This afternoon, the United Methodist Council of Bishops announced that it will submit a report to the special 2019 General Conference that contains all three plans for a way forward considered by the bishops and the Commission on a Way Forward. This will include the Traditionalist Plan, the One Church Plan, and the Connectional Conference Plan.
Good News applauds the Council’s decision to include a Traditionalist Plan in their report. “We are glad the bishops will submit an option that represents the mainstream majority of the church,” said the Rev. Rob Renfroe, president of Good News. “This puts the Traditionalist Plan rightfully on an equal footing to be considered by the delegates to the special session along with the bishops’ preferred plan, the One Church Plan, which has been repeatedly rejected by the General Conference in the past. We believe the Traditionalist Plan holds the most hope for a fruitful future for The United Methodist Church.”
While the Council press release declared that a “majority of the Council of Bishops recommends the One Church Plan as the best way forward for The United Methodist Church,” it acknowledged “there is support for each of the three plans within the Council.” According to the release: “While the bishops recommended the One Church Plan they affirmed that the Connectional Conference Plan and the Traditionalist Plan held values that are important to the life and work of the church.”
The most disappointing news coming out of the meeting is that the full details of the plans and accompanying legislative proposals will be released “no later than July 8.” This is the deadline for submitting petitions to the special General Conference. The delay is purportedly due to the need for final editing and translation into the official languages of the General Conference.
“Waiting until July 8 to find out the details of the plans is simply unacceptable,” said the Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, vice president of Good News. “We call upon the Council of Bishops to release at least a summary of the details of the plans before annual conferences begin meeting later this month, so that members of the annual conferences can begin to familiarize themselves with the options available to guide their delegates in making an informed and prayerful decision about our church’s future direction.”
Good News will continue to analyze and publicize information about the three plans as it becomes available.
Council of Bishop’s Press Release HERE.