Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
100 Maryland Ave. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2009
Palmer Issues Letter to United Methodists About Amendments
Washington, DC:Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, President of the Council of Bishops, issued the following letter today to all United Methodists regarding proposed amendments to the denomination's constitution:
Grace and peace to you in the name and spirit of Jesus the risen Christ.
Recently it was prematurely reported that a number of the proposed amendments to the Constitution of The United Methodist Church had been defeated. As of this date, not all annual conferences have voted on these proposed changes. The voting will not be completed until the Winter/Spring of 2010.
Amendments to the United Methodist Constitution require a two thirds aggregate majority of all votes cast, unless the proposed amendment would alter the Restrictive Rules. At the present time, the amendments before the church do not affect the Restrictive Rules.
As annual conferences vote on the proposed amendments those totals are reported directly to the Office of the Council of Bishops. There the votes are received and have not and will not be totaled until the voting is complete in all parts of the church. Once all annual conferences have turned in their vote results, the total will be canvassed by the Council of Bishops, according to paragraph 59 in the 2008 Book of Discipline. No one has access to these reports outside the Office of the Council.
The results of the balloting on the Constitutional amendments will be announced during the May, 2010 meeting of the Council of Bishops. Some bishops have announced the voting on amendments in their annual conferences whereas others have not. Nevertheless it is the aggregate vote of all annual conferences together that determines the disposition of each amendment, not the percentage of annual conferences that vote one way or the other.
In the meantime I urge you to remain steadfast in living the mission of "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world". However the amendments go our mission is unchanging.
Yours for the sake of the gospel,
Gregory Vaughn Palmer, President
The Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
Media Contact: Diane Degnan
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