Bishop Lewis responds to votes on constitutional amendments

Dear Virginia Annual Conference,

Last year we voted on five Constitutional Amendments at Annual Conference. Today, the Council of Bishop released the results of these amendments. I am disappointed that two of the amendments regarding gender equality did not receive the 2/3 aggregate vote of all annual conferences in The United Methodist Church. The Constitutional Amendments that met the required vote were certified at the Spring Council of Bishops meeting and are effective immediately.

Unfortunately, sexism still exists in the world and the Church.  However, as United Methodists, we affirm in our Social Principles that “women and men to be equal in every aspect of their common life.” (¶ 161 F). It is also affirmed in Scripture, “there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).

As United Methodists, even though we have made great strides in gender equality, we still have a long way to go. I would like to applaud the Virginia Annual Conference in passing all five of the Constitutional Amendments. Let us continue to model gender equality in all levels of The United Methodist Church.  

Please review the pastoral letter from the women bishops and the statement from the Council of Bishops in support of women’s equality and full inclusion. (Click here to view story and statements - pdf)

Peace and Blessings, 
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis 

Individual conference votes on constitutional amendments (pdf)




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