Commission on Way Forward Final Report

handsJuly 31, 2018  – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The final report of the Commission on a Way Forward has been released in all four official languages of the General Conference: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. The report will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. Subject to final copy editing, the report will be printed in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) in November. Here is a statement from the moderators of the Commission and the President of the Council of Bishops on the release of the report:  “To the People of The United Methodist Church,

“We offer the final report of the Commission on a Way Forward, translated in the four official languages of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. In the Nicene Creed, we are taught the marks of the church—one, holy, catholic and apostolic. We are catholic in that we care not only for the parts of the church, but more significantly for the whole. We have refrained from commenting about the plans contained in this report until the time when our sisters and brothers could read this in their own first language. With this distribution, we give thanks that this work can now begin, and we can have a conversation that represents our global and catholic nature—more fully who we are as The United Methodist Church.”

Bishops Sandra Steiner Ball and David Yemba
Moderators, Commission on a Way Forward

Bishop Ken Carter
President, Council of Bishops

Go to the link below to read the final report that outlines the 3 plans:

Read Final Report

Preparing for General Conference 2019 and SC Annual Conference 2018

Dear Pastors, Council Chairs, Lay Leaders and SPRC Chairs, Lay Delegates:

hands4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:4-6


I cordially invite you to a

What:  Training Seminar

Why:  To equip pastors and church leaders, as we face both  General Conference 2019 and SC Annual Conference 2018.   As a leader, you can be an instrument of peace, a conduit of information, and a facilitator of discernment and prayer.   This training will provide highlights of the work of the Commission on the Way Forward.  Lay Delegates and pastors may stay at the end of the General Conference presentation, to watch the orientation video about the S.C. Annual Conference.

When: May 20, 3:00pm, Trinity UMC, 90 Boney Road, Blythewood

Who:  Pastors, Council Chairs, Lay Leaders, SPRC Chairs, and Lay Delegates.  PASTORS – Please share this email with your Lay Delegates (we lack sufficient email addresses on these leaders).

Facilitators:  Rev. Kathy James, Director of Connectional Ministries;  Rev. Cathy Jamieson, DS

To read more about recent news from the Council of Bishops, see the link below –


Council of Bishop Acts on Way Forward

The following article is from the S.C. UMC Conference website –

Bishop Holston’s statement on UMC Council of Bishops’ Way Forward decision

May 4, 2018

Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, issued this statement following the April 29-May 4, 2018, meeting of the Council of Bishops:

Over the past week, the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church met in Chicago and made a decision about what to forward to the called 2019 General Conference.

Using the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, the council is forwarding to the General Conference three possibilities for moving us forward through the impasse on human sexuality. The legislation will offer three plans for the General Conference to consider.

There will be a Traditional Plan, a One Church Plan, and a Connectional Conference Plan. All three models received significant support within the Council of Bishops, with the One Church Plan being recommended as a preference. The legislation itself will be available for the whole church to see once it is translated into all of the official languages of the General Conference.

In this time of uncertainty and anxiety, it is important to remember that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church is the only body that can speak for the denomination and make changes to The Book of Discipline. The task before the General Conference is challenging and the delegates will need our fervent prayers as they prepare to act on the legislation before them.

As we enter this season of discernment and debate, I invite you to remember these things:

  • Prayer is our first and best response to what is before us. Let us continue to earnestly seek God’s will in this matter.
  • Let us engage in our discussions, conversations and debates in ways that bring honor to God and allow the fruit of the Spirit to be visible in our lives.
  • Let us practice our Three Simple Rules: to do all the good we can, to do no harm, and to stay in love with God.

Finally, the decisions to be made at the called 2019 General Conference might impact our local churches, districts, annual conference and denomination. And still, as these matters are being considered, there are persons in each and every community who need to know the saving love of Jesus Christ and who need a relationship with God’s people, the Body of Christ.

We have much work to do in South Carolina for the kingdom of God. Let us not grow weary in our good work.

Grace and Peace,

L. Jonathan Holston

Council of Bishop’s Press Release