Commission on a Way Forward prepares for critical meeting in Berlin


 WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Commission on a Way Forward prepares for its next meeting, the moderators are asking all United Methodists to continue to pray for the Commission members as they work to discern options for a way forward for The United Methodist Church in the midst of disagreement regarding the disciplinary stance related to human sexuality.

The moderators, Bishops David Yemba, Sandra Steiner Ball and Ken Carter, are urging people to continue praying as Commission members gather for their fifth meeting Sept. 18-20 in Berlin, Germany.

“At this critical juncture of our work, we invite United Methodists everywhere to pray and to invite the strength and creativity of the Holy Spirit to surround the Commission and our denomination,” the moderators said.

After the last meeting in Chicago in July, the 32-member Commission, appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in discerning a way forward, issued a status report in PDF form and in video form.

Among the things indicated in the report was the challenging nature of the global context of the church, noting that concerns and goals related to human sexuality vary widely across the globe and that Central Conferences, like the U.S. Jurisdictions, are not of one mind on ordination and marriage of LGBTQ persons.

The global context is complex due to differing cultural, civic, legal restrictions and freedoms. Some changes within the current disciplinary language pose a potential threat to the vital mission of our Central Conferences. Understanding and honoring the nuances of each central conference is critical, the status report noted.

The Commission, which has had feedback from individuals, churches, caucus groups, boards and agencies, laity, candidates for ministry, and clergy, is working on several ideas and proposals, including consideration of a looser structure, respect for contextualization, and a focus on naming the essentials of theology and doctrine. The Commission is expected to share some of the ideas and its work so far and gather feedback from the bishops at the November meeting of the Council of Bishops. The commission will likely complete its work in the later part of 2018 in readiness for the Special Session of General Conference, which is set for February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

To learn about the commission, watch this video, capturing the commission members at work. You can also learn more about the Commission via:

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
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