The United Methodist Council of Bishops has announced the membership of the Commission on a Way Forward.

“After three months of diligent and prayerful discernment, we have selected 8 bishops, 11 laity, 12 elders and 1 deacon to serve on the Commission,” said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops. “This group is representative of our theological diversity.”

Ough said the makeup of the 32-member commission is roughly comparable to U.S. and Central Conference membership.

All of the members of the Commission have already indicated their willingness and availability to serve. The team of moderators —  Bishop Ken Carter, Bishop Sandra Steiner-Ball, and Bishop David Yemba — will soon convene the Commission to begin to organize their work and finalize their meeting schedule.

The Commission’s mission is to  ”bring together persons deeply committed to the future(s) of The United Methodist Church, with an openness to developing new relationships with each other and exploring the potential future(s) of our denomination in light of General Conference and subsequent annual, jurisdictional, and central conference actions.”

The 2016 General Conference gave a specific mandate to the Council of Bishops to lead The United Methodist Church in discerning and proposing a way forward through the present impasse related to human sexuality and the consequent questions about unity and covenant.

The Commission is a group appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the Council in fulfilling this mandate. As such, the Council has appointed bishops from across the global connection to serve on the Commission alongside laity and clergy. While clergy and laity will vote at a General Conference on these matters, the bishops have the responsibility to lead the church. Thus, the Commission is designed to inform the Council’s leadership of the General Conference. After hearing concerns that the proposed composition did not include enough laity, three additional laypersons were added from the original pool of more than 300 nominees.

At their fall meeting (October 30 – November 2), the Council will make a decision about a called General Conference and will review a plan to conduct additional and complementary work in annual conferences designed to broaden the conversation with hundreds of lay and clergy members.

GOOD NEWS media.

The members of the Commission are:


Jorge Acevedo

USA, Florida, elder, male

Brian Adkins

USA, California, elder, male

Jacques Umembudi Akasa

Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, laity, male

Tom Berlin

USA, Virginia, elder, male

Matt Berryman

USA, Illinois, laity, male

Helen Cunanan

Philippines, elder, female

David Field

Europe, Switzerland, laity, male

Ciriaco Francisco

Philippines, bishop, male

Grant Hagiya

USA, California, bishop, male

Aka Dago-Akribi Hortense

Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, laity, female

Scott Johnson

USA, New York, laity, male

Jessica Lagrone

USA, Kentucky, elder, female

Thomas Lambrecht

USA, Texas, elder, male

Myungae Kim Lee

USA, New York, laity, female

Julie Hager Love

USA, Kentucky, deacon, female

Mazvita Machinga

Africa, Zimbabwe, laity, female

Patricia Miller

USA, Indiana, laity, female

Mande Guy Muyombo

Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, elder, male

Eben Nhiwatiwa

Africa, Zimbabwe, bishop, male

Dave Nuckols

USA, Minnesota, laity, male

Casey Langley Orr

USA, Texas, elder, female

Gregory Palmer

USA, Ohio, bishop, male

Donna Pritchard

USA, Oregon, elder, female

Tom Salsgiver

USA, Pennsylvania, elder, male

Robert Schnase

USA, Texas, bishop, male

Jasmine Rose Smothers

USA, Georgia, elder, female

Leah Taylor

USA, Texas, laity, female

Deborah Wallace-Padgett

USA, Alabama, bishop, female

Rosemarie Wenner

Europe, Germany, bishop, female

Alice Williams

USA, Florida, laity, female

John Wesley Yohanna

Africa, Nigeria, bishop, male

Alfiado S. Zunguza

Africa, Mozambique, elder, male



Sandra Steiner Ball

USA, West Virginia, bishop, female

Kenneth Carter

USA, Florida, bishop, male

David Yemba

Africa, Democratic Republic
of Congo, bishop, male




  1. My prayer is These reps will seek Gods direction. God created man and woman. By design, we are to honor his creation…

  2. And God created some of our us gay. Sorry but that’s simply how it is. Children of glory. Even the gay ones!

  3. Dave, please provide Biblical and scientific references for your assertion that people are created with same sex attraction. Saying, ‘that’s simply how it is’ doesn’t create a conversation or help us move forward. Would love to interact with whatever you can send us.

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