The following statement was issued by the Western Jurisdiction delegates to General Conference 2019 on Nov. 14.
We, the delegates of the Western Jurisdiction, have closely followed the work of the Commission on the Way Forward and have had in-depth conversations across the Jurisdiction and the United Methodist connection in preparation for the specially called session of the General Conference.
The Western Jurisdiction comprises an incredible diversity of racial and ethnic heritage, theological tradition, and political affiliation. We live in cities and small towns, in communities on farmlands, mountains, deserts, islands, and prairies. This wealth of experience has enriched our lives together. Additionally, we have built deep relationships across the global United Methodist connection and have learned from the unique and authentic ways that United Methodists share the love of Christ around the world. We value continued engagement with this global community.
This diversity inspires the vision of the body of Christ, unified in many parts. Just like the early Church, we hope to continue to live in community across lines of class, gender, heritage, culture, race, and all other lines that seek to divide us. Now, as it was then, this work is valuable but not easy.
Through our discernment, we have come to support the One Church Plan, as presented by the Commission on a Way Forward. We believe that the One Church Plan is a faithful approach that will allow for unity in diversity and for us to continue to live together in our vital witness and service to God’s world.
Although we support the One Church Plan for its possible ability to maintain unity, we recognize that it does not provide full inclusion for faithful LGBTQ Christians in the Church. While supporting the plan, our hearts ache for the LGBTQ community, and we reaffirm our continued commitment to further the cause of equity and justice for all the disenfranchised from our Church.
We, the delegates of the Western Jurisdiction, desire to live into the Apostle Paul’s charge to the Church at Ephesus to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). To this end, we commit to support the unity of the Church. We commit ourselves, as leaders in The United Methodist Church, to lead in a way consistent with the ideals of unity. In the months leading up to the General Conference session, and throughout the many turbulent months that may follow, we commit to working in a way that seeks to build bridges, develop greater empathy, and share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone we meet.
Grace and Peace in the name of Jesus Christ,
Doug Palmer, Don McCammon, Kunle Taiwo, Harvey Tukutau, Kent Ingram, Tyler Amundson, Megan Armstrong, Brad Laurvick,, Jan Nelson, Donna Pritchard, Emily Allen, Burt Yin, Randall Miller, Jeffrey Kuan, Greg Bergquist, Siosifa Hingano, Jo Anne Hayden, Carlo Rapanut, Marie Kuch-Stanovsky, Mary Kohlstaedt Huycke, Jim Nibbelink, Dan Hurlbert, Rosie Rios, Cedrick Bridgeforth, Patricia Farris, Ken Ellis, Tom Choi, Mele Maka, JoAnn Fukumoto, Sandra Olewine
Read this press release on the Western Jurisdiction website