This is the second in a multi-week series to help us be informed about and prepare for the Special Session of General Conference to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri (aka #GC2019).
Find Primer no.1 here.
Last week we linked to the three main plans sent to #GC2019 by the Commission on the Way Forward, noting that the One Church Plan is the primary and preferred plan. But earlier this week, the UMC announced that a total of 78 plans will be considered. 78!
You see, last May the Judicial Council ruled petitions could be filed by any organization, clergy or lay member of The United Methodist Church if the business proposed to be transacted is in harmony with the purpose, which is “limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based upon recommendations of the Council of Bishops.” 78 such petitions were ruled to be in harmony. Click here for a flowchart on that process.
Ugh. That's a ton of material to sort through. So, as I prefer to do in times like these, let's turn to the wisdom of our young people. I find they often see through most of our older adult nonsense and cynicism to the essence of the issues. Here's what UMC Youth People have to say. There's a tremendous wealth of insight at that link, I really hope you'll take the time to read through it.
They conclude with a Statement of Unity, from which we all could learn:
We, as the Young People of the United Methodist Church, agree to be united in Spirit as one body of Christ, despite the diversity of culture, tradition, political ideologies, language, beliefs, nationalities, and personal identities, as we believe that we are all God’s creation and our primary identity is being God’s children.
As young people, we love The United Methodist Church, the unity it offers, and how it welcomes all people, regardless of who they are and what they do in life.
We recognize and celebrate the diversity that comes from being in a global United Methodist connection. We view each person as an essential part of the body of Christ, which is the Church, and that God loves each of us far beyond what we can imagine.
With that, we believe that God's love is engrained in us and part of our identity as United Methodists.
We stand against the spirit of hatred, judgment, and discrimination which creates division instead of unity.
We pray that through the Holy Spirit we can remain united as a body that continues to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Leave your questions about any of this in the comments below and I will do my best to respond to them in a future post.