Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, released this statement in response to the Commission on the General Conference’s finding that improper votes were cast during the 2019 General Conference:
At this time in the life of the United Methodist Church, events surrounding the called 2019 General Conference continue to appear in both our denominational news and in secular news sources.
On August 10, 2019, the Commission on the General Conference announced its determination that irregularities in voting during the special called session voided a preliminary vote on the “Disaffiliation Petition.”
During the proceedings, the General Conference adopted the Disaffiliation Petition, which outlined a process through which local churches that do not agree with The United Methodist Church’s position on human sexuality may leave the denomination.
The Commission on the General Conference’s investigation revealed improprieties that caused them to void the vote that placed the Disaffiliation Petition before the body for a vote.
The Commission on the General Conference has requested that the Council of Bishops refer this matter to the Judicial Council to assess the impact of their decision on the General Conference.
One of the strengths of the United Methodist Church is its connectional nature, a system that links all United Methodists by organization and purpose as we fulfill our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As United Methodists, we live in covenant with one another, and the voting irregularities – whether accidental or intentional – are a breach of that covenant.
As these matters continue to unfold, I encourage you not to become distracted from our mission and purpose. Instead, I invite you to continue to pray for our church and to continue to serve God faithfully as you seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to be instruments of God’s transformation in your communities and around the world.
Grace and peace,
L. Jonathan Holston