Conversation on a Way Forward Resources

Bishop Laurie's Fall Gathering Handouts, Audio and Video 

Bishop Laurie Haller traveled across the state of Iowa to update the conference on the three plans being voted on at the Special Called General Conference in Feb. 2019. Sessions were held in each district. You can download the following resources for conversations in your own church.

Complete PDF of Handout

Bulleted Outline of COWF Three Plans and Praying Our Way Forward Pause for Prayer sample

Local Church Sample Agenda

Embury UMC Video

Personal Testimony by Joe Nixon Video

A letter from a Mother Audio

Resources from the Commission

Download the PDF  or Power Point of the presentation.


In its continued efforts to inform The United Methodist Church on its processes and work, the Commission on a Way Forward created the following videos that document the experiences, hopes, dreams, concerns, approach, and learnings of the 32-member Commission.

The videos released are:

  • Commission on A Way Forward Moderators Overview: Bishops Sandra Steiner Ball, David Yemba and Ken Carter share an overview of their role as moderators for the Commission and how service was one of their primary focus.  (Length 5:35). 
    You Tube
  • Jasmine Smothers, Julie Hager Love and Tom Berlinare all Commission members who are also clergy serving in the SEJ. In this interview they reflect on their experience and their hopes for the future of the United Methodist Church.   (Length 5:46).
  • Dave Nuckols (laity, Minnesota) and Helen Cunanan (clergy, Philippines)- have a conversation about the Commission on A Way Forward sharing their experiences from very different places in the world. (Length 7:50). 
  • Bishops Gregory Palmer and Robert Schnase, who are members of the Commission, talk about how the work of the Commission points to the larger mission of The United Methodist Church. (Length 5:35). 
  • "Gil Rendle: a parable for today" is a video featuring Commission on A Way Forward Consultant Gil Rendle.  Gil shares a story that illustrates the difference between positions and interests. When we are able to move from holding onto our positions to seeking to understand each other’s underlying interests we are better able to move forward together.  (length 5:14). 
    ​Gil provides these questions for reflection:
    • How can I become more aware of my own interests so that I am not confined from seeing more by my own position?
    • How (and with whose help) can I listen for the interests of others?
    • Download the video here; watch on YouTube.
  • Gil Rendle gives an overview of the "Purpose, Principles and Importance of the work of the Commission on a Way Forward." This video was recorded during the final May 2018 Commission meeting of the Commission on A Way Forward and gives an in depth theological and technical overview of the work of the commission that helps to frame the work that is being asked of the delegates to the February 2019 General Conference.  (length 54:18). 
    ​Gil provides these questions for reflection:
    • What is the new way in which I should approach my leadership in shaping the future mission of the church?
    • Who should I seek to serve in my decision making about the future?
    • What are the values that will best serve the purpose of the whole church in the future?
    • Download the video here; watch on YouTube.
  • Bishop Grant Hagiya, a member of the Commission on A Way Forward, shares reflections about the book "Anatomy of Peace."  Bishop Hagiya shares why the principles of this book help us make a fundamental shift from battleground to a place where people can have open and honest dialogue with one another. (length 5:44)
  •  Donna Pritchard (clergy, Pacific Northwest Conference), Tom Salsgiver (clergy, Susquehanna Conference) and Leah Taylor (laity, Texas Conference) are all Commission on A Way Forward members.  They share reflections on their work, the value of connection and the relationships they formed during their time together on the Commission.  (length 7:02)

About the Commission: The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to LGBTQ inclusion and resulting questions about the unity of the church.

For more information on the Commission on a Way Forward, visit
Twitter: @UMCForward


Small Group Study 

Resource information 

Praying Our Way Forward 

Point of View Resources


Commission on a Way Forward video resources 

Other Resources