Following the conclusion of the 2016 South Central Jurisdictional Conference, the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops issued the following statement on its commitment to actively support the request by General Conference to form and lead a commission to consider the Discipline's position on Human Sexuality.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
While these can be turbulent times in The United Methodist Church, these are also times of emerging and fruitful ministries. Lay and clergy leaders are creating new ministries to reach new people for Jesus Christ. They remind us of the importance of our collective work to grow the number of vital congregations of The United Methodist Church.
We are also committed to do the work that the General Conference mandated: forming and leading a Commission to “develop a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph in our Book of Discipline regarding human sexuality” and “to explore options to help the church live in grace with one another – including ways to avoid further complaints, trials, and harm while we uphold the Discipline.” While we acknowledge differences of opinions across the connection, we intend to live out the promise we and our colleagues on the Council of Bishops made in response to the request of the General Conference.
We encourage and invite the people of the South Central Jurisdiction to join us in seeking ways for a variety of expressions of ministries to coexist within one church. Let us remember Christ's call in Paul's letter to the Church in Ephesus: "You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all." (Ephesians 4:4-6 CEB)
Yours in Christ,
The South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops