In a shocking development, the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church has ruled that the “Plan UMC” restructuring proposal is unconstitutional. The plan had received preliminary approval by the General Conference earlier in the week.

Two main aspects of the ruling: First, that that the plan would “co-mingle” the oversight of the church between the Council of Bishops and the new proposed General Council for Strategy & Oversight. (That oversight is the responsibility of the bishops.) And second, that the proposal would intrude on the authority of the General Conference to solely determine funding for the church’s ministries (by ceding part of that to the new General Council for Strategy & Oversight).

The Council stated in its ruling, “We have reviewed the plan to determine whether any part, portion or all of Plan UMC can be saved and conclude that it cannot.”

In the remaining time left to the General Conference – which is not much – actions will undoubtedly taken to see if the assembled delegates agree.

The conference is preparing to recess for supper and will reconvene at 7:30 EDT this evening.

Update: A story on attempts by conference leadership to salvage something from the Plan UMC proposal are apparently underway during the dinner break. See the story at this link.