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#Thread for reflections, commentary, and snark on the Pre-General Conference briefing in Nashville. This is billed as more “informational” than “conversational” event—so those aspects will be here!

Scroll for the whole thread and hold onto your butts.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
First hearing from the Indy Plan promoters.

So we get 20 minutes on this Plan...but now they are saying that all the Indy Plan supporters are now supporting the Protocol.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
The Indy Plan supporters suggest NOT electing new bishops in 2020 because of the upheaval/transitions.

Surely it has NOTHING to do with the wave of progressive/centrist delegates who will shut out any traditionalist bishops in 2020 in every jurisdiction.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Sigh. We are spending 20 minutes on a Plan that the supporters have all said they would now be supporting the Protocol. Sad that they (or UMCOMM) did not willingly give up their floor time for more deliberation on the Protocol (which only has 25 minutes) #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Great to see @um_forward’s Alka, Jay, and Alex present on the N.E.W. plan, at PreGC briefing. Very energetic and different feel than the talking heads so far.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“Since the 1784 Christmas Conference, Methodism has been complicit or actively oppressing marginalized persons.” Jay Williams, @um_forward, walking us through 240 years of exclusion by gender, race, orientation, and ethnicity.


#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“This debate is not about plans and procedures. This is about people. We just want to be part of a church that sees us as full Christians and full human beings.” @um_forward presentation at PreGC.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“Every 16 hours, an LGBTQIA+ person is killed in my native Brazil” @revalexation, voice breaking, shares why our theology and our polity matters when it comes to harm against people. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Interlude: Someone I don’t think I know is looking at Hacking Christianity on their laptop a few tables away. I should walk over and say hi. 🤗😁

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“Other plans by non-representative processes have worked out ways of dividing property power & pensions. We can do better by negotiating in the light, in a transparent process to guide the church’s way forward.”

Jay Williams, @um_forward PreGC presentation #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Now hearing Lonnie Chafin and Jasmine Smothers speak about the @UMCNext’s “Next Generation UMC” Plan. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“If we amend paragraph 140 of the BOD which defines the barriers that we long to remove. It removes discriminatory language against...many forms of xenophobia.” Jasmine Smothers, UMCNext #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Again, the presenters say they are supporting the Protocol, along with the Connectional Table Regionalization plan and some other elements. So it may be that they ultimately support the Protocol alongside elements of other plans. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Now hearing from The Protocol members of the mediation team. “The negotiator worked on the 9/11 victims fund and the Deepwater horizon...two of the biggest disasters in recent memory” And now the third: the UMC. 🤣😭😱

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Junius Dotson is an outlier to the General Secretaries: He’s the only one (I think) that is clearly advocating for one plan: the Protocol. Not saying I disagree with that advocacy—I appreciate the clarity—but it is interesting the others aren’t.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Sigh. These presenters. My first intersection with WCA’s Keith Boyette was 14 years ago when he was the Judicial Council secretary, me advocating for reconsideration of JC1032 which affirmed pastors could deny local church membership to LGBTQ persons. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“For those of you that believe you need to uphold the Discipline [as far as LGBTQ+ oppressive actions], I ask you to reconsider that.” Jan Lawrence, @rmnetwork #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Now hearing from the Connectional Table’s presentation on the US Regional Conference plan. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Helpful to hear Central Conference perspectives from communicators and clergy in Europe, the Philippines, and Africa. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Central Conference members should be participants, not just the audience. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Philippines representative opposes dissolution and supports equalization of regional authority. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Philippines district superintendent is sharing extensively about the Christmas Covenant, written by Central Conference delegates and regional leaders. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
The initial line for the Q&A has five white men in it, one woman, and one person of color. Very typical of GC, no matter how diverse the room is. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
I have to clarify: One white male is a sign language interpreter for another who identifies as deaf. Full disclosure and I’m glad for such question and assistance for diverse questions. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
No other plan got a UMComm news conference other than the Protocol. That’s a question of power.

(Brief paraphrase of Jay Williams’s response to a Q&A question)

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Oooo good point. The Connectional Table, of course, worked on a plan for 4 years and the bishops on that committee were funded by the CoB. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Here was the unaswered question due to time of the Council of Bishops: “The Protocol had significant bishop’s participation but it includes one affirmation that the Bishops do not have the ability to enforce of each other...[1 of 3]” #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“...A key portion of the Protocol is the processing of complaints and putting a pause on one aspect of harm. How will the Council of Bishops come to an agreement on the holding in abeyance of complaints...[2of3]”
#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“...when we saw in Virginia that the Protocol call to “hold in abeyance” is not being honored.” That’s a bad paraphrase of Skylar’s question that the @umcbishops need to answer.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Also an unanswered question was who were anyone under 40 involved in the protocol, and not just “people we heard from” because we all know the answer is ZERO. The generation that will have over 40 years of active ministry had no voice in its future. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
@BenHorrocks11 @umcbishops That’s correct, except the signatories said that the bishops would do this. So how were they going to enforce it?

