The United Methodist Church has been debating questions regarding our views of human sexuality since the late 1960s. In February 2019, a special called General Conference was held to review proposals and determine how we might move beyond this complicated theological issue. At the special called General Conference, a decision was made to maintain the restrictive language in our Book of Discipline that prohibits marriage and ordination for self-avowed and practicing homosexuals and added stricter accountability for violating these policies; this was adopted by a vote of 53% to 47%.
The people of the United Methodist Church, especially members in the United States were and continue to be divided over the decision made during the special called General Conference. Plans were made to continue working towards a way forward during the regularly scheduled General Conference in 2020. However, that meeting was postponed several times due to the global pandemic and has been pushed once again to the regularly scheduled General Conference to be held in 2024.
It is important that we, Asbury United Methodist Church, engage in a prayerful conversation as we anticipate further action and denominational divides around the issue of human sexuality. In November, 2021, the Church Council of Asbury United Methodist Church approved the creation of a twelve-person Discernment Team comprised of representatives from the four committees required by the Book of Discipline (Church Council, Trustees, Finance, and Staff-Parish Relations), clergy, and four at-large members, to help guide our congregation through a period of exploration and information gathering.
As of April 2023, The Discernment Team has concluded its work and submitted its final report to the Church Council and to the entire congregation. Click below to review the final report and other resources from the Discernment Team and the Church Council.
The Discernment Team has spent months discussing and reviewing documents, resources, and sources regarding the splintering of the United Methodist Church. Click below to view updates on General Conference 2024, more information about the Church Council decision, read the full report from the Discernment Team, updated frequently asked questions, and more!