Monday 6:15 p.m. (CST)

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 25) — General Conference 2019 delegates moved the Traditional Plan forward to plenary but not the One Church Plan. Simple Plan also failed to pass, 323-494. Here’s an overview of what happened this afternoon:

Traditional Plan advances, One Church Plan fails by UMNS

Photo above: Bishop Dindy Taylor (beneath screen, at table, second from right) joins other bishops in watching the day’s proceedings.

Monday 4:00 p.m. (CST)

ST. PAUL (Feb. 25) — Two “disaffiliation” petitions have joined the Traditional Plan in moving from the Legislative Committee to tomorrow’s plenary. The One Church Plan failed to move out of the Legislative Committee by a vote of 436 to 386.

Earlier today, the Rev. Kim Goddard said, “Sitting through these discussions of how to ‘disaffiliate’ is just plain heartbreaking to me … Trying really hard to see how this is a good thing regardless of what plan, if any, eventually passes.”

It’s possible for the One Church Plan to be brought forward to tomorrow’s plenary with a Minority Report. (See pages 51-52 in Daily Christian Advocate.)

The Rev. Kim Goddard participates in this afternoon’s session.

Monday 12:15 p.m. (CST)

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 25) — The Legislative Committee approved the Traditional Plan by a 461 to 359 vote, which moves it to tomorrow’s plenary session. Now other plans are being considered — right now the “disaffiliation” plans. Tomorrow is when the General Conference will debate and have the final vote.

The United Methodist News Service Twitter feed is a good way to keep up with minute-by-minute coverage. Go to UMNS Twitter.

See also: Effort to delay Traditional Plan defeated by UMNS

Tim Jones, communications director, grasps a handmade cross (a gift that was earlier distributed to communicators) during this morning’s session.

Monday 11:20 a.m. (CST)

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 25) — Tim Jones, communications director, describes the mood this morning as delegates debate and amend the Traditional Plan. “It seems as if the anxiety level is much higher, and this makes me ever more thankful for the day of worship and prayer we had on Saturday.” 

Read this morning’s GC News email. … Sign up for the next GC News email.

Watch the live stream.

Holston delegates consider legislation. From left to right: Randy Frye, Bob Lockaby, John Tate, Wil Cantrell, Becky Hall, Carol Wilson.

Monday 8:35 a.m. (CST)

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 25) — General Conference, day 3, is underway. Here’s the live stream link.

Here’s an interesting story posted this morning by United Methodist News Service: Traditional and One Church backers gear up

From the story: General Conference delegates are set to begin their work first thing Feb. 25 on refining legislation in the Traditional Plan.

However, even the plan’s proponents acknowledge the lawmaking process is far from complete. Advocates for the One Church Plan also are not throwing in the towel.

In a key vote, delegates to the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly decided to prioritize working on the Traditional Plan over the One Church Plan, which a majority of bishops recommended.

The Traditional Plan, which seeks to strengthen enforcement of prohibitions related to homosexuality denomination-wide, received 459 votes to be a high priority for discussion.

The One Church Plan, which leaves questions of same-sex marriage and gay ordination closer to the local level, received 403 high-priority votes. Read the complete story.

Sunday 10:45 p.m. (CST)

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 24) — What happened today? If you watched the live stream, you know it’s not easy to understand the implications of General Conference actions.

One of our Holston delegates, the Rev. Wil Cantrell, helps explain today’s proceedings in his easy-to-digest blog.

Says Cantrell: “The Traditional Plan has the most momentum right now though, as noted earlier, garnering over 50 percent of the vote is much easier in a priority vote than in a vote for final passage.” Read Cantrell’s blog.

Delegate Becky Hall noted that the “glitches in the technical and electronics caused us to lose time today, making the next two days even more precious and filled.”

Hall also said: “The statement that unity doesn’t mean uniformity is becoming a common phrase — as a way forward together is trying to be created.”

The Rev. Kim Goddard said: “I am encouraged that after a slow start with the voting devices, we stayed on track with the agenda. Hopefully this sets us up for an easy start to tomorrow’s work.”

Here’s the United Methodist News Service story that also helps explain the day’s actions: Pensions, Traditional Plan top priority votes

“Legislation recommended by Wespath Benefits and Investments, the denomination’s pension agency, topped the final tally with 518 high-priority votes,” according to UMNS. “Those two petitions deal with how to handle the pension liabilities of departing churches and the accrued benefits of departing clergy.”

Holston members gather for prayer tonight after adjournment.

Sunday 3:35 p.m. (CST)

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 24) — This afternoon, delegates prioritized legislation. “Expect to see votes designed to judge the priority which should be given to differing pieces of legislation,” explains the Rev. Wil Cantrell in his blog. “This will provide a bellwether for which plans and petitions have the most chance of eventual passage.”

Photos below: (1) Left to right: Holston delegates Del Holley, Becky Hall, John Tate, and Wil Cantrell during a break this afternoon. (2) Far right: Bishop Dindy Taylor sits with other bishops during delegate voting.

Voting results: (1) Wespath Recommendations – Pension Liabilities and CRS (2) Traditional Plan (3) Disaffiliation – Taylor (4) Disaffiliation – Boyette (5) One Church Plan (6) Disaffiliation – Ottjes (7) Retain Paragraph 161.G (8) A Simple Plan (9) A Traditional Way Forward with Enhanced Enforcement (10) A Graceful Exit as a Way Forward (11) Inclusiveness, 90082 (12) Human Sexuality (13) Inclusiveness, 90087 (14) Connectional Conference Plan (15) Abeyace of Trust Enforcement (16) Marriage (17) Chargeable Offenses (18) Definition of Gender (19) Interpretation of Fidelity in Marriage for Deacons (20) Fully Inclusive Way Forward (21) Replace Paragraph 161.G (22) One New Discipline Plan (23) Sexual Practices

We’ll provide more explanatory information soon.