Florida Delegation Statement Regarding GC 2021
To the Florida Annual Conference:
On February 25, 2021 the Council of Bishops called for a virtual Special Called Conference to be held on May 8, 2021. This abbreviated virtual General Conference will address 12 specific pieces of legislation relating to the administrative functions that will allow our denomination to continue to function effectively until we can meet in person in August, 2022.
As the elected Florida Delegation to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference, we understand the circumstances necessitating these actions by the Commission on General Conferences and the Council of Bishops. However, we also publicly lament our inability to take action on the denomination’s divide over the issue of LGBTQ inclusion. We recognize that each day that passes is yet another day of harm to our LGBTQ siblings. We reiterate our continued discernment of the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation, and urge the ongoing abeyance of complaints related to LGBTQ marriage and ordination. We maintain our support for regional conferences throughout our global body that would order the life of our vital, diverse, and dynamic denomination. We look forward to reaching resolution to our denomination’s current impasse at the next General Conference in 2022. While this delay is both a setback and disappointment on many levels, we reiterate our commitment as a delegation to the work of building an inclusive church that welcomes, nurtures and supports all who seek to grow as followers of Christ.
In the meantime, we hope that you will join us in our ongoing calling to be in mission to the communities in which we live and serve. We have much to celebrate at home here in Florida and we will keep our focus on the initiatives of Anti-Racism, Clergy Care, Fill the Table, and our response to COVID-19. We are grateful for the laity and clergy of our conference, and for all they do.
We pray God’s continued countenance and blessings on each of you and covet your prayers we enter into a time of preparation for the Special Called General Conference.
May the peace of the Lord be with you, now and in the days ahead.
The Florida Annual Conference Delegation