Amid growing concerns for the denomination’s future, the 2016 General Conference authorized the formation of a commission to deal with church teachings on homosexuality and find ways to help the church stay together. The Commission on a Way Forward submitted proposals that were considered by the delegates at the 2019 special called General Conference.
Delegates to General Conference include equal numbers of lay and clergy members elected by annual conferences around the world. Bishops preside and facilitate the work of the delegates, but do not vote. The General Conference is the only body that approves church policy and speaks officially for the denomination.
What was decided by General Conference?
The General Conference delegates passed by a 438-384 vote the Traditional Plan, which retains restrictions against “self-avowed practicing homosexual” clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriage ceremonies and requires stricter enforcement for violations of church law.