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S.C. delegates react after ‘difficult’ business on Day 3 of GC2019

S.C. delegates react after ‘difficult’ business on Day 3 of GC2019
S.C. delegate the Rev. Tim Rogers makes a motion before General Conference 2019. Photo by Matt Brodie.

By Jessica Brodie (corrected)

ST. LOUIS—The mood was decidedly heavy Monday (Feb. 25) after Day 3 General Conference business was complete.

The legislative portion of General Conference 2019 adjourned, with delegates tackling all petitions by the close. They passed the Traditional Plan and two disaffiliation plans but rejected the others—including the One Church Plan, the plan put forward by the Council of Bishops.

Tomorrow, GC2019 will reconvene as a plenary session, and it will hear from the Judicial Council as to the constitutionality of the plans, as well as take action—or not. While the Traditional Plan and two disaffiliation plans will carry forward in the plenary, it doesn’t mean there is no possibility for the One Church Plan or any other plans to resurface, delegates said.

South Carolina Delegation Chair the Rev. Tim McClendon said the One Church Plan will likely be submitted as a minority report and come before the body again Tuesday, or there is a possibility someone can offer it as a motion to substitute for the Traditional Plan.

“Keep praying,” McClendon said. “We need it. We need to be bathed in prayer.”

 

A difficult day

South Carolina Resident Bishop L. Jonathan Holston said Monday was a hard day for a lot of people.

“We were discussing the petitions we prioritized yesterday, and those can be very difficult. Our delegation got down to the work they’ve been called here to do,” Holston said. “The issues are complex, and they have divided our church.”

He said the day was exhausting but enlightening.

“Everybody has a view, and it’s obvious those views are not the same for everybody.”

Holston called on South Carolina United Methodists to pray and to understand we all have differences of opinion, but we can still work together.

“Let’s not let this be the thing that divides us as a whole,” Holston said. “There’s so much we do together than we can ever do separate, and there’s so much more God has called us to do.”

 

Still brothers and sisters

South Carolina delegate the Rev. Mel Arant said it was a painful day for many, and he and the rest of the delegates covet the prayers of everyone back home.

“Everyone is trying to live and do ministry and understand God the best way they can,” Arant said. “We’re still brothers and sisters, and this is a painful time for a lot of people.”

The Rev. Ken Nelson, also a South Carolina delegate, said the day was emotionally draining.

“It takes a lot of energy to recognize we’re in different places as a church,” Nelson said.

But he said with prayer and with faith, the church will continue to walk together.

“God is still God, and the church is still a place people come to seek right relationship with God and one another.”

 

Importance of prayer 

We invite you to be in prayer for every delegate, especially our South Carolina delegates and alternates, as well as our resident bishop, L. Jonathan Holston. Lay delegates: Barbara Ware, James Salley, Dr. Joseph Heyward, Herman Lightsey, Jackie Jenkins, Michael Cheatham, Martha Thompson, Dr. David Braddon, and alternates Lollie Haselden and Emily Rogers Evans. Clergy delegates: Dr. Tim McClendon, the Rev. Ken Nelson, the Rev. Tim Rogers, Dr. Robin Dease, the Rev. Tiffany Knowlin, the Rev. Narcie Jeter, the Rev. Mel Arant Jr., the Rev. Susan Leonard, and alternates the Rev. Telley Gadson and the Rev. Michael Turner.

We also invite prayer for the members of our South Carolina media team: Advocate Editor Jessica Brodie and the UMCSC Communications Office Dan O’Mara (communications coordinator) and Matt Brodie (production coordinator), as well as all others from South Carolina here to serve, pray and help.

 

Need more background? 

Read past Advocate articles covering GC2019 and the way forward, plus our overview page on the event, here: https://www.advocatesc.org/gc2019coverage.

Also, stay on top of the South Carolina conference communications office coverage of GC2019 here: https://www.umcsc.org/gc2019

Additionally, United Methodist Communications is livestreaming proceedings at GC2019 in English, French and American Sign Language. The stream at umc.org/live will include all open sessions when the lawmaking assembly meets Feb. 23-26. Visual learners also can view a chart that offers an overview of four main plans under consideration:

Watch the livestream

See chart on plans heading to GC2019

More resources on GC2019

6 Comments

  • […] S.C. delegates react after ‘difficult’ business on Day 3 of GC2019 […]

  • Many of us are walking with you as you represent us during this painful and faithful journey.

  • Jessica…just trying to stay up-to-date on the proceedings, so thank you for your continued coverage. You mentioned in the 2nd paragraph. “including the One Church Plan, the plan put forward by the Commission on A Way Forward, which had prompted the special session in the first place.”

    As I read and try to understand, didn’t the Commission actually put multiple plans forward and wasn’t the special general session prompted by the Bishops recommendation from the 2016 General Conference – not the commission or one single plan? Thanks in advance for any clarification offered.

    • Gary, you are correct– I’ve fixed the error. Thank you so much!

  • Were can I read the content of the motion brought by Tim Rogers?

    • I don’t have a recording of it, but having heard it live, I can affirm he asked that the Judicial Council again review the constitutionality of the plans before the Day 4 voting. I’ll see if I can get it from him.

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