General Conference News

February 28, 2019

Good Evening Friends,


As you can imagine, it has been a hectic couple of days, but as the communications director, I wanted to send you a summary of what happened at General Conference, as well as the official statement from The United Methodist Church.


The following summary was written by Carol Wilson:


What was the outcome of the called session of the General Conference?


We retained our language in the Social Principles, which includes our affirmation that all persons are of sacred worth and created in the image of God.  


We are committed to being in ministry for and with all, and we continue to seek to live together in Christian community and implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. Within that statement, we maintained the language that the practice of homosexuality is considered incompatible with Christian teaching. We also reaffirmed our current stance on prohibiting the performance of same-gender marriages by our clergy or in our churches and prohibiting the ordination of self-avowed practicing homosexuals.  


It became clear we were not ready to take the step of removing or modifying our current disciplinary language to change our position on same-sex marriage or ordination as proposed in the One Church or Simple Plans.


While we passed the Traditional Plan, it also became clear much of this material was not fully prepared to be in compliance with our constitution or supported by the committee on central conferences. The approved legislation is under review by our judicial council, and the parts that are in compliance with the constitution will be fully determined when the council meets in April.


As has been true at every General Conference, the expected passionate convictions of the delegates and observers were evident as the legislative debate occurred. While some were reassured by the outcome of our legislative work, others were greatly disappointed.


As always, the fruits of our ministry continue to be in our local church settings, in the relationships we build with each other and our communities, and in the ministries we share as a larger church as we work in partnership all around the world. We continue our commitment to our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.


Official Statement from The United Methodist Church


Human sexuality is a topic on which people of faith have differing views. We are a diverse and global church, and because of that, we have cultural, generational and geographical differences. A majority of delegates voted to maintain the UMC’s stance with additional accountability for enforcing those provisions.


It remains to be seen how this will impact the denomination. Despite our differences, we will continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and share God’s love with all people.


We believe that all persons are children of God and are of sacred worth. Our church is open to people of all nations, ethnic groups, ages, and sexual orientations.


Be Hope,


Tim Jones

Director of Communications

Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church


3/3@ 3:00

On March 3 at 3 p.m., each of our nine districts will gather for worship and a General Conference 2019 debriefing.


New River —  St. Paul UMC, Wytheville

Clinch Mountain — Lebanon Memorial UMC, Lebanon

AppalachianFirst Broad Street UMC, Kingsport

Three Rivers — Gray UMC, Gray

Mountain View — First UMC, Morristown

Smoky Mountain — Fairview UMC, Maryville

Tennessee Valley — Powell UMC, Powell

Hiwassee — Keith Memorial UMC, Athens

Scenic South — St. John UMC, Chattanooga


For more information, contact your district office.

Did someone forward this email to you? Subscribe and get all the latest news surrounding General Conference.


Questions concerning communications should be directed to Tim Jones, Holston Conference Director of Communications.


For more information surrounding General Conference, please visit