November 5, 2108
The Global Legislative Assembly of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, meeting at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, in Marietta, Georgia, on Friday, November 2, 2018, declares its positions regarding proposed plans submitted to the special General Conference of The United Methodist Church to meet February 23-26, 2019:
- Traditional Plan with Modifications – We urge the delegates to vote for the Traditional Plan as amended by the petitions submitted by Dr. Maxie Dunnam and brought into conformity with Judicial Council decision 1366. The Traditional Plan with modifications is in accord with the teachings of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. It alone provides measures to uphold the UM Church’s discipline and polity, supports the perspective of the majority of the global church, and is generous in its provision towards individuals, local churches, and annual conferences that can no longer abide by it.
- One Church Plan – We urge the delegates to vote against the One Church Plan. The One Church Plan endorses practices contrary to Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian teaching regarding our sexual ethics, our definition of marriage, and our ordination standards. Furthermore, the plan undermines the connectional nature of our church. Its adoption would lead to disunity as thousands of local congregations decided to leave the denomination.
- Connectional Conference Plan – We are wary of a plan which appears to institutionalize our divisions over important matters of theology and ethics. In addition, the plan’s complexity, its long timeline of implementation, and the high bar posed by constitutional amendments make this plan unattractive to the church at large.
- Simple Plan – We urge the delegates to vote against the Simple Plan. The Simple Plan would have the church approve of sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and ordination standards that are contrary to Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian teaching. Adoption of the plan would almost immediately divide the UM Church.
- Gracious Exit — We urge the delegates to approve a gracious and equitable process for congregations and institutions desiring to exit the UM Church with all their property and assets following the adjournment of the special General Conference. Such a process for exit should be adopted prior to the consideration of any other proposed legislation to ensure fairness to all perspectives. The process should be non-punitive, require the departing entity to fund its proportionate share of unfunded pension liabilities within its annual conference, and the continued regular repayment of any outstanding loans to the UM Church or related entities. Additional payments beyond pension liabilities should not be required in order to allow congregations adequate seed money to thrive in a new ministry reality. Any plan adopted by General Conference should include a gracious exit according to the terms outlined above.