May 07, 2018
UPDATE: On May 10, 2018, the Rev. Gary W. Graves, Secretary of the General Conference, announced that an error was made in the text of proposed Constitutional Amendment #1, which narrowly failed to be ratified. The amendment will be revisited. Read the news release
Below is the text of the Extended Cabinet's May 7, 2018 letter:
Beloved community in the New England Conference,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On May 7, 2018 the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church announced the results of the vote on the five constitutional amendments that came before the 2016 General Conference.
Two of the five amendments – those pertaining to gender equality – narrowly failed to get the required two-thirds majority to be adopted.
The members of the Council of Bishops made a powerful statement when they said “we want to be clear that we are unequivocal in our commitment to the equality of women and their full inclusion in our Church.” We, as the Extended Cabinet of the New England Conference, stand in solidarity with the Council.
We encourage everyone to read the pastoral letter issued by the women bishops, and, with them, renew our commitment to “ensure that all people are treated with respect, compassion, and grace, and that all doors of opportunity and leadership are open to them.”
We ask the people of the New England Conference to join us in prayer today for the harm that the church imposes on our sisters when we are unable to live out gender equality as God would have us do.
We look forward to and strive for a church that stands as an example to the world in embracing fully that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28
In Christ’s love,
The New England Extended Cabinet
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
Rene Wilbur, Conference Lay Leader
Rev. Jackie Brannen
Rev. David Calhoun
Rev. We Hyun Chang
Rev. Andrew L. Foster III
Rev. Taesung Kang
Rev. James T. McPhee
Rev. Karen Munson
Rev. Rene Perez
Rev. Jill Colley Robinson
Bill Burnside, Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services
Beth DiCocco, Director of Communications
Rev. Rick McKinley, Director of Congregational Development
Rev. Jim Mentzer, President of the United Methodist Foundation of New England
Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Director of Connectional Ministries/Assistant to the Bishop