By Heather Hahn
Editor’s note: This story now includes more details about the Connectional Table’s vote on the motion to reconsider.
The Connectional Table, one of The United Methodist Church’s governing bodies, has decided to draft legislation that could change church law “to fully include LGBTQ persons in the life and ministry of the church.”
The draft would be brought back to the Connectional Table at a future meeting for consideration. The April 29 decision to draft the legislation came the same day the Connectional Table began a series of three public discussions on human sexuality.
The dialogue “is an exercise of our responsibility to be a common table for the church and to confer with one another as representatives of the church,” said Dakotas-Minnesota Area Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Connectional Table chair, the day before the event.
“The Connectional Table believes that we need some specific language to inform the discussion before we can seek effective feedback from the Connection and fully discern what our next steps will be,” Ough said after the event, in a press release. “This decision has empowered the Table to begin developing such language, which would be open to debate, amendment, and improvement before any final decision is made on adoption.”
The 59-member Connectional Table is a United Methodist governing body of clergy and lay people that coordinates the denomination’s mission, ministry and resources. Any legislation adopted by the body would go to the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly, General Conference, for action in 2016.