“The Commission is focused on suggesting a way forward that pays attention to our public mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, especially with those who are not yet a part of our churches,” said Bishop Ken Carter, resident bishop of the Florida Area. “We are also focused on contextuality in a global church, and our continuing call to learn from each other and listen to each other.”
Bishop Carter, who is the incoming president of the Council of Bishops, is one of the three moderators of the Commission, together with Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball of West Virginia Area and retired Bishop David Yemba from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In preparing for the final report, the Commission will continue to work with traditional, contextual and progressive values drafted in the sketches of models that were presented to the Council of Bishops at their November and February meetings.
In the report given to the Council at the February meeting, the Commission shared with the bishops two sketches that carry forward many of the values and principles of the three sketches presented to the bishops at the November meeting.
The bishops offered feedback but did not vote on the revised sketches, instead of asking the Commission to continue working on a final report to be presented at the April/May meeting. At that meeting, the bishops, in collaboration with the collective work of the Commission, will decide on a report to be presented to the Special Session of the General Conference called for February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri.
About the Commission: The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to LGBTQ inclusion and resulting questions about the unity of the church.
For more information on the Commission on a Way Forward, visit umc.org/wayforward
MEDIA CONTACT: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops