Bishops to receive, discuss updated report from Commission on a Way Forward


WASHINGTON, D.C. - With attention on the missional and theological foundations of The United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops (COB) is preparing to receive an updated report from the Commission on a Way Forward on possible models regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the global denomination.

The 32-member Commission met last month to rework sketches of possible models of the future of the denomination and will present that updated report to the bishops at a special meeting set for next week in Dallas.

The Council of Bishops normally meets twice yearly but an additional meeting was added this year to give more time for the bishops to digest and discuss the progress report from the Commission on a Way Forward.

Bishops named the Commission on a Way Forward to assist them in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to     inclusion and resulting questions about the unity of the church.

The updated report that will be given to the bishops next week will help the bishops prepare to fulfill that mandate. The Commission members meet one more time in March to prepare the final report that will be acted upon by the bishops at their April/May meeting.

At the November 2017 meeting, the bishops received an interim report, highlighting sketches of three possible models. The bishops did not take any vote on any of the sketches but offered feedback and asked the Commission to give an updated report that should highlight the missional and theological foundations of the models.

In preparing for the updated report, the moderators of the Commission, Bishop Ken Carter, Bishop David Yemba and Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, asked their fellow bishops to weigh the models along with the mission, vision and scope of the Commission.

“We appeal to you, and we call upon your gifts in the urgent work of revising, improving and clarifying how we can lead the church in this task,” the moderators said.

The Council of Bishops is committed to prayerfully seeking God’s future for The United Methodist Church and continues to invite the entire church to be engaged in praying for a way forward, said COB President Bishop Bruce R. Ough.

The Council of Bishops will meet at the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas from Feb. 25-28. Apart from the opening worship on Feb. 25 and the morning devotions, the meeting will be in executive session.

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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