Kay Panovec and Rev. Gary Henderson pray during a plenary session. Photo Credit: Rick Wolcott, East Ohio Annual Conference.
At the request of the General Conference, the Council of Bishops came back this morning with a proposal for a path forward. They proposed that:
- Form a special commission to conduct a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph in our Discipline regarding human sexuality
- To call a special, two or three day, General Conference before the 2020 General Conference, specifically focused on the question of human sexuality
- We recommend that the General Conference defer all votes on human sexuality legislation scheduled for today.
Because the Bishops can’t actually propose legislation, Rev. Adam Hamilton made that proposal officially. It became known as the Hamilton proposal.
I very much liked this proposal for several reasons:
- By deferring any legislation based on human sexuality clears the decks for us to discuss other important business for the rest of the week.
- The level of trust in this room makes it clear that no significant movement, in either direction is likely to happen on any of the 50 plus pieces of legislation we are to consider.
- The proposal carries the opportunity for a full, comprehensive rethink of the Discipline in this area, rather than amending one paragraph at a time.
But in an extraordinary plenary issue.this proposal was voted down.
So this afternoon we begin a grueling grind of legislation in a room that feels more like a Trump rally than Christian conferencing.