General Conference 2019 Recap to the Purple Door Church

  • This week has been a long and painful week for United Methodists. 831 delegates from around the world sought to find a way forward through our differences. They approved a plan, but not without fighting, name-calling, and defiance. It was painful to watch and gave the denomination 2 black eyes.
  • Bishop Palmer yesterday in a simulcast to the Conference stated that “Something new is being born – and that comes with pain and anguish. But we also know that “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:39
  • So what happened?
    • On Monday the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan, and the Simple Plan were all defeated, and the Traditional Plan was approved.
    • On Tuesday the One Church Plan was defeated a second time and the Traditional Plan was approved by a final vote of 449 to 374, but it needed several amendments to bring it into full alignment with the Discipline.
    • None of those amendments were ever given a chance to be voted on.
    • Traditional Plan was approved (without Bishop’s accountability)
    • Gracious Exit plan approved (but likely unconstitutional)
    • Retained current language around homosexuality and the ban on same-sex marriage.
    • Toughened standards affecting pastors and ordination.
  • So what’s next?
    • Judicial Council will rule definitively on what pieces are unconstitutional to our Discipline the week after Easter.
  • All items deemed constitutional will go in to effect January 1, 2020
    • May of 2020 is the next full General Conference and the plan will be perfected or changed at that time. Delegates for that conference will be elected at Annual Conferences this summer.
    • Churches and Caucus groups are looking at options before them. Some will be leaving the denomination. Churches will be facing the realities before them.
  • What is the plan for the Purple Door Church going forward?
    • The Leadership Team is recommending that we stay the course for now. After Easter and the Judicial Council Ruling they will be making a recommendation for the future plan of the church to the congregation for input and affirmation.
  • So what do we do now?
    • Nothing has changed for now. The Discipline will remain the same as it is now until January 1.
    • What changes that will go into effect at that time largely affect pastors and ordination – not our church.
    • We continue to be the Purple Door Church – our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ in order to transform the world does not change.
    • Our worship, our discipleship, our relationships, our family are still intact and important to us.
    • Our Purple Door Community Ministries are continuing to impact more and more lives with our mission work, our Community meals, and our Community Free Store.
    • We are looking to expand our worship outreach with a new Saturday evening service targeting persons who work weekends, families, and creating more diversity in our worship.
  • This church is not going to wait for a better time – that time is now.
  • With all of that said – this is also a time of hurt and pain for those who are LGBTQ. It was impossible to not hear the passion and grieving in the aftermath of General Conference. I have many friends and colleagues who are feeling betrayed and abandoned. Though I may not agree with everything of what they say and believe, my heart still goes out to them.
  • I am also deeply concerned for the future of the United Methodist Church and the people that represent it. Damage has been done and there are many unanswered questions in what will happen from here.
  • In light of all of this, I fully believe in the future of the Purple Door Church. This family we call a church, is strong and we will fight to preserve it.  Pray that God will keep us focused on Him and that our Future will be will be found in Him.

Here are two links so that you may see the current situation from a couple of views:

To read a well-written article from the traditional viewpoint, click here:

To read an article from the Reconciling Churches Network, click here:            https://rmnetwork.org/statement-on-general-conference-2019/