An update on what is happening at GC in regard to a few petitions seeking full inclusion of LGBT folk in the UMC:
Saturday, April 28
On Friday, the Human Sexuality subcommittee of Church and Society B voted to recommend to the whole committee that the "Incompatibility clause" be removed from the Book of Discipline (14 -12 vote). The subcommittee was compassionate with one another and generous. .Their Holy Conversation that proceeded the vote was deep, moving, and open -- punctuated with tears and laughter. Randy Miller of the Cal-Nevada conference provided leadership and wisdom.
Today, the full committee considered this recommendation but did not concur with the subcommittee, rejecting the petition 43-34. The committee considered but also rejected a substitute for the whole paragraph 161 F "Human sexuality" (the inclusive version written in 2008). Tears, singing, and prayers followed quietly as the session took a lunch break.
Next week, this petition will come before the General Conference plenary session. At least one minority report will be presented. There will be debate.
Other petitions in other committees that call for inclusion of GLBT folk or call for striking or changing language in the Book of Discipline are not faring well. In additon. other proposals calling for major reforms have stalled or failed in committee. We shall wait now to see what is brought to the whole Conference for consideration.
On Saturday morning, I enjoyed a phone conversation with Idaho Reconciling United Methodists who were meeting in Boise. Young adult delegate Vincent Meyers joined me in giving brief updates to the progress (or not) on reconciling legislation. Saturday afternoon, Bishop Hoshibata, Deborah Maria, and I "skyped in" to a Reconciling United Methodist meeting held in Salem for a half hour.
I ask you to continue to pray for this part of the work of our church. Meanwhile, folks here will continue to connect with delegates from all over the world, deepen our compassion, strategize and witness. We are thankful for the supportive community in Tampa, online, and at home.
Remember, you can watch all plenary sessions streaming live and later by archive on the General Conference website. You can follow us on facebook (my page or the Oregon-Idaho UMC page, or pages of delegates Clay Andrew. Vincent Meyers, and Greg Nelson.)