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Methodist General Conference: Six things to watch

Methodist General Conference: Six things to watch

The Conference meets very four years to vote on proposals that concern the entire church. Emily McFarlan Miller, writing for Religion News Service, lists six proposals that have generated interest from within and without the church.

Issues include human sexuality–more than 100 petitions on that topic alone–gun violence, immigration, abortion, religious freedom, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Arguments are being made for and against on many of these topics before the meeting has even occurred.

You can read the background and find a collection of links to other articles and resources on the RNS site.

The Methodist GC will take place at the Oregon Convention Center, which will also host the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) later this summer.

What do you expect will come out of the Methodist GC? What about the PCUSA meeting?


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Sean Storm

Are there anyone else getting sick and tired of all this talk about sexuality, is that all any Church has to talk about these days?

William Bockstael

Ok….let´s debate the speed at which angels fly

David Allen

Perhaps one of your ancestors was the guy who said, “Is there anyone else getting sick and tired of all this talk about slavery & segregation, is that all any Church has to talk about these days?”

David Allen

I think that you are sadly mistaken, churches dealing with equality for all the baptized are also addressing many other issues at the same time.

Sean Storm

No actually my Great-Grandfather fought in a NY artillery unit during the Civil War and was wounded in combat serving his country. Plus I had several ancestors serve on Gen. Washington’s staff at the Battle of White Plains. And exactly WHY is human sexuality so important over all other concerns. It is one of many things the Church needs to consider, NOT the top.

Doug Simpson

I wish our Methodist cousins the best in their General Conference this year.

David Allen

That’s an interesting photo of the Convention Center. I thought a new Mormon Temple had been built!

I’m thinking that as long as the UMC is an international denomination that the conservative non-US units will prevent the necessary majorities to change the Book of Discipline. However, there is an idea being floated around that the UMC in the US be organized as a national conference within the international conference and move forward with it’s own changes that wouldn’t require votes from outside of the US.

Thomas Coates

That’s correct, but creating a “central conference” made up of US-only jurisdictions (somewhat like TEC provinces) would still not have any authority to change homophobic policies– that exists in a more authoritative area of church law (Book of Discipline). If the US central conference is created, four years from now a proposal could be brought forth to General Conference for the change only in the US central conference, but again the entire denomination would have to allow the US central conference to do so. Conservative international delegates may allow such a proposal as it won’t affect their countries/central conferences, but I doubt it.

Jay Croft

One hundred “petitions” on human sexuality.

And I thought our GC “Blue Book” was unwieldy enough!

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