Forward in July

Delegates and visitors listen to debate on petitions May 19 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The creation of a Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by delegates. ~umns photo/Maile Bradfield

Commission on Way Forward will meet in Chicago, IL July 19-21, 2017.

WASHINGTON – The Commission on a Way Forward will convene in Chicago July 19-21 to continue its work concerning human sexuality and exploring options for the future of The United Methodist Church on the issue.

This will be the fourth meeting of the 32-member Commission, which was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in discerning a way forward.

After the last meeting in April in Washington, D.C., members indicated that were leaning toward a simpler structure with clearer processes for decision-making and accountability for the UMC in its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Conversations at that meeting showed a commitment to finding a way forward that honors the complexity of the global denomination and the unity of a shared faith in Christ.

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward are pictured during their first meeting held in January, 2017. Click here for names of Commission members.

Since that time, the Commission members have received input from several advocacy and renewal groups who have strong interest in the outcome and from general boards and agencies of the church. Members of the commission have also received survey results from constituents such as large-church pastors and seminary students.

During annual conference sessions, members of the commission made presentations and hosted discussions on the work of the commission, and a video, capturing the commission at work, was shown.

In preparation for the July meeting, the team has started to prepare an initial draft plan for review at the July meeting. The commission’s ultimate assignment is to present its report to the Council of Bishops for action at the Special Session of General Conference set for February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

As part of sharing information, the moderators; Bishops Ken Carter, Sandra Steiner Ball and David Yemba, will be issuing a moderators’ statement just before the start of the meeting.

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