An update on the UMC

It’s been a few weeks since the Special General Conference met in St Louis where the majority of delegates made the decision to adopt the so-called “Traditional Plan.” Since the decision was made at the Special General Conference, we are in a holding pattern. The plan that was passed is to be review of the denominations’ Judicial Council later this month.  Certain parts of the plan were already deemed to be at odds with the church’s constitution.  If this continues to be the case after further review, that means that the plan that was adopted at the Special General Conference will be overturned and we go back to the language of the current Book of Discipline. Any decisions that are not found to be in conflict with the church’s constitution will be put into effect on January 1, 2020. Then, in May 2020, there will be another session of the General Conference that may further review and act on these matters.

The tension between within the denomination cannot continue for long. Some sort of break seems to be coming. I hope that we might find some way for persons and congregations to part from each other with some sort of blessing rather than do any more harm.

It seems clearer to me than ever before that we are here at Calvary United Methodist Church at this time in order to fulfill our stated mission “to seek and invite all persons to become disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our community and our world.”  As followers of Jesus, we are called to love and respect every person, including those with whom disagree.  We are also called to love those that are different from us. Anybody can love the people that we already agree with and love us back. The real test for the follower of Jesus is to love as Jesus loved.

It is vitally important that we keep striving to be faithful and obedient to God’s call, as we understand that call:

  • to do ministry and service to all persons.
  • to love God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength
  • and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

When faced with challenges and questions, both from within and without, we can show the world what deep and genuine Christian faith can be. We have the opportunity to be deliberate and intentional in living out our faith in good times and in bad, in times of comfort and ease, as well as in times of testing and controversy. In Christ, we are called to do nothing less. What a witness that would be to the world!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Steve