The Plans’ Impact on Mission

By Thomas Lambrecht- Recently, the Connectional Table convened a panel discussion to consider”how the efforts to end the church’s decades-long dispute over homosexuality might affect the denomination’s mission.” According to the article by Heather Hahn, “‘It is untrue that this decision will not affect the agencies and their mission – it will directly,’ said the Rev. Kim […]

Why I Appealed the Judicial Council Decision on Exit

By Thomas Lambrecht – I have submitted a request to the Judicial Council that it reconsider part of its Decision 1366 that declared the local church exit provisions of the Traditional Plan (TP) unconstitutional. The TP provided that individual congregations or groups of 50 or more congregations could vote to withdraw from The United Methodist […]

Finding Gratitude When Paradise is Lost

By Steve Beard- As families and friends gather on Thanksgiving to watch football, meticulously avoid politics, and feast on holiday favorites, the day will be starkly different for the first responders and fire victims in California. Accounting for dozens of deaths, nearly 250,000 acres in Northern and Southern California have been scorched. More than 11,700 […]

The Fallacy of the Big Tent

By Thomas Lambrecht – Those promoting the One Church Plan see it as the only plan that can bring unity to The United Methodist Church. That unity comes by conceiving of a denomination as a “big tent” enclosing many varied perspectives, opinions, and practices within one over-arching church. Will this approach truly bring unity to […]

Laity and the One Church Plan

By Thomas Lambrecht – One of the less noticed aspects of the One Church Plan (OCP) is how it minimizes the voices of laity in the various decisions around marriage and sexuality. The OCP allows any pastor to perform a same-sex wedding, whether the local church approves or not. Laity would have a voice in […]

Is the Traditional Plan Unconstitutional?

By Thomas Lambrecht – Anxious church commentators are wondering if the latest development in the lead-up to the special called General Conference in February 2019 means the Traditional Plan is fatally flawed. In a comprehensive 58-page ruling released October 26, the Judicial Council has rendered its opinion on whether the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan, and […]

Responding to Talking Points for the One Church Plan

By Chris Ritter, Guest Contributor –  The group “Mainstream UMC” made a deposit in my inbox entitled “Talking Points for the One Church Plan.” Formed by the Rev. Mark Holland of Kansas, Mainstream UMC is organized for the express purpose of passing the One Church Plan (OCP) at General Conference 2019. This plan would reverse or […]

Is the Traditional Plan Punitive?

By Thomas Lambrecht – While no one has explicitly told me that he or she thought the Traditional Plan is punitive, that appears to be an undercurrent of thinking among those who oppose the plan. One aspect of the plan is that it contains strict accountability measures for annual conferences, bishops, clergy, and members of […]

North Central Jurisdiction Hispanic Caucus Endorses Traditional Plan

By Thomas Lambrecht – The North Central Jurisdiction Hispanic Caucus met in Monroe, Wisconsin, on September 21-22. They met under the theme Transformed to Transform the World. The group discussed the three plans recommended to the special General Conference next February. They approved to support the Traditional Plan prepared by the Way Forward Commission. Pastors and lay […]

2019 General Conference Process Set

By Thomas Lambrecht – As we get closer to the special called General Conference scheduled for February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, more aspects of the process are coming into clearer focus. The Commission on the General Conference just met and decided on how the special General Conference will run, according to an article by Heather Hahn […]