My Predictions Were Wrong


My predictions of final spasms not changing the adoption of the restructuring of general church agencies were wrong. The final spasm actually killed the restructuring in the form of a Judicial Council decision ruling the restructuring as adopted unconstitutional under the United Methodist Church Constitution.

The real surprise was that the entire restructure was ruled unconstitutional rather than just a few features in the plan. In the aftermath, as this General Conference works through the few remaining hours available for its work to try to reconstitute a complete structure and budget that can work for the next four years, it is obvious that jockeying is well under way to continue this debate in 2016.

My early sense is that the bulk of the approach in 2016 will be proposals for constitutional amendments that would make a plan substantially similar to the Plan UMC that was adopted and ruled unconstitutional. There are major issues that we need to think through clearly, carefully, and prayerfully in preparation for these discussions.

Mark Bateman
Mark Bateman is a delegate to the 2016 Western Jurisdiction Conference and will be attending General Conference as an additional reserve delegate and observer. Mark serves as a lay representative on the Board of Ordained Ministry and was part of the 2012 Delegation. He lives in Salem, Oregon.