By Jessica Brodie
As the countdown continues for the special called session of General Conference, South Carolina’s resident bishop is calling on United Methodists to join him in daily, focused prayer that the church continue doing God’s work in the world.
“When we join together in prayer each day, we remember who we are and whose we are as disciples of Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Jonathan Holston. “Each day we have the opportunity to be for someone the Gospel that they may never otherwise hear.”
In his monthly column for the Advocate, Holston lists specific prayers he calls on South Carolina United Methodists to join him in praying—a different prayer for each day of the week. (See his column here for the specifics.)
“Together each day, let us join one another in prayer, believing that God hears every word,” Holston said.
The special session of General Conference is slated for Feb. 23-26, 2019, at The Dome in St. Louis. There, 864 United Methodists from across the world who are delegates from each annual conference in the denomination will gather in one place with one purpose: helping the global church move beyond its debilitating disagreement over human sexuality.
Browse past detailed Advocate coverage of GC2019 by clicking here.
The idea is that if the decisions are addressed in 2019, then the next main General Conference, set for 2020 in Minneapolis, will be able to focus on the full mission of the church and not one issue.
The express purpose of this 2019 Special Session of General Conference, as stated in the call, is “limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based upon the recommendations of the Council of Bishops.” The Way Forward commission was created at the will of the last General Conference, in 2016, and charged to examine paragraphs in the United Methodist Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and help the full church explore ways to move beyond its impasse around ministry and human sexuality.
The Way Forward commission developed three plans for the church: the One Church Plan, the Traditional Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan. Other plans are also expected to be considered, such as the Simple Plan and the Modified Traditional Plan.
Learn more about GC2019 at www.umc.org/topics/general-conference-2019-special-session. You can also browse past detailed Advocate coverage of GC2019 by going to www.advocatesc.org/gc2019coverage.