The Virginia Annual Conference delegation to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences and alternates adopted a motion in support of the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation as well as the Christmas Covenant on February 15, 2020. The motion reads:
“Recognizing that The United Methodist Church has reached an impasse, and recognizing that this impasse is hindering the church in its innovation and vitality in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, the Virginia Annual Conference General and Jurisdictional Delegation supports the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation. We believe this movement forward will provide new expressions of Methodism that will provide a greater impact on our local churches’ witness to their communities and the world.
“Therefore, the Virginia Annual Conference Delegation requests and urges the Commission on the General Conference to take such action as necessary to make possible the full consideration of legislation implementing the Protocol and legislation related to the Christmas Covenant from the Philippines by a Committee of the Whole. We urge that legislation for the Christmas Covenant and Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation and Restructuring be among the first matters of consideration by the 2020 General Conference following the adoption of organizing motions.”
The Rev. Tom Berlin, clergy head of the delegation, emphasized that the delegation from Virginia is following the lead of the mediation team who created this legislation.
“Traditional, progressive and centrist groups along with members of the Central Conference and bishops who designed the protocol agree that it holds the best hope for overcoming our current impasse at General Conference,” Berlin said.
He continued, “The Virginia Conference delegation is very interested in overcoming our current impasse related to LGBTQ inclusion, and they are very interested in the future of The United Methodist Church. They believe that these two pieces of legislation are critical to the General Conference and should be considered before other legislation is discussed.”