GC19: NE delegates come to the floor to speak on the Simple Plan

February 25, 2019

During the Feb. 25 Legislative Committee session at General Conference, New England delegates Bonnie Marden and Rev. Becca Girrell both spoke about the Simple Plan. The Rev. Scott Campbell sought a motion to refer everything considered to the Judicial Council for review of constitutionality, but his motion was deemed out of order at the point it was made. The same motion was made later by another delegate, and the items were sent to the Judicial Council.  

The Simple Plan was not endorsed by the Legislative Committee, but could still come to the plenary floor through a minority report.

These are Marden’s remarks on the floor:

“There’s been conversation for at least eight to 10 years between conservatives and progressives about our Christian call to reduce the harm we unintendedly inflict on others. The differences scare us. Fear has kept us from reaching out to each other. A brief discussion of the work that has been sent to this body called the Simple Plan is an opportunity to consider a part of our Christian community that has experienced harm. Acknowledging that causing harm is not anything that we Christians would do intentionally, to briefly consider the Simple Plan would give this body the opportunity to show the world that while we are not ready to consider supporting homosexual partners and marriages or ordination, but that we are committed to reducing harm, that brings the opportunity to consider our incompatibility language in a new way - to potentially move out of that harm-triggering position to begin to create a new way of being ... I believe that continues to honor both the traditional respect for scripture but also reminds us that God is continually doing a new thing in ways that we have yet to fully understand or celebrate. Considering the Simple Plan briefly would be a gift to God, to this community, and a gift to the world.”


Rev. Girrell stood to speak against the Simple Plan, saying that it is time to follow John Wesley’s full instruction not simply to do no harm, but to “do good,” and the plan does not go far enough. Click the link to hear her remarks on the floor.


Delegate Rev. Leigh Goodrich did not speak on the floor, but shared her thoughts about Monday’s session. Take a listen.