The Methodist Church (which covers Great Britain, i.e. England, Scotland and Wales) has published the report of its Marriage and Relationships Task Group 2019, together with a number of ancillary documents.
There is a Media Briefing which is probably the best place to start. Some of this is copied below the fold.
Also there is a Frequently Asked Questions page.
The full report is available as a PDF here.
And an archive from last year’s (2018) Conference
Extract from Media Briefing:
The Marriage and Relationships Task Group will present a report to the 2019 Conference with recommendations about various issues to do with relationships in general and marriage in particular. If accepted by Conference, those recommendations will be submitted to the wider Church for consultation during 2019-2020, with a final decision being made at the July 2020 Conference.
The Methodist Church has not fully reflected on the theology of marriage and relationships since 1992 although work has been carried out by several Task Groups since then. The Marriage and Relationships Task Group set up in 2014 identified the need for an update and to revisit the ‘definition’ of marriage and the current Task Group (set up in 2016) have been looking at this. The 2018 Conference directed that, instead of a statement, the Task Group should bring a report on these matters which could include any proposed changes to Standing Orders, were the definition of marriage to change.
The following gives a flavour of the introduction to the report and its major recommendations: –
Relationships, sex and marriage are important issues for everyone. To speak on these topics is both a challenge and an opportunity. As part of its calling and mission, the Methodist Church must engage with the reality of how people are living today. Looking at these relationships raises questions about the nature of marriage, cohabitation, living in relationships and living with different sexualities. These questions cut right to the very identity of who we are, and who those we love are and can be.
The group looked at how we can best live faithfully as Christians in these relationships today. As Methodist people, we differ in how we answer this question. Yet, we are called to be in loving communion with one another. What we share in loving God and in knowing we are loved by God, is much greater than anything that divides us.
Since 1993, the Methodist people have been encouraged to be on a “Pilgrimage of Faith”. This has challenged us to listen and to learn from each other on issues of sexuality, relationships and faith, and to move on together. Sometimes, we find it hard to understand why others do not see things as we do and hurt has been caused to many people along the way. Yet as the Methodist people, we have chosen to journey on together and find ways of living with contradictory convictions.
There is a need to be able to talk better together about relationships, marriage and sexuality. This has come most clearly from the Methodist young people at their annual gathering, 3Generate.
The Marriage and Relationships Task Group is a living, worked example of the Pilgrimage of Faith, starting at different places and with some disagreement. The members grappled with their contradictory convictions and found God meeting them in each other.
Section 0.4 of God in Love Unites Us sets out in detail what is considered in the report starting with examining where relationships fit into the understanding of what it is to be human, exploring how God created us all to be fundamentally relational beings, and the part our sexuality plays in that.