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But the Traditional Plan has another hurdle to clear. Delegates voted to send it to the Judicial Council, which is like the denomination's supreme court, for a review of its constitutionality under church law. The United Methodist Church does not recognize or celebrate same-sex marriages.

Stances of Faiths on LGBTQ Issues: United Methodist Church | Human Rights Campaign

Nevertheless, many clergy and individual churches have voted to celebrate weddings despite restrictions set by the General Conference. A national list can be found at www.

Digital Lounge: Duncan McMillan, chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference

We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. According to the Book of Discipline: "The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.

During the break, Ihlo told United Methodist News Service that the bishop "totally confused the body on the votes," and she shared Gross's concerns. After the recess, the committee that chooses presiding officers announced it was standing by McAlilly.

Taking Back the United Methodist Church General Conference 2008 Update

George Howard, a delegate from the West Ohio Conference, made a motion that delegates accept the bishops' recommendations. It was Howard's motion the delegates affirmed. As a body, they usually sit silently on the dais during plenary sessions unless it is one of their turns to preside. But the support was overwhelming, he said. The bishops do not have a vote at General Conference. They do have the authority to call for a special session of the General Conference, a possibility last considered to address the worldwide economic crisis of The bishops in ultimately opted not to call a session that time.

Frank Schaefer, whose church trial for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding made international headlines. Schaefer's clergy credentials were removed and then on appeal restored. Rob Renfroe, president of the unofficial evangelical caucus Good News, released a statement saying the commission had the potential to resolve differences but also is "fraught with peril.

Homosexuality and Methodism

He said the bishops must make sure to include "well-known and respected leaders of the traditionalist and orthodox renewal movement" on the commission. The Judicial Council, the denomination's equivalent of the U. What was your greatest challenge?


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For me the greatest challenge was interpreting the work of the Commission. After a decision was made a press announcement would go out and then the bloggers would start. Some bloggers and constituent groups would put out misinformation to galvanize support for their position. Frequently it would be based only on a fragment of truth and much of it was inaccurate.

So, that was frustrating and a challenge.

Bishops set date for special 12222 General Conference

Also, along those lines, as chair, once a decision is made, it belongs to the Commission. At General Conference, the defeat of Rule 44 was tough for me. We had worked so hard on this proposal for conversation about difficult topics within the church, it was so sad that people did not want to talk. The rule was designed for many topics — not just the legislation on human sexuality.

But it got connected with that, and so people chose sides without recognizing that they could approve the rule and not use it on the selected legislation.

Podcast: Mark Tooley, author of ‘Taking Back the United Methodist Church’

Rule 44 would have been helpful in upcoming conversations about the General Book of Discipline, the new Social Principles and the nature of the Global Church, but now we will have to start again. I was very sorry for the political maneuvering that prevented us from having conversations. I love hearing about the things happening around the world in United Methodism. General Conference is where you see that our little corner of the world is just one little part of The United Methodist Church.

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I love the relationships that you develop with people. It is frustrating to watch people abuse the spirit of the rules with technicalities.


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  • But others see that as a game and enjoy it. And, I think we sometimes make serious errors when a big group gets to changing things that a small group worked hard on. There were several examples of that at this General Conference. The church is divided and people are very dug in to their positions. Will the talk be effective? But here lies my hope and my fear.