I am writing this pastoral letter to address the things happening in the United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church’s policy is formed by delegates. Vicki Sewell, Barb Combs, Natalie Faulkner, and I will go to Annual Conference next week. One of our responsibilities is to vote on delegates for General Conference. The General Conference is the group that votes on our policies. As many of you are aware, General Conference voted again for the "Traditional Plan" for human sexuality and marriage. The Judicial Council (that functions like the Supreme Court) had to look at the plan. Their ruling was based on the constitution of the United Methodist Church. Some of the policy was upheld while some was not upheld. The most important part of all of this was the division in the decision. 47% of the delegates wanted inclusion while 53% wanted the traditional plan.
I shared most of the above information a few months ago in a church wide email. However, I wanted to address what has been happening since the vote.
1 - Annual Conference next week will be voting on delegates to General Conference which is scheduled for 2020.
2 - There are groups meeting together to talk about ways that the Methodist Church can move forward. Our Bishop is leading a group called "UMC Next.”
3 - I want our church to continue to welcome all. ALL people are welcome here. Our hearts, minds, and doors are open to all.
I am currently reading a book by Rachel Held Evans. She said in the book:
"The gospel doesn’t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, "Welcome! There’s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk." This isn’t a kingdom for the worthy; it’s a kingdom for the hungry." ~ Rachel Held Evans
I hope and pray that my actions and the actions of this church allow all people to come and eat in the Bread of Life.
In the upcoming weeks, I hope that together we can meet and talk. I would love to meet individually and as groups. I am in the process of planning several meetings to talk UMC 101, Biblical Interpretation, and making disciples. If you cannot attend the first meeting – don’t worry, there will be others and I am available to talk about it individually. Other dates are forthcoming.
Wednesday June 26 6-7:30 – Church wide potluck –
We will discuss what has happened and is happening in the United Methodist Church and what our hopes, dreams, and prayers are for this church. Come with a tasty dish to share and a hopeful heart.
Remember YOU are a child of God!