I don’t disagree that Bishop Lewis can do what she did—I’m asking what is the plan to cease it.
#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
GCFA lawyer: “If you follow the trust clause questions in other denominations others than the UMC...my condolences for you.”

Oh man. I resemble that remark, GCFA! 😱🤣 #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
The District Superintendent is the most powerful person in United Methodism when it comes to the Trust Clause, because only their signature releases a church from the trust clause.

(GCFA lawyer Brian Mills remark) #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
The document says that the undersigned agree, and the undersigned include UMC bishops, including Executive Team members which have some powers. Since only bishops can do it, that’s who it applies to. Who else would it apply to? #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Wespath has worked hard to remove the 800 pound gorilla of the pension question out of the way so that discussions about the future of the UMC can be focused. Their legislation works with any plan adopted. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Sorry to miss the morning session, folks...I was involved in another conversation. Back in the saddle the rest of the day. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
This is true. But I think they will continue to refine or quietly build support for them as Plan B, in case something happens with the Protocol. “Vote for the Protocol first, and the Indy Plan second” type thing. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Hearing from the National Plans leaders who serve ministries to specific ethnicities, supported by apportionments.

Key quote from Paul Chang: I don’t see these national plans as separate, but one national plan with six different approaches.

#UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Listening to Harriett Olson speak about @UMWomen and the particular situation of women in The UMC. @harriettolson #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Hearing about important work and resolutions supporting Response Teams who respond to sexual misconduct situations in annual conferences. Very needed—hope it includes cross-conference communication so that victims like Bud Heckman’s could connect. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Good clarity on clergy misconduct: It is an improper term to say a pastor had an “affair” if there was a violation of a power position (ie. A parishioner).

It is sexual misconduct, NOT an affair. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Female clergy are paid 83 cents on the dollar compared to male clergy in The UMC. We have to name it and do something about it. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Paragraph 4 amendment to add “gender” to say that there should be no discrimination on account of gender. It failed in 2016 by reported annual conference vote (some of which were reported to have voted 100% in opposition...hmm...), so it is up again. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Gil Hanke talking about that domestic violence is a men’s issue and the church should be dealing with it through relationships and through United Methodist Men. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Question on the floor: What is the UMC doing to stop the violence against trans women (as it is primarily trans women of color who are murdered each year)?

Response: programs don’t discriminate, but target Scripture to be read properly and not violently. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Q: Has the #MeToo movement caused any changes to how the UMC handles harassment questions?

A from @harriettolson: COSROW handles the hotline of reporting, and @UMWomen women tell their stories “same thing happened to me” at increasing levels.

#ChurchToo #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Now hearing from young people in the UMC talking about collaboration, advocacy, and support of young people. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Why is it that few (if any) young people under 40 years old were actually in the room to write the Indy, Protocol, UMC Next, etc Plans? Why do we exclude the people, regardless of their other qualities, who will have to deal with our decisions the longest? #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Hearing from Erin Hawkins at @GCORR_UMC about updated resolutions that support the expansion of inclusive language, white privilege, and accessibility concerns. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“The suppression of voting rights is one of the most insidious forms of oppression in society today. It disproportionality affects women & persons of color. We call on UM folks to report violations and support voting rights acts.” Erin Hawkins @GCORR_UMC #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Now are petitions and presentations specific to clergy. Heard from Wespath about pension changes...and now from the Study of Ministry Commission which has changes for ordained ministry. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Help me out here, @GBHEM. The ministry study commission was started in 2012, continued in 2016, and they ended up with a definition and a few pages of text. Now they want 4 more years of study and writing the polity changes. 12 years. That seems like a lot. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
@GBHEM Just saying that the entire UMC was created in one quadrennium (1968-1972), and By Water and the Spirit was created in two quadrenniums (1988-1996). And this one is taking three? #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Now hearing from Dr. Kyle Tau on the ecumenical efforts of the @umcbishops and full communion efforts with the ELCA. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
@umcbishops Correction: Full Communion with The Episcopal Church. We are already full communion with ELCA. My error. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
The red line is the recommended full communion relationship that is missing in the current relationships between the UMC, ELCA, the Moravians, and the TEC. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
“The twitter feed at General Conference is nothing but a bunch of noise.” Yeah, no. Given how much information was sent out at GC2019, and how much makes Twitter that doesn’t make the livestream’s narrow view, that’s probably not accurate anymore. #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
Ending this thread on GC2020 pre conference briefing with the conclusion of this event. See you elsewhere and please reply or retweet if you have any questions. Blessings! #UMCGC #PreGC2020 #UMC
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