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 […]

Gracious Exit Supported

By Thomas Lambrecht – According to an article by Heather Hahn of UM New Service, “A theologically diverse group of United Methodists wants General Conference delegates to prioritize passing a ‘gracious and equitable’ plan for churches exiting the denomination. “‘While we pray for a unified way forward, the reality of our circumstance convinces us that any decision […]

Upgrading the Traditional Plan

By Thomas Lambrecht – Since the Traditional Plan was presented by the Commission on a Way Forward, other ideas have surfaced in order to enhance it. Those ideas have been submitted to General Conference in two petitions entitled “Modified Traditional Plan” by Maxie Dunnam. What are those upgrades? Gracious Exit Upgrade. The goal of the Traditional […]

Responding to Talking Points

By Thomas Lambrecht – An organization formed to promote the One Church Plan (OCP) at the special called 2019 General Conference has recently issued a dozen talking points in support of the OCP. Some of those talking points are true and worthy of consideration. Upon closer examination, however, other talking points are either misleading or […]

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