After some very dramatic moments at General Conference, a scheme to suspend consideration of all petitions regarding human sexuality was approved, pending recommendations by a special Commission to be appointed by the Council of Bishops. Some of these petitions may have easily passed the General Conference and made language in the Book of Discipline even stricter concerning human sexuality issues within the church. It was agreed to suspend all this pending the report and a possible special General Conference. However, all provisions in the current BOD (Book of Discipline) regulating human sexuality were to remain in force and everyone was asked to abide by current rules. Nevertheless, annual conferences have since passed resolutions to disobey these provisions of the BOD. Conference Boards of Ordained Ministry have issued statements that they will not consider sexual preference or identification for candidates for ordained ministry. The New York Annual Conference has already ordained one elder and commissioned others who are in non-compliance with BOD ethics. The Western Jurisdiction has nominated three homosexual candidates for bishop, and there is one other candidate in the North Central Jurisdiction. How will all this end? For a good backgrounder page on these issues, see the discussions and links at http://www.umc.org/topics/topic-human-sexuality-homosexuality.
In the meanwhile, please pray for the United Methodist Church!