Bishop Stanovsky says her Western colleagues have no desire to separate from the denomination. “None of us is tempted to say we’re out of here,” she says. “We are in the fiber of our being United Methodist… [and] believe that this is an absolutely faithful way to be United Methodist in this extraordinary moment.”
Chinese Caucus Affirms Traditional Stance
At its General Assembly last month, the UMC’s National Chinese Caucus voted almost unanimously to support the Traditional Plan. The statement that passed reads: “We support the decision of the 2019 Special General Conference and disagree with all actions contrary to the 2019 decision.”
UMC delegate John Lomperis, writing for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, says the move “is further indication that as our denomination moves towards some sort of separation, whichever new group rejects biblical teachings on this matter will be less ethnically diverse, and less effective in reaching newer immigrant communities in a demographically changing America.”
Delegates from outside the United States played a key role in passing the Traditional Plan, while about two-thirds of American delegates favored the more inclusive One Church Plan. But some UMC churches in foreign countries are breaking ranks with traditionalism and embracing inclusivity by joining the Reconciling Ministries Network.