Participants at a Nov. 18-20, 2013 Connectional Table meeting debate inclusiveness in The United Methodist Church in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.  A UMNS photo by Kathleen S. Barry.

Chicago, Ill.: Meeting in Chicago today, the Connectional Table affirmed the value of continuing in conversation about human sexuality, while also beginning to draft legislation for further consideration by the body.

The Connectional Table voted to begin developing language that would demonstrate what a change to the Book of Discipline might look like. The stated goal was to further the conversation, while allowing time for discernment, input, and opportunities to improve recommendations the Table might make to the General Conference.

“The Connectional Table believes that we need some specific language to inform the discussion before we can seek effective feedback from the Connection and fully discern what our next steps will be,” said Bishop Bruce Ough, chair of the Connectional Table. “This decision has empowered the Table to begin developing such language, which would be open to debate, amendment, and improvement before any final decision is made on adoption.”

The action followed the first of three live-streamed events hosted by the Connectional Table over the next 12 months, designed to foster ongoing conversation about sexuality issues in the wider church, as well as among its 59 members.

“Today’s conversation was a valuable one,” said Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, chair of the Human Sexuality Task Force. “As we continue this dialogue and begin working on specific language to help us discern how our Discipline can best reflect the spirit and witness of The United Methodist Church, we ask for prayers and input from others within the Connection.”

About the Connectional Table
The Connectional Table oversees the coordination of mission, ministries and resources across the denomination. Created at the 2004 General Conference, the Connectional Table was formed to serve as both the visioning body of the church and the steward of resources to carry out the vision of the denomination worldwide.

Contact: Diane Degnan 615-483-1765 (cell)

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