Connectional Table Adopts Principles for Discerning Plans

Connectional Table Adopts Principles for Discerning Plans


Nashville, Tennessee:  The Connectional Table, while meeting in Nashville, voted to adopt principles to aid United Methodists in discerning plans when shaping and guiding the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church.  

 “Because of the worldwide nature of our denomination, we have many views of who we are, who we are to be in God’s eyes and how we collectively achieve those aspirations,” the document stated.

“By adopting these concepts of discernment, we are asking people to understand that there are matters in the works that require patience,” said Fred Brewington, leader of the Connectional Table writing team that wrote the principles document.

There are many formal and informal proposals addressing different aspects of the future structure, organization, relationships and processes requiring principles to assist the church as it discusses, approaches, engages and makes decisions . While the Connectional Table neither adopts or endorses any of the proposals, the Connectional Table affirms principles to assist the church in the process of making decisions for the future, the document stated.

The adopted principles include:

  • do no harm, do all the good we can, and  stay in love with God
  • not act in haste and allow God to order our steps
  • welcome the movement of the Holy Spirit and be open to new revelations
  • engage in meaningful discernment with active listening
  • respect our differences and embrace our unity in Christ
  • be intentionally inclusive of all God’s people
  • be mindful of the impact processes have on God’s people
  • be willing to reposition the prism through which we view the world
  • engage in radical openness to foster genuine dialogue and cooperation

The need for affirming principles resulted from the work of the Connectional Table during the current quadrennium, when members developed a heightened understanding  of how The United Methodist Church is configured in the many places around the world. Some examples of that work include:

  • The worldwide nature of the denomination and the implications that arise from it
  • What constitutes a Global Book of Discipline
  • Working on processes to fully and carefully address questions regarding the denomination’s jurisdictional structure in the United States within a global context
  • Collaborating with the General Board of Church and Society on the review and reshaping of the Social Principles

Messaging ambassadors from the Connectional Table are available to discuss the guiding principles with delegations upon request.


About the Connectional Table
The Connectional Table oversees the coordination of mission, ministries and resources across the denomination. Created at the 2004 General Conference, the Connectional Table was formed to serve as both the visioning body of the church and the steward of resources to carry out the vision of the denomination worldwide.