GCORR Board of Directors Address the 2019 Special Called General Conference

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The Board of Directors of the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) met immediately following the 2019 Special Called General Conference of The United Methodist Church. The meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri on February 28 – March 2, 2019 included time to discuss the Special Called Session and its impact on the mission and future of GCORR. In a unanimous vote, the Board of Directors endorsed and affirmed a statement from GCORR General Secretary Erin Hawkins in regards to the adoption of the Traditional Plan which strengthened restrictions against the marriage and ordination of LGBTQIA+ persons.

President of the Board, Bishop Earl Bledsoe stated, “Despite the actions of the General Conference, our church continues to not be of one mind concerning Human Sexuality and many are hurting due to the continued marginalization of the LGBTQIA+ community. GCORR is an agency of the church with the responsibility to work against oppression in all of its forms and to empower and uplift those who have been oppressed and marginalized.  We fully support our General Secretary as she speaks a word of truth about the sin of oppression that continues to plague our church as well as a word of encouragement for those who have been discouraged and wounded.

We deplore the continued oppression exhibited by The United Methodist denomination and stand with her in her commitment to work toward making the vision of  ‘a liberating love that transforms the world and every human being in it’ a reality.

We call upon all members of The United Methodist Church to remember the words of our baptismal covenant: ‘to accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.'”

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GCORR is building the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.