Commission on a Way Forward

A Prayerful Way Forward – Saturday, December 1, 2018
Announcing a meeting for all interested United Methodists, lay and clergy on Saturday, December 1 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon at Northwest Hills UMC, 7050 Village Center Drive. Join Capital District Superintendent Rev. Teresa Welborn in welcoming Rio Texas delegation members Mr. Jay Brim and Rev. Abby Parker-Herrera, for a time of information and prayer regarding the upcoming 2019 Special Session of General Conference. The informational session is for listening, learning, and prayer. It is not intended to be a forum for debate, nor a rally for any position regarding the Way Forward and the church’s stance on human sexuality. Our Rio Texas delegation met with the South Central Jurisdictional General Conference Delegate Gathering earlier this Fall. Abby and Jay will share their insights on what to expect at the GC’19. Together we will learn about the options for a Way Forward and the challenge that is always before us to increase the witness and ministry of the United Methodist Church. And, together we will pray, pray, pray for our churches, our communities, the Rio Texas Conference, the General Conference and delegates. More news, information and resources regarding GC2019 can be found here.
A Way Forward  The Council of Bishops called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held in February 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops.
Resources for information and conversation are provided below:
The Commission on a Way Forward is offering several videos that document the experiences, hopes, dreams, concerns, approach, and learnings of the 32-member Commission, which recently completed its report that will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference of The United Methodist Church. The purpose of the videos is to give viewers “a sense of how the Commission built relationship and community, how it developed and worked to maintain hearts of peace as we accomplished our work, and how the Commission developed the plans that the church will see in its report,” said the Commission moderators Bishops Ken Carter, Sandra Steiner Ball and David Yemba.
 “We hope that you will take these gifts and use them to prepare for the upcoming General Conference.  We hope that you will listen deeply for God’s voice and wisdom in the midst of our words.  We hope that you will get a sense that this work is not and will not be easy, but that we have a choice of approaching our work with either a heart of war or a heart of peace,” said the moderators in a letter accompanying the videos. The moderators said they hoped the delegates to the 2019 General Conference will be inspired and motivated to intentionally choose to prepare and to act and respond to General Conference with a heart of peace.  “We have learned that this makes all the difference in how we treat one another and therefore listen to one another.” Click here to read the full letter of from the moderators.  
Jasmine Smothers, Julie Hager Love and Tom Berlin are all Commission members who are also clergy serving in the SEJ. In this interview they reflect on their experience and their hopes for the future of the United Methodist Church.    YouTube:  
Bishops Gregory Palmer and Robert Schnase, who are members of the Commission, talk about how the work of the Commission points to the larger mission of The United Methodist Church. (Length 5:35). YouTube  
Patricia Miller, Executive Director of the Confessing Movement, and Matt Berryman, former Executive Director of Reconciling Ministries Network, talk about their friendship and their experiences serving together on the Commission. (Length 7:55) Download: