DSC Way Forward

“I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 CEB

Idea/Question Form

2016 Book of Discipline & Social Principles

What is the denomination’s position on homosexuality? Find paragraphs from the Book of Discipline and details from our Social Principles.

Desert Southwest Conference Book of Resolutions

Find all Resolutions adopted and referred to Conference Committees, including petitions submitted to the General Conference.

Desert Southwest Conference Way Forward

Just the facts guide answering questions about what happened, what it means for the local church, how to stay informed, and the what’s next.

“The distinguishing marks of a Methodist are not his opinions of any sort. His assenting to this or that scheme of Religion, his embracing any particular set of notions, his espousing the judgment of one man or of another, are all quite wide of the point. Whosoever therefore imagines that a Methodist is a man of such or such an opinion is grossly ignorant of the whole affair; he mistakes the truth totally. We believe indeed, that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, … But as to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think. So that whatsoever they are, whether right or wrong, they are no distinguishing marks of a Methodist.”

John Wesley

United Methodist Church Timeline. General Commission on Archives and History.

Video Explanations

Intro to Inclusion Series

Serie de inclusión

Page Anderson & Lex
Frontera Wesley

Coming Out in the Church

Salir de closet en la Iglesia

Page Anderson & Trent
Frontera Wesley

It’s All About Jesus. That’s what we’re doing here.

Todo se trada de Jesus

Bailey & Kelli
Frontera Wesley

Se Que Pertenezco Aqui

I know that I belong here

Lex & Jesus
Frontera Wesley

Se Que Mi Dios Me Ama

I know my God loves me

Lex & Mireya
Frontera Wesley

Barking for the Illusionist, 1 of 5

Rev. Jonathan Arnpriester
Chandler UMC

Up on the High Wire 2 of 5

Rev. Jonathan Arnpriester
Chandler UMC

Contortion Distortion 3 of 5

Rev. Jonathan Arnpriester
Chandler UMC

In the Lion’s Mouth – Divorce 4 of 5

Rev. Jonathan Arnpriester
Chandler UMC

The Clown Car
5 of 5

Rev. Jonathan Arnpriester
Chandler UMC


William Lawrence
Prof Emer of Am Church History
Perkins School of Theology

Implications & Consequences

Anne Burkholder
Assoc Dean of Methodist Studies Candler School of Theology, Emory University

My Grandmother’s UMC

Ted Campbell
Professor of Church History
Perkins School of Theology

More Than Meets The Eye

Cheryl Anderson
Professor of Old Testament
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

A Plea to The United Methodist Church

Bishop Richard Wilke
Author of “Disciple Bible Study”

How We Got Here

Late 1700s-Early 1800s African Methodist Episcopal Church and Zion Methodist Episcopal Church split.

1968 Uniting Conference

​The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merge to form The United Methodist Church at the Uniting Conference in Dallas. The Central Jurisdiction is eliminated with a target of 1972 for full elimination of segregation within the church. The Uniting Conference approves the development of an official insignia for the new church; the cross and flame logo is adopted later in 1968.

1972 General Conference

Two stances toward homosexuality added to the Book of Discipline (¶161.G) The newly adopted United Methodist Social Principles includes the first statement on homosexuality and recognizes divorce and the right of divorced people to remarry. The decades-long church debate on homosexuality begins. In The Book of Discipline, the sentence, “We do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider it incompatible with Christian teaching,” is added to the phrase, “Persons of homosexual orientation are persons of sacred worth.” The Discipline also makes the first reference to homosexual unions: “We do not recommend marriage between two persons of the same sex.”

1984 General Conference

General Conference reverses its 1980 decision and declares that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” are prohibited from serving as clergy. The conference also inserts the phrase “fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness” regarding qualifications for ordination.

1988 General Conference approves a study of homosexuality to report to the 1992 General Conference.

1996 General Conference

General Conference adds three significant points to the church’s position on homosexuality: a footnote defining “self-avowed practicing homosexual,” a declaration that ceremonies to celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by United Methodist clergy or in United Methodist churches and a call for the U.S. military not to exclude people from service “solely on the basis of sexual orientation.”

2000 General Conference

General Conference votes to add to the Social Principles the language, “We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn their lesbian and gay members and friends.”

2004 General Conference

Chargeable offenses related to homosexuality are added to the Discipline. Delegates endorse “A Resolution on Church Unity.”

September 14, 2019

Desert Southwest Annual Conference Special Session approved Resolutions that provide direction for the DSC Way Forward teams. Many groups working on proposals about the future of The United Methodist Church to present at the 2020 General Conference Session.


Laity are not the audience, they are the church. Now is the time to convene congregational conversations about the future of their church and how they wish to proceed in ministry with their community.

Recent News

Words of Grace for Today and Beyond

Words of Grace for Today and Beyond

Since the conclusion of General Conference 2019, the date of January 1, 2020 has loomed as a feared time of escalation of restrictive prohibitions against LGBTQIA+ siblings and pastors who officiate at same gender weddings. Now that January 1 is upon us, I would like to share some of my thoughts related to these new restrictions.