WASHINGTON, D.C. _ The Council of Bishops (COB) has amended its call for the Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, in response to Judicial Council Decision 1360, which was handed down on May 25, 2018.
The amended call issued by COB President Kenneth H. Carter notes that “The purpose of this Special Session of the General Conference shall be limited to receiving and acting upon a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based upon recommendations of the Council of the Bishops.”
In the original call issued in April last year, the bishops stated that the purpose of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference is to be “limited to receiving and acting on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward.”
Bishop Carter said the amended call in response to the Judicial Council decision is made “out of a great sense of caution and the desire to help delegates to the Special Session of General Conference 2019 do their best work.” The amended call is consistent with the Council of Bishops’ collaboration with the Commission on a Way Forward over the past two years, in response to the church’s request for leadership by the 2016 General Conference. Communication of the amended call is being shared by the General Commission on the General Conference through the heads of delegations and annual conference secretaries.
“The Council of Bishops encourages the entire church in this season to hear the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:3, that we ‘make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’,” said Bishop Carter in announcing the amended call.