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Bishop Lowry on the Failure of Proposed Amendments I & II and the CTC's Commitment to Gender Equality

In the following short video, Bishop Lowry shares his thoughts and angst over the failed proposed amendments and joins the Council of Bishops and the female bishops of the UMC, who issued a pastoral letter noting their renewed commitment to ensure that all people are treated with respect, compassion and grace, in calling on Christians in the Central Texas Conference and everywhere to recommit to the fullest sense of what it means to ethically live under the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Click on the video above or visit the CTC’s Vimeo page to view and/or download Bishop Lowry’s video comments.
 
After completing the process of canvassing all the votes cast by conferences all over the globe on five proposed constitutional amendments, the Council of Bishops were disheartened to learn that Amendments I and II had narrowly failed to receive the required two-thirds vote of all the conferences needed for ratification. The two failed amendments both dealt with issues of gender equality.
 
“I share with the members of the Council of Bishops our dismay over the failure of these two amendments to be adopted,” said Bishop Lowry. “I also note that the Central Texas Conference overwhelmingly voted its enthusiastic support for both of the amendments.
 
Summary of the Votes for Each Proposal (Total Votes in black / CTC-only votes in red)
   For  Against  Percent of Votes For

Amendment I

31,304 (450)

15,753 (79)

66.5% (85%)

Amendment II

29,049 (403)

18,317 (125)

61.3% (76.3%)

Amendment III

42,639 (520)

4,578 (9)

90.3% (98.2%)

Amendment IV

43,770 (523)

3,340 (5)

92.9% (99%)

Amendment V

38,087 (291)

8,828 (226)

81.2% (52.3%)

To read more about the five amendments, go to ctcumc.org/COB_Amendments2018.
 
Besides being disheartened, the COB also was a bit puzzled as to how the Amendments failed to pass.
 
“While we are not completely clear concerning the motivation that caused them to miss the two-thirds required majority by slim margins, we want to be clear that we are unequivocal in our commitment to the equality of women and their full inclusion in our Church,” stated the Council of Bishops in a statement in support of women’s equality and full inclusion released a few days after the announcement that the amendments had failed. “Our Social Principles are clear. We affirm with scripture the common humanity of male and female, both having equal worth in the eyes of God.”
 
“Throughout our Book of Discipline, the General Conference has enacted provision to protect women’s role and to enhance their full participation in the life of the church,” the statement continued. “This includes the establishment of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and their related structures in annual conferences.”
 
The Council of Bishops has recommitted themselves – personally and collectively – to lead the church toward the goal with Christ has given to fully include both women and men in the life and ministry of Christ’s church.