The issue of human sexuality in ministry and in the Christian church has been a major concern for every denomination and our Catholic brothers and sisters as well. What do we do about same-sex marriages, all forms of homosexuality, ordination and church governance?
The special-called session of the General Conference with delegate from all over the world met in St. Louis last week and considered several options from the Progressive One-Church plan to the Traditional Plan to the Simple Plan. After several days of discussion, dozens of amendments, and hours of prayer the vote was taken. The Traditional Plan received the most votes, by a 53%-47% margin.
Here are the main components of the Traditional Plan.
The Traditional Plan as passed by the 2109
Special Call General Conference in St. Louis
1.Maintains prohibitions against self-avowed practicing gay clergy and same-gender weddings
2. Broadens the definition of “self-avowed practicing homosexual” to include persons living in a same-sex marriage or civil union or persons who publicly state that they are practicing homosexuals.
3. Mandates penalties for disobedience to the Discipline
4. Requires bishops, pastors and annual conferences to certify adherence to the Discipline standards on LGBTQ marriage and ordination
5. Effective upon adjournment of the Conference.
6. Can vote to stay or leave the UMC if disagrees with annual conference’s decision
7. Churches can leave with their property
8. Must uphold the Discipline’s standards on LGBTQ marriage and ordination or join “autonomous, affiliated, or concordat" church
9. Just resolutions from complaints must include commitment not to repeat offense
10. First offense results in one-year unpaid suspension
11. Second offense requires surrender of credentials
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