Theologically Conservative United Methodists Are Preparing for Church Court Battle Over Approval of ‘Traditional Plan’ Against Homosexuality and Same-sex Marriage

Theologically conservative members of the United Methodist Church are preparing to argue in front of the denomination’s highest court in defense of a plan approved last month to strengthen its stance against homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

The United Methodist Judicial Council is scheduled to meet April 23-26 in Evanston, Illinois, to hear challenges to “The Traditional Plan,” a measure approved at the UMC’s special session of General Conference last month.

The official April docket includes two items: the first being from Pastor Timothy Bruster of the Central Texas Annual Conference requesting that the Judicial Council review the “constitutionality, meaning, application, and effect of the adopted legislation referred to as the Traditional Plan.”

The second item came from the UMC Council of Bishops, who submitted a request on March 6 for the Judicial Council to determine the constitutionality of Petition 90066, which changes the denomination’s policy on congregation disaffiliation.

According to a statement released March 6, the Council of Bishops opposed the petition, which allows for an easier dismissal process for congregations, including allowing them to keep their property and financial assets.

The Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News Magazine, told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday that the Judicial Council will be considering the constitutionality of all parts of the Traditional Plan, with some parts having greater focus.

“They will determine which parts of the plan are consistent with the UM Church Constitution and can therefore be implemented as passed,” explained Lambrecht.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski