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Council of Bishops ratifies three constitutional admendments

By: By Heather Hahn | UMNS

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Bishop Bruce R. Ough presides over a meeting of the denomination's Council of Bishops in Chicago, where the group ratified three amendments to the church's constitution. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

The Council of Bishops now has authority to handle complaints against fellow bishops under a newly ratified amendment to the denomination’s constitution.

However, two of the five possible amendments — both addressing the equality of women in the church — fell short of the required support from annual conference voters.

Two amendments that contain more explicit rules around bishop and delegate elections did win the necessary vote.

To be ratified, each constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds majority vote at General Conference, which happened in 2016. Then, each must win at least 67 percent of the total votes at annual conferences around the world. That voting took place in 2017 and early 2018. 

The Council of Bishops announced the results on May 7. The bishops canvassed the votes behind closed doors during their meeting April 29-May 4. Bishop Bruce R. Ough, the outgoing Council of Bishops president, said he and his colleagues waited to announce the results so they could be released at the same time as a statement on behalf of the council and a pastoral letter from the women bishops.   Read the full story here 

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Outgoing President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops Bruce R. Ough (left) prepares to pass the leader’s gavel to incoming president Bishop Kenneth H. Carter during a leadership celebration at the council’s meeting in Chicago. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

In other news from the recent the Council of Bishops meeting :

  • With the passing of the gavel, President Bruce R. Ough transferred leadership to Bishop Kenneth H. Carter as the next president of the Council of Bishops. Read More
  • Elected Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, who leads the North Carolina Conference, to deliver the episcopal address at the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis. With a tight schedule to deal with legislation, the special General Conference in 2019 will not include an episcopal address.
  • Learned in a report from the bishops’ Immigration Task Force that United Methodists raised slightly less than $50,000 on Dec. 3 for Global Migration Advance No. 3022144. People can still contribute to the effort. “We know we can do better in terms of our gifts,” said Bishop Minerva Carcaño, chair of the task force and leader of the California-Nevada Conference. “The work will continue for years to come.”
  • Joined the top executives of the denomination’s 13 general agencies in singing “Happy Birthday” and enjoying some cake in honor of The United Methodist Church’s 50th anniversary.
  • Bishops are recommending the One Church Plan around LGBTQ ordination and marriage but submitting three plans to General Conference. Read More


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