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News from the 2019 special session of the United Methodist General Conference Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri.

General Conference 2019: Monday Wrap-up

Summary of the third day of General Conference 2019, taking place Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri. 


Monday at General Conference opened with worship service focusing on 2 Corinthians 3:12-18. The delegates gathered together to pray and center before a day in legislative committee, where they addressed the petitions they prioritized on Sunday. Legislative committee is where petitions are “perfected” before the full body votes on them to become church policy.
After committee chair Joe Harris opened the session, Secretary of the General Conference Gary Graves reviewed parliamentary process and the differences between legislative committee and plenary.
Erin Hawkins, general secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, then asked delegates, “In our deliberations yesterday, have we demonstrated the spirit of Christian conferencing in our deliberations? Eighty-one percent answered no and 19 percent yes.
The morning was spent discussing and amending the first four petitions—Wespath Recommendations-Pension Liabilities and CRS, Traditional Plan (except for pieces ruled unconstitutional), Dissafilitation-Taylor-New Par. 2553 and Disaffiliation-Boyette-New Par. 2549. All were passed and will go to the plenary session to be voted on by the General Conference.
The One Church Plan was defeated, by a vote of 436 to 386 (53 percent to 46 percent), a difference of 50 votes. It can be brought to the plenary via a minority report, which, in order to be voted on to become church policy, must be voted on by the body to replace the majority report.
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women asked that Betty Kazadi Musau be given a chance to preside over some portion of our business, to give the seat of leadership not only to a woman but also to a Central Conference
clergywoman from Africa. The chair of a legislative committee has discretion over who gets to speak. She was not given this opportunity.
Women were only 40 percent of the day’s speakers. Many United Methodist Women members put themselves in the queue to speak and were not called on. Young people’s voices were underrepresented as well.
The day ended with the committee voting to reject, all at once, all other plans except the Simple Plan, which did not pass but did give an opportunity for more marginalized voices to be heard.
The committee also voted to send all plans passed in committee to the United Methodist Judicial Council for review of their constitutionality. Information on when the Judicial Council decision will be made will come in the Feb. 26 plenary.
United Methodist Women, we celebrate our 150th anniversary in less than a month. We have persisted through change before. We could not have been organized for mission for this long if we let our differences divide us.
You've been praying. You are praying. Keep praying.
Tara Barnes is editor of response.
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| 2/26/2019 9:21:53 AM | 0 comments
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