On Thursday morning delegates returned to the discussion on the alternative legislative discernment process known as Rule 44. After much discussion, delegates voted against Rule 44 with a vote of 355 for (43%) and 477 against (57%). The Rule has been before the body since they began ordering their work on Tuesday, May 10, when the 2016 General Conference delegates adopted all other rules recommended by the commission that plans The United Methodist Church’s legislative gathering.
Pat Luna, AWF Lay Delegate from Point Washington UMC in the Marianna-Panama City District, spoke about Rule 44 from the floor saying, "I want us to be ready, but we are not [organizational structure]. If we have any chance of Rule 44 working, we are going to have to dot every i and cross every t and quite frankly we don’t know where the i’s and t’s are yet. We have a long way to go with the integrity and trust we need."
Rule 44 was put forth by the commission as an alternative Discernment Process that might provide a template for dealing with contentious issues in the life of the church. Because amendments were made on Wednesday, Rule 44 was sent back to the Rules Committee. Rule 44 came back to the body this morning with no amendments recommended. Read the UMNS story here. Picture above is Pat Luna, AWF lay delegate. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.