The Commission on a Way Forward this week presented the Council of Bishops with sketches of three models as possible directions for a way forward for the United Methodist Church. The commission is working on behalf of the Council of Bishops to discern a way to maintain the unity of our church in the midst of the divisions regarding human sexuality.
The commission will finalize its proposals early next year and present them to the Council of Bishops at the bishops’ May 2018 meeting. A Special Session of the General Conference will consider this matter in St. Louis in February 2019.
We face challenging and complex issues that divide many of our churches and our people on this issue. I encourage United Methodists in South Carolina to continue to pray for the commission and for the Council of Bishops to earnestly seek God’s will for the United Methodist Church.
South Carolina United Methodists will spend the week of Dec. 24-30 participating in the denomination-wide “Praying Our Way Forward” initiative. This will be a time for the South Carolina Conference to lead the denomination in praying for the members of the Commission on a Way Forward, for God’s wisdom and direction, and for the mission of the United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Also, as an initiative from our annual conference, we have asked leaders in each of our 12 districts to plan a time of conversation around the issue of human sexuality. I encourage you to participate in these discussions, as well.
As we worship and serve together, let us all renew our commitment to walk by faith and not by sight as we pray for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.
Grace and peace,
L. Jonathan Holston
South Carolina Conference
The United Methodist Church
Click here to more about the Commission on a Way Forward’s interim report to the Council of Bishops.