A Way Forward Conversations Well Attended
“The unity of the Church is all of our work to do. The unity of the Church is all of our conversations to have,” Bishop Malone said in her message to the more than 700 people who participated in the Conversations on a Way Forward hosted at 10 different locations across the East Ohio Conference between November 2017 and March 2018.
The facilitated conversations were designed to focus on our identity, purpose and mission as a church. They centered on the four questions crafted by the Council of Bishops to help prepare the Church to act on the report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward. “The East Ohio Conversations on a Way Forward were designed to provide focused time in small groups to listen to our sisters and brothers in East Ohio, and model ways in which similar conversations can happen in many different settings,” said EOC Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Steve Court. “The conversations were not intended to be an educational event on homosexuality, to present a recommendation, or to vote on a position.”
Some expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be enlightened, to be able to share with one another their views in a civil way and being able to leave with a sense of hope. Some expressed concern because they wanted to discuss a specific issue, they thought the questions were too vague, or they wanted to talk about their differences. Overall, though, people were thankful for the opportunity to engage in conversation.
EOC Delegation Offers Listening Sessions
At its April/May meeting the Council of Bishops recommended the One Church Planas a Way Forward for The United Methodist Church. Having received and considered the extensive work of the Commission on a Way Forward, the Council of Bishops will submit a report to the February 23-26, 2019 Special Session of the General Conference that includes:
Recommended reading resources.
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