Yesterday marked the end of the 2019 Special General Conference of The United Methodist Church in St. Louis, MO. In case you do not already know, the purpose of this conference was to address issues surrounding same sex marriage and ordination of members of the LGBTQ+ community within our denomination.
Yesterday afternoon, a plan called “The Traditional Plan” received a slim majority of votes from the global legislative body, strengthening our Book of Discipline's current language that says “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” as well as strengthening repercussions for clergy and bishops who violate this polity.
It is probable that portions of the approved plan will be ruled unconstitutional by the Judicial Council (think Supreme Court). Indeed, the entire plan has been submitted for review. More information will be forthcoming in the coming months and I will make that information available to you as soon as I have it.
It is of note that about 2/3 of the UMC delegates in the United States was for the One Church Plan rather than the Traditional Plan which would have allowed those clergy and churches who support LGBTQ+ full inclusion to minister in accordance with their theology as well as allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to be ordained as clergy. It would also have allowed clergy and churches who maintain a more conservative theology in this area to minister in accordance with their theology.