Team named to deal with ‘Plan UMC’ inconsistencies

Translate Page

The General Conference committee that ensures the Book of Discipline, the denomination’s law book, is coherent and consistent has found 14 discrepancies in the Plan UMC legislation that restructures general agencies.

On the morning of May 4, the General Conference appointed a transition team to work on the legislation until 4 p.m. EDT and present the legislation again to the full assembly. The team is to include five developers of Plan UMC, five members of the Connectional Table, five board members of the General Council on Finance and Administration, and a youth and young adult General Conference delegate designated by the Division on Ministries with Young People.

As I am writing this post, group members are still being rounded up to join the team. Members of the Committee on Correlation and Editorial Review that found the inconsistencies also are included in the meeting.

Some of the legislative issues the committee spotted:

  • By saying the legislation is to take effect at General Conference 2012, the legislation disenfranchises 21 annual (regional) conferences that already have met this year and will not have a chance to elect candidates for consideration at central conference meetings. Central conferences encompass United Methodists in Africa, Asia and Europe.
  • It is unclear in the legislation whether inclusivity standards for general agencies are applied in the aggregate or for each body.
  • The legislation says United Methodist Communications board should have 28 members, but designates membership should include three bishops, 16 members from U.S. jurisdictions, nine members from central conferences and seven additional members. That equal 35 members.
  • The legislation has discrepancies in the use of the words “may” and “shall” when outlining the committees of annual conferences.
  • Similarly, the legislation says United Methodist Men’s board should have 23 members but designates membership that adds up to 28.
  • The legislation still leaves references to the Connectional Table, which likely should be replaced by the newly created General Council for Strategy and Oversight.
  • The legislation lacks provision for transitioning the Connectional Table to the new General Council for Strategy and Oversight.

Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Social Concerns
Bridget Cabrera. Photo courtesy of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA).

Political categories don’t capture work ahead

The United Methodist Church risks the same errors of the past if it keeps dividing itself into different factions, writes the head of the Methodist Federation for Social Action.
Social Concerns
Lonnie D. Brooks Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Centrist-progressive coalition could soon unravel

United Methodist centrists and progressives have made common cause in working for the inclusion of LGBTQ people in church life, but a veteran General Conference delegate thinks the coalition could be short-lived.
Human Sexuality
Supporters of LGBTQ rights in The United Methodist Church rally around the central Communion table at the close of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. An updated edition of “American Methodism,” a history of the denomination published by Abingdon Press, adds a chapter covering 20 years of contentious debate over sexuality. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Eventful 20 years added to Methodist history

Abingdon Press has published a revised edition of “American Methodism,” its history of The United Methodist Church and its predecessors. The new version adds a chapter covering 20 years of contentious debate over sexuality.