The Advocate is at the special session of General Conference Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis to prayerfully cover the event for South Carolina United Methodists. There, 864 United Methodist clergy and lay delegates from around the world are gathering in St. Louis for this special session of General Conference with a single purpose: helping the global denomination move beyond its debilitating disagreement over human sexuality.
Advocate’s latest articles (at GC2019):
Sunday at GC to focus on setting priorities
South Carolina delegates reflect on General Conference Day 1
Background: Per the official call, GC2019 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 UMC Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and help the UMC 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. 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.
Want more? Past Advocate articles covering GC2019 and the way forward:
- February 2019: GC2019: Almost There
- January 2019: A Call for Focused Prayer in Preparation for GC2019
- December 2018: General Conference: Now What?
- November 2018: Judicial Council Rules on Two of Three Way Forward Plans
- October 2018: Constitutionality of Way Forward Plan Goes Before UMC Top Court this Month
- September 2018: Judicial Council to Rule Next Month on Constitutionality of Three Way Forward Plans
- August 2018: Call Changed for GC2019
- July 2018: Other Petitions Beyond COB’s to be Accepted for 2019 General Conference
- June 2018: Bishops Recommend One Church Plan for UMC
- May 2018: UMC Top Court to Consider what Petitions Can Be Submitted to Called General Conference
- April 2018: What’s the Way Forward? UMC Bishops Consider Two Models for Church Unity
- December 2017: Bishop Calls for Week of Prayer for UMC Dec. 24-30
- December 2017: UMC Bishops Explore Three ‘Way Forward’ Models for Denomination
- June 2017: UMC to Gather for 2019 Special Session of General Conference on Human Sexuality
Also, stay on top of the South Carolina conference communications office coverage of GC2019 here: https://www.umcsc.org/gc2019
Additionally, United Methodist Communications is livestreaming proceedings at GC2019 in English, French and American Sign Language. The stream at umc.org/live will include all open sessions when the lawmaking assembly meets Feb. 23-26. Visual learners also can view a chart that offers an overview of four main plans under consideration:
Importance of prayer
We invite you to be in prayer for every delegate, especially our South Carolina delegates and alternates, as well as our resident bishop, L. Jonathan Holston. Lay delegates: Barbara Ware, James Salley, Dr. Joseph Heyward, Herman Lightsey, Jackie Jenkins, Michael Cheatham, Martha Thompson, Dr. David Braddon, and alternates Lollie Haselden and Emily Rogers Evans. Clergy delegates: Dr. Tim McClendon, the Rev. Ken Nelson, the Rev. Tim Rogers, Dr. Robin Dease, the Rev. Tiffany Knowlin, the Rev. Narcie Jeter, the Rev. Mel Arant Jr., the Rev. Susan Leonard, and alternates the Rev. Telley Gadson and the Rev. Michael Turner.
We also invite prayer for the members of our South Carolina media team: Advocate Editor Jessica Brodie and the UMCSC Communications Office Dan O’Mara (communications coordinator) and Matt Brodie (production coordinator), as well as all others from South Carolina here to serve, pray and help.