Board of Church and Society offers essential values for 'Way Forward' for General Conference 2019

November 01, 2018

Endorses no plan; Encourages unity in midst of diversity

Story by Warren Gill
Digital Communication Specialist​, General Board of Church and Society

The board of directors of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church adopted the following statement at its meeting Oct. 24-26, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed meHe has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)

We, the directors of the General Board of Church and Society, gathered in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 22-26, 2018, for our annual fall meeting, greet you in the name of Christ and pray that God’s healing grace surround you in this crucial season of discernment.

Like many United Methodists, we have been following and praying for the Commission on a Way Forward and the Council of Bishops as they have fulfilled the tasks assigned to them by the 2016 General Conference.

It is neither our role nor desire to endorse any single one of the three plans outlined in the Way Forward Commission’s report. Instead, we urge all United Methodists to prayerfully consider the shared values that have informed our life together since the start of the Methodist movement. These shared values include a commitment to the practice of social holiness, creating space for all voices, and protecting the civil and human rights of every person.

Social holiness, in particular, invites us to remain united in our service to God and neighbor, even with our geographical, cultural, and theological differences. It also challenges us to transform faith into action and to be broadly inclusive by welcoming all people into the ministry and mission of the Church.

We urge that any plan for moving forward, adopted by the 2019 General Conference, maintain our unity in the midst of diversity, recognize the sacred worth of all people, and be broadly inclusive in terms of the mission and ministries of The United Methodist Church.

This news release is available on the UMCJustice.org website.

The General Board of Church and Society is the social justice, advocacy and peace-building arm of The United Methodist Church.