In the midst of a contentious debate, the 2016 General Conference voted to table all legislation related to human sexuality and asked the Council of Bishops to come up with a plan to move the church forward. The Bishops agreed and engaged in an unprecedented two year, global discernment process. They formed The Way Forward Commission and received three proposals. Nearly two-thirds of the Bishops have now recommended the One Church Plan for approval to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference in St. Louis. The One Church Plan is not a “liberal” or “conservative” plan. It is a compromise plan that attempts to make a way for us to continue to coexist as a united church despite our differences.
There are two upcoming opportunities to learn about the proposed One Church Plan. The first is a town hall meeting with Bishop Ruben Saenz at Salina Trinity United Methodist Church on Sunday, October 14, 2018, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The second opportunity will be a few days later, Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary (here at Abilene First UMC). This will be a presentation by Rev. Mark Holland of Mainstream UMC (an organization formed to advocate for the One Church Plan).
Jenny and I encourage you to go to both events. This is a difficult issue and it’s nearly impossible to fully comprehend the competing proposals the first time around. The Bishop’s event is official, the Mainstream UMC event is not, but it’s supporting the official proposal approved by the Council of Bishops.