Rider February 2019


Way Forward

To help prepare you for the upcoming General Conference
A Special Session of the General Conference of The United
Methodist Church will be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis

The General Conference is made up of 864 delegates
(half lay and half clergy) from around the world. Forty percent of
delegates are from outside the United States. The General
Conference is the highest legislative body of The United
Methodist Church
and the only body that can speak officially for the
The Florida Conference is represented by nine clergy and nine lay delegates.
Please pray for our delegates and share your perspective with them by
The purpose of this General Conference is to receive and vote on a report
from the Commission on a Way Forward along with other legislation.

The Commission on a Way Forward was formed by the 2016 General Conference
and asked to find a way forward for the church that would move us beyond
the current impasse related to human sexuality.

Discipline (BOD) states that all our churches are open to anyone, all people
are welcome at the communion table and baptism fount, and all are persons
of sacred worth and included in the ministry of Jesus. At the same time, the
BOD considers homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian teaching and
does not allow our clergy to perform same-sex weddings, our churches to
host same-sex weddings, or for LGBTQ persons to be ordained.

The Commission’s report includes three plans:

1) One Church Plan – removes the current BOD restrictions that do not allow
clergy to perform same sex weddings, churches to host same sex
weddings or conferences to ordain LGBTQ clergy. Adds in protective
language that would ensure no one has to act against their convictions.
Churches could continue to operate the same way they do now with no
votes required. If churches wanted to host same-sex weddings it would
require a church wide vote of approval. Bishops would work with
churches to appoint pastors that match their convictions.

2) Connectional Conference Plan – restructures the church to create three
smaller bodies (connectional conferences) within the denomination with
their own Book of Discipline and rules around same-sex marriage and
ordination of LGBTQ clergy. One part of the church would continue the
current restrictions, another part would allow churches and clergy to
decide, and a third part would require clergy and churches to perform or
host same-sex weddings. General Agencies would be reduced, and the
role of the Council of Bishops would be redefined. Churches would have
an opportunity to vote to choose which part of the church they wanted
to be in if they disagree with the choice of their Annual Conference. Each
part of the church would have its own unique name and logo.

3) Traditional Plan – keeps the current language around homosexuality and
increases accountability by streamlining the processes to enforce
penalties for violations of The Book of Discipline related to marriage and
ordination of homosexual persons. Those who cannot live within the
current Discipline requirements could create their own self-governing
church that would be connected in some way to The United Methodist
Each of these plans would need a majority approval by the General
Conference and the Connectional Conference Plan would require a 2/3
majority vote. It is possible that none of the plans will be passed, in which
case the current Book of Discipline would remain. If a plan is passed, it would
not become official church law until January 1, 2020.
If you have questions or concerns about the upcoming General Conference,
please speak to your pastor or a lay leader. You may hear and read stories
about the General Conference in the media. Be sure you are getting
information from a reputable source. We will have time to process this
General Conference as a church. And no matter what, we will continue the
important ministry we do in the community.
You can follow the General Conference live stream at
Bishop Carter will be preaching the opening service at 8:30 am on Sunday,
February 24. For more information or to see a list of our Florida delegation
go to Send any questions to Bishop Carter will also host a webcast with Florida
delegation leaders on Friday, March 1 at 11:00 am to report on the results of
this General Conference (link to join the webcast will be available at )

Coffee w/ the Pastors

We invite you to an informal gathering called "Coffee with the Pastors" on Sunday, March 3rd @ 10:40am or 12:10pm in room #13. 

During our time together, we will enjoy coffee & pastries, meet other Asbury folks new & seasoned alike, & discuss how Asbury can help you deepen the love of Christ in the Christian Methodist way.


"To know the love of Jesus Christ and Pass it on”


220 W. Horatio Avenue Maitland, FL
 407 644 5222