The Council of Bishops has just concluded its meeting where, among other things, we as a body came to some conclusions about what we will recommend for a way forward for our denomination.  We spent more time in prayer and communing together than we have in totality since I became a bishop.  We shared deeply with one another. And we felt the prayers of United Methodists from all over the world. 

God’s grace and God’s Spirit were almost overwhelming at points during our conversation and times of prayer. Therefore, I am convinced that we have discerned a way forward that offers hope for the continuity of our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world in the midst of our global nature and diversity of perspectives.  I am convinced that we have found a way to bring glory to God and leave room for God’s grace in the midst of our humanness. 
Please read the attached press release from the Council of Bishops with a spirit of openness and grace.  I know that some of you will want more detailed information about our discussion and conclusions.  But, in order to honor and respect the members of our denomination who do not speak English, we have agreed as a council to wait to release the details of our conclusions until they can be released in all of the official languages of the church. The details will be provided.
As an annual conference we are already working on developing a mechanism so that we can clearly communicate the details of the Council of Bishop’s recommendation and historical narrative of its work when those details are released to the whole church.  You will have an opportunity to share your thoughts once the details of the recommendation and historical narrative are released.

It is still my hope and prayer that our mission will continue to be our priority and that we will approach our conversations about our way forward with convicted humility.  And after spending the last few days with my colleagues as we have wrestled with God, I am more convinced than ever that all of our hopes and prayers for the continued mission and ministry of the United Methodist Church will be realized.

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