Dear Parker UMC Family,
By now you have likely seen on some news outlets or social media platforms a news story that was released yesterday (January 4, 2020) regarding the future of the United Methodist Church and a proposed separation plan. I want to clarify any confusion by sharing with you information that comes from the source of the proposal as released by our Council of Bishops. The below link spells out a proposal for the gracious separation of the United Methodist Church as we have understood it.
Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation:
What makes this proposal unique is that the group of United Methodists who authored this proposal are persons who have been significant voices across the spectrum regarding human sexuality and the future of the United Methodist Church. This gives some weight to this proposal because these persons unanimously agreed to this endeavor.
My former colleague in ministry, Bishop Gregory Palmer, participated in the group shaping this proposal and his reflections are helpful. “Some of you may be wondering how this may impact you. I offer this: keep loving and serving Jesus. Keep loving and serving your neighbor. Keep loving and serving your church and community. There is no immediate impact. This proposal is currently in a narrative format and legislation is being developed. Only the 2020 General Conference can take decisive action. The General Conference will take place on May 5-15 in Minneapolis. If this approach is adopted, it will provide a clear level field for conferences and local churches to make decisions if they feel they need to make one. It is crucial to understand that no entity is required to vote to stay or go unless they want to do so.”
Friends, our nature is to want to be proactive. Please keep in mind that there is nothing around which we can plan until the General Conference adjourns. Only then will we know what decisions have been made. Additionally, it is important to know that local churches like ours will not have to respond immediately to whatever is decided. There will be a process laid out that will give a significant timeline for living into it.
The most proactive thing you can do now is to pray for the United Methodist Church at this challenging time that even with disagreements among our members, the way we live into a new future and the way we treat each other will honor Jesