Expect to see the Commission on a Way Forward’s proposals in weeks — not months.
The organizers of General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly, announced that they expect the needed translation work to be completed by July 30 — after which it can be made public.
The report is being translated from English to the three other official languages of General Conference — French, Kiswahili and Portuguese.
“As a matter of equity throughout the international church, it was deemed important to ensure that the report become available in all four languages at the same time,” said a statement by the Rev. Gary W. Graves, secretary of General Conference.
The Council of Bishops on July 9 revised its call for a special General Conference in 2019 so it will take up a report by the Commission on Way Forward.
The Book of Discipline, the denomination’s policy book, requires all translated legislation to be distributed to delegates 90 days before General Conference. In this case, that deadline is Nov. 26.
Agencies and others who submit General Conference legislation frequently post their legislation well ahead of the big meeting, but generally not in all official languages.
Given the unique nature of this special session, Graves said, General Conference organizers agreed that the Way Forward Commission and Council of Bishops could publicly post the commission’s translated report before the deadline. The move applies solely to what the Way Forward Commission has submitted — not other petitions.
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Delegate Pierre Kasongo (right) and other members of the Tanganyika delegation vote on legislation while listening to a translation of the 2016 General Conference proceedings. The Commission on General Conference said translations of the Way Forward proposals are coming. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.