Updated 2:45 p.m. (PST)
PORTLAND, Ore. (May 17, 2016) -- Following a night of rumors, Holston delegates arrived at Oregon Convention Center this morning to pray and talk about the day’s proceedings.
Rev. David Graves, head of Holston’s delegation, released the following statement at about 9:30 a.m. (PST):
"We know people in Holston Conference are hearing about information coming from General Conference. Rumors are swirling about a plan for an amicable separation of The United Methodist Church. We don’t have confirmation about this. It is not official, and nothing has been proposed or shared with us. If we do receive such information, we will share with you through ‘The Call.’ In the meantime, we believe United Methodist News Service is a trusted source of information for breaking news.
We trust that God is in control. Thank you for your support and remain in a spirit of prayer."
Bishop Dindy Taylor met with the delegation a few moments later, and The Call released this announcement:
Bishop Dindy Taylor has just spoken with the Holston Delegation to confirm that a plan for amicable separation of The United Methodist Church is not forthcoming from the Council of Bishops here at General Conference in Portland, Ore.: "This information is not true. Again and again, the Council of Bishops has said that we will guard the unity of the church. We will fulfill that commitment."
At about 10:30 a.m. (PST), Bishop Bruce Ough, head of the Council of the Bishops, spoke to the General Conference. He said the Council of Bishops supports church unity, although he acknowledged pain and anger expressed during General Conference over the full inclusion of LGBTQ people.
See UMNS story, "Church hanging onto unity despite cracks in the walls"
Video of Holston delegation's Tuesday-morning prayer
List of Holston stories related to General Conference 2016