Friday’s last plenary was extended by 45 minutes to accommodate the Resolutions Committee report. A total of 14 resolutions were submitted prior to annual conference. Five were submitted in response to the 2019 General Conference decisions. The report was presented by the Rev. Ben Wolf, chair of the Resolutions Committee, and the Rev. Laura Wittman, vice chair.
Resolutions 7, 10, 11, and 12 were all related to full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons. Thanks to a spirit of holy conferencing by their respective authors, the four resolutions were combined into Resolution 15: Supporting Full Inclusion of LGBTQIA+ Persons and Rejecting the Traditional Plan.
At the recommendation of the Resolutions Committee, conference members voted to suspend the Standing Rules of the Annual Conference. The suspension of the rules allowed Resolution 15 to be presented to the body after the stated submission deadline. After some amendments and lively debate, Resolution 15 passed by a significant margin.
Next, Charlie Hatch, conference Youth Legislative Affairs Person presented four resolutions from the 2018 Annual Conference Session for Youth (ACS). The youth who originally proposed each resolution were able to speak to the conference members. These resolutions addressed efficient church energy usage, called for diversity in youth events, advocated for churches to serve fair trade coffee, and encouraged churches to help address the pain caused by the opioid epidemic by hosting Narcotics Anonymous family support groups in every county. The body thanked the youth for their leadership and witness.
The remainder of the extended afternoon session approved continuing dialogue for full communion with The Episcopal Church, condemning solitary confinement in prisons, embracing immigrants, and addressing the age definition of “youth” within The United Methodist Church.
The session ended and thanks was offered to the Resolutions Committee for their work in facilitating discussion related to these difficult and sometimes controversial topics.
1: Energy Efficiency in Churches
2. Family of Opioid Addict Anonymous
3. Diversification of Cultural Expressions in Youth Events
4. Serving of Fairtrade Coffee by United Methodist Churches
5. Care of Creation
6. Full Communion with The Episcopal Church
8. Seeking an End to the Torture of Solitary Confinement
13. Seeing Our Immigrant Neighbors and the Forces Affecting Them
14. The Age of Youth in The United Methodist Church
15. Supporting Full Inclusion of LGBTQIA+ Persons and Rejecting the Traditional Plan (This resolution combined points from Resolutions 7, 10, 11, 12)