A Special Session of the General Conference has been called for February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri to receive and act upon a report from the Commission on a Way Forward and recommendations of the Council of Bishops.
To assist delegates with the preparations for the Special Session, the Council of Bishops asked the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision regarding the constitutionality of the three plans contained in the report of the Commission on a Way Forward: the One Church Plan recommended by the Council of Bishops; the Traditional Plan; and the Connectional Conference Plan.
Below you can read in their entirety:
- an article from United Methodist News Service reporting on the Judicial Council decision
- a statement from the Council of Bishops in response to the Court’s decision
- a statement from the Moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward in response to the Court’s decision.
Court: One Church Plan largely constitutional
By Linda Bloom
“A review of possible plans for the future direction of The United Methodist Church found the One Church Plan to be largely constitutional, said a decision released Oct. 26 by the denomination’s top court.
“In Decision 1366, which was unanimous, the United Methodist Judicial Council found more problems in the Traditional Plan petitions that would need to be addressed before that plan could pass a constitutional test.
“Since another legislative proposal — the Connectional Conference Plan — contains proposed constitutional changes required for implementation, the court ruled it has no authority to scrutinize the plan at this time.”
Council of Bishops issues statement regarding the Judicial Council Decision
“In service to the delegates of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference, the Council of Bishops asked for a declaratory decision of the Judicial Council regarding the constitutionality of the three plans contained in the report of the Commission on a Way Forward.
“In a unanimous decision, the Judicial Council raised questions regarding petitions in all three plans while finding the One Church Plan, the plan supported by the Council of Bishops, to be most in compliance with the Constitution of The United Methodist Church and the Traditional Plan to have significant constitutional problems. The Judicial Council said that they did not have jurisdiction over the Connectional Conference Plan.
“The work is now squarely in the hands of the delegates as they prepare for the limited three-day General Conference.”
Moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward release statement on Judicial Council decision
“As Moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward, we are very grateful that the Council of Bishops asked for a declaratory decision in the constitutionality of the three plans contained in the Commission’s report.
“We thank the Judicial Council for their diligent work in analyzing the plans and giving guidance to the delegates so they can do their best work.”