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United Methodists Are Not Very United These Days

Davao area Bishop Rodolfo Juan said the United Methodist Council of Bishops supports the One Church Plan. “We believe that this model will enable the whole denomination to continue her mission with inclusiveness and wider scope. Likewise, local churches and pastors are empowered to make objective decisions.”

Meanwhile, The Rev. Phoebe Dorothy Larida-Bacayana, a campus minister at Aldersgate College in Solano Nueva Vizcaya, said she supported the Traditional Plan “based on the Book of Discipline and based on my faith to our almighty and gracious God.”

Another supporter was the Rev. Noel Alfonso of Munoz United Methodist Church. “My personal stand is to remain faithful in the Christian teachings about human sexuality,” he explained.

“Marriage should only be between a man and a woman.”

A third plan was offered by the Committee on the Way Forward to be presented in February, the Connectional Conference Plan. It is the most complicated of the three.

The Connectional Conference Plan creates three new theological jurisdictions (called “connectional conferences”) in place of the current five geographical jurisdictions. Each connectional conference would cover the entire United States. There would be a Traditional Conference that would maintain the current Discipline’s prohibition of same-sex marriage and the ordination of self-avowed practicing homosexuals. There would be a Unity Conference that would neither forbid nor require same-sex marriage and the ordination of self-avowed practicing homosexuals. And there would be a Progressive Conference that would require and expect all pastors to perform same-sex weddings and all its annual conferences to ordain and appoint practicing homosexual clergy.

Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy predicts that progressive and most moderates in the UMC will support the One Church Plan.

He also predicted it would guarantee multiple schisms within local churches that are a mix of conservatives, liberals and moderates, resulting in the crippling or killing of many congregations.

He also foresees a break between the USA and Africa, plus parts of Asia and Europe.