For Immediate Release
July 19, 2019
CHICAGO – A group of prominent United Methodists met in Chicago on Friday, July 19, 2019, to seek new ways to address the impasse regarding full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in The United Methodist Church.
This meeting was called by Central Conference bishops for the purpose of creating
space for open and frank conversation where all parties could dialogue and work
together to find a new pathway for the denomination.
Those in attendance included Tom Berlin, Keith Boyette, Junius Dotson, Maxie
Dunnam, Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, Adam Hamilton, Mark Holland, Jan Lawrence, Patricia L. Miller, Randall Miller, Karen Prudente, Rob Renfroe, Kimberly Scott, Jasmine Smothers, and Mark Tooley. The discussions were guided by Bishop John Yambasu, Bishop Christian Alsted and Bishop Mande Muyombo.
The group began its work centered in worship, focused on Ephesians 4:1-6, which
urges Christians to make “every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond
Engaging in candid conversations, striving for consensus, the participants grappled
with the painful realities of the aftermath of the 2019 Special Session of the General
Conference held in St. Louis in February.
The participants agreed to form a group comprising two persons each from centrists,
conservatives, progressives; and two central conference bishops. The purpose of the
smaller group is to recommend a framework for the future of global United
As the participants departed, there was consensus that regardless of differing
convictions, the Holy Spirit is still at work in our Church.
Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church