Here is the statement from the Council of Bishops, issued by COB President Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Area, in response to Decision 1360:

Our Gratitude

We want to thank the Judicial Council for their service to the church through the affirmation of two key principles—the specific nature of the call for the special session, to receive and act on the report of the Council of Bishops based upon the work of the Commission on a Way Forward; and the General Conference’s authority to decide on what is in harmony with the call.

Our Call to Serve

Our motivation in making the request for the Declaratory Decision is in recognition of the historic nature of the special session of the General Conference in 2019, the need for focus on the stated purpose during these three days, and to create an orderly environment without distraction and chaos, so that the delegates can do their best work.

Our Leadership

I am grateful for Bishop Bruce Ough, who spoke on behalf of the Council’s petition for a Declaratory Decision. This was an appropriate exercise of service to the church (Book of Discipline, 414, 415), as we have responded to the request for leadership from the 2016 General Conference. We will continue to serve our beloved denomination under the guidance of the decision, and in consultation with the Commission on the General Conference.

Bishop Ken Carter
President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church