More than 600 United Methodists gathered in Kansas from May 20-22 for UMCNext, a conversation in response to the adoption of The Traditional Plan by the 2019 Special General Conference.
Two possible approaches toward a new Methodism were discussed – resistance to the Traditional Plan with the goal of reforming the church from within, as well as some form of negotiated separation to create something new. Working groups will be developing plans for the next General Conference to consider. Four Commitments came out of UMCNext as essential to a hope-filled future for the global Methodist movement as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world:
1. We long to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, committed to a Wesleyan vision of Christianity, anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness.
2. We commit to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people and build a church which affirms the full participation of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities.
3. We reject the Traditional Plan approved at General Conference 2019 as inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ and will resist its implementation.
4. We will work to eliminate discriminatory language and the restrictions and penalties in the Discipline regarding LGBTQ persons. We affirm the sacred worth of LGBTQ persons, celebrate their gifts, and commit to being in ministry together.
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