18

Choices Abound!

By Keith Boyette

Going forward, we believe the UM Church should be composed of those who are fully committed to its theology, mission, and ministry. In the current environment, forcing local churches to be affiliated with an entity they can no longer support is bad for everyone. The UM Church should be composed of the willing, not the constrained.

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Published 7/20/18

FAQs – The State of The United Methodist Church

By Keith Boyette

Over the past several weeks a number of important developments have occurred in the UM Church. The Wesleyan Covenant Association has received a number of questions regarding them. With this issue of Outlook we are beginning a running FAQ post to help people navigate the latest news.

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Published 7/18/18

The Long and Winding Road to St. Louis

By Keith Boyette

Will February 26, 2019 ever arrive? Yes, in due course, and God will still be sovereign over His creation and His church will still be a prevailing church. We can hope that The United Methodist Church will still be counted as a faithful part of the church universal. Much yet must occur before we will know how it weathers its current crisis.

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Published 6/22/18

What Petitions Can Be Received by the Special 2019 General Conference?

By Keith Boyette

In its call for the 2019 conference, the COB stated, “The purpose of this special session of the General Conference shall be limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward.”

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Published 4/20/18

So Now What?

By Keith Boyette

Our church is global. Our General Conference is broadly representative of the worldwide membership of The United Methodist Church. A proportional number of delegates equally composed of laity and clergy, represent every annual conference.

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Published 3/23/18

Living Separate and Apart

By Keith Boyette

The COWF and the COB are to be commended for their ingenuity, but lacking substantial modifications, the multi-branch model is unlikely to engender the broad support necessary for passage. One is left with the impression that this model is the equivalent of a Hail Mary desperation pass. It’s appears to be so committed to preserving institutional unity that it is willing to institutionalize the divisions in the church as long as they function under the institution.

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Published 3/21/18

Should We Each Do What Is Right In Our Own Eyes?

By Keith Boyette
In the end, the characterization of sketch two as the “One Church Model” is devoid of meaning. It will result in chaos across the church and accelerate its decline as we undermine our once coherent message regarding our sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and our ordination standards.

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Published 3/16/18

A Moment Suspended in Time

By Keith Boyette
Now is not a time for anxiousness, hand-wringing, resignation or defeat.  Now is the time for us to redouble our efforts to contend for the faith entrusted to us by the saints. The WCA will continue to work tirelessly for the historic Christian faith in the Wesleyan tradition. We welcome those of like commitment.

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Published 3/12/18

Uniting Methodists Caucus Advocates For Unity Petitions that Will Bring Disunity

By Walter Fenton
At its inaugural 2016 gathering over 1,800 attendees affirmed the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s “Chicago Statement.” It called on the Council of Bishops to “bring forth a recommendation that would definitively resolve our debate over The United Methodist Church’s sexual ethics and its understanding of marriage.” It stated the best way forward was to adopt a plan that called “for accountability and integrity to our covenant, and restore[d] the good order of the church’s polity.”

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Published 2/6/18

A Mile Post on the Way Forward

By Chris Ritter
United Methodists have been waiting for the November 2017 Council of Bishops meeting to determine what the proceedings might reveal about the status of the proposed Way Forward.  That meeting closed today.  Our bishops head home from Lake Junaluska having spent quite a bit of time hearing from the Commission on a Way Forward and one another.

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Published 11/16/17

Longing for a Better Way Forward

By The WCA Board
After six meetings held over ten months, the Commission on a Way Forward, presented its preliminary report to the Council of Bishops (“COB”) earlier this week.  At its fall meeting, the COB considered the report’s merits, which included sketches of three models for proceeding forward, but did not express a preference for any one of the models. You may read the COB’s press release here. The Commission will submit its final report to the COB at the latter’s spring meeting to be held from April 29 to May 4, 2018.

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Published 11/9/17

Our Hope for the Way Forward

By The WCA Board
Acting through its Council, the WCA filed the following statement with the Bishops’ Commission in early June, 2017.  We understand that our statement, as well as submissions by other groups, is being reviewed by the members of the Commission to inform their dialogue as they prepare their final report to the Council of Bishops.  We are grateful for both the opportunity to contribute to the work of the Bishops’ Commission and for their prayerful consideration of our input.

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Published 7/12/17

Why Are “Traditional Compatibilists” So Hard to Find?

By Chris Ritter
On the theological left of the UMC, Progressive Non-compatiblists demand that the entire church change our stance on human sexuality as they work to completely stamp out discrimination based on sexual practice.  On the other end of the spectrum are Traditionalist Non-compatiblitists who are insistent on maintaining the current language in the Book of Discipline around ministry and human sexuality.

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Published 5/10/17

The Chicago Statement

By the WCA

Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday, October 7, 2016, over 1,700 people affirmed and approved the creation of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.The association is a coalition of congregations, clergy, and laity from across The United Methodist.

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Published 10/7/16