South Georgia delegation urges General Conference to consider Protocol first
By Kara Witherow, Editor
In a letter to the Commission on the General Conference, the South Georgia Annual Conference General and Jurisdictional Delegation asked that The “Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation” be the first matter considered by the 2021 General Conference.
Whether meeting in person or virtually, South Georgia’s delegation urged that The Protocol – a mediated proposal for the future of The United Methodist Church that allows each part of the Church to remain true to its theological understanding while recognizing the dignity, equality, integrity, and respect of every person – be brought before the body immediately following adoption of organizing motions.
“In regards to holding the General Conference being planned for later this year and setting the agenda, lay and clergy have consistently expressed to us their desire for our beloved church to discern, discuss and move past the issues that have caused hurt and distraction away from our mission and witness. While there are necessary items of maintaining ministry that will be before us, discussing the future of the church is vital. To delay that discussion does harm to countless local churches and their leaders around the world,” the letter stated.
The delegation also expressed its gratitude for the holy work being done by the Commission to prepare for the 2021 General Conference session.
“Every member of our delegation signed this message of appreciation for the work of the Commission. This is a time when clarity around how to safely and easily meet is difficult to find, yet we know they are doing their best,” said clergy delegate Rev. Dr. Scott Hagan, senior pastor of Statesboro First United Methodist Church. “Similarly, folks in South Georgia continue to seek clarity about what is next for our denomination. I know there are lots of topics that need attention, but our request is that the Protocol gets first consideration, if possible.”
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