WNCC Response to Judicial Council Ruling
April 26, 2019
In February 2019, General Conference, the legislative body of the denomination, voted 438 to 384 to adopt the “Traditional Plan” which strengthens the current language of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and increases the accountability of pastors, bishops and boards of ordained ministry.
The Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, was asked to rule on the constitutionality of petitions passed at General Conference included in the Traditional Plan as well as a process for disaffiliation for churches wishing to exit the denomination.
In a decision released on April 26, 2019, the Judicial Council ruled that seven petitions of the Traditional plan remain unconstitutional, including four petitions that were amended during General Conference. The Council found the remaining portions of the Traditional Plan and disaffiliation legislation constitutional. For a full breakdown of the petitions, see the United Methodist News Service analysis - https://www.umnews.org/en/news/court-oks-part-of-traditional-plan-exit-plan.
We recognize the deep divisions within this continued debate and are grateful for our pastors who are ministering in the midst of differing opinions and scriptural interpretations. Faithful United Methodists across our conference disagree and we are continuing to work for long term solutions in the United Methodist Church. While the debate continues, United Methodist churches across the globe are still answering their call to worship, teach, serve and love. General Conference will meet again in May 2020 to continue the conversation. Delegates from Western North Carolina will be elected this June at Annual Conference.