The following was released by the Council of Bishops.
Bishops seek declaratory decisions on three plans submitted to General Conference
WASHINGTON – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the constitutionality of the petitions submitted by the Commission on a Way Forward to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference.
In an electronic vote on July 7, 2018, the bishops agreed to seek a ruling from the highest court in the denomination on whether proposed legislations known as the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan, and the Traditional Plan are constitutional.
“We are asking for this so that we can gain greater clarity about constitutional issues within the three plans, and in service to and support of the delegations, who will do extremely important work in a very limited amount of time,” said COB President Bishop Kenneth H. Carter.
The Special Session of the General Conference has been called for February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Fall meeting of the Judicial Council is set for October 23-26, 2018.”
In light of this possibility, I am strongly, though reluctantly, considering writing a brief for the decision specifically regarding the One Church Plan which would focus on how said plan would violate the restrictive rules because it would require changing the Articles of Faith in meaning, (Article VI in particular), as well as establishing new standards of doctrine contrary to Wesley’s New Testament notes and Standard Sermons.
“Book of Discipline: Section III. Restrictive Rules
¶ 17. Article I.—The General Conference shall not revoke, alter, or change our Articles of Religion or establish any new standards or rules of doctrine contrary to our present existing and established standards of doctrine.”
The crux of the argument is articulated in a series of writings I did some time ago that I will link to at the end of this. If any of you are willing to read them and have thoughts that you would like to share that could possibly aid in this effort, I would be very interested in hearing them. Thank you.