A Way Forward Task Force
As our denomination moves toward a special session of the General Conference called by the Council of Bishops for February 23-26, 2019, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has established a Way Forward Task Force to provide ways for individuals in the Western PA Annual Conference to hear accurate information about the Commission on a Way Forward's work and express their thoughts, hopes, dreams and concerns about the Council of Bishops' recommendation of the One-Church Model. The Special Session of the General Conference was called to receive and act on a report from the 32-member Commission on a Way Forward, which was authorized by General Conference 2016 and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality, propose possible revisions, and explore options to strengthen the unity of the church. See the Commission on a Way Forward's report to the General Conference in English here.
The WPAUMC Way Forward Task Force has planned 20 “Listening Post” events (two in each of our 10 Districts) to allow clergy and laity to meet in-person and engage in facilitated, small group discussions around a series of specific questions (e.g., What hopes do you have concerning the One Church Plan?).Please Register for a Listening Post Event
Additionally, since this Task Force is the 'ears' of the Conference, it offers a mechanism for individuals, especially those unable to attend a Listening Post, to provide online feedback.
The Commission on a Way Forward's report to the General Conference was released July 31 in the four official languages of the General Conference --English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. With it, the moderators of the Commission --Bishops Sandra Steiner Ball, David Yemba and Ken Carter, who now is President of the Council of Bishops-- issued the following statement:
We offer the final report of the Commission on a Way Forward, translated in the four official languages of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. In the Nicene Creed, we are taught the marks of the church—one, holy, catholic and apostolic. We are catholic in that we care not only for the parts of the church, but more significantly for the whole. We have refrained from commenting about the plans contained in this report until the time when our sisters and brothers could read this in their own first language. With this distribution, we give thanks that this work can now begin, and we can have a conversation that represents our global and catholic nature—more fully who we are as The United Methodist Church.
While there will undoubtedly be a wide range of opinions, the WPAUMC Way Forward Task Force wants to provide a safe and non-threatening environment to facilitate understanding of the report, rather than debate or persuasion.
The Task Force looks forward to your feedback and engaging with you in advance of the Special Session of General Conference.