Bishops, leaders of UMC-related institutions optimistic of denomination’s future
March 20, 2018 / By Council of Bishops
Several leaders of United Methodist Church-related institutions voiced optimism and are preparing for possible changes in the global denomination that could occur as a result of the Special Session of the General Conference called for February next year.
As part of its commitment of offering a proposal that would move The United Methodist Church forward with as much unity as possible. The Council has encouraged similar gatherings on each continent. Based on the recommendations from the Commission on the Way Forward the Council of Bishops will present its report to a Special Session of the General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019.
The two-day gathering in Dallas, Texas, on March 15-16 brought together leaders of foundations, colleges, seminaries and other institutions that extend the mission of the church and anchor the faith in the various public arenas of education, health, finance, community development, and others.
“As the United Methodist Church faces the possibility of deep changes, it is imperative to listen for the impact of such changes on our related institutions, and to learn from them as they have faced their own changes,” said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops at the start of the meeting on Thursday evening.
Bishop Ough emphasized that the work of the Commission was not complete, and both the Council and the Commission were eager to listen to the responses from leaders to shape the work and recommendations that were being proposed.
Rev. Tom Berlin, a member of the Commission from the Virginia Conference, outlined the work that has been done so far by the 32-member Commission and how they plan to work on the final draft at their next meeting in Los Angeles, March 19-22.
The Texas Methodist Foundation of Austin, Texas, a foundation within the United Methodist denomination with a long history of offering both financial and leadership services to the church, was invited to host the meeting by the Council of Bishops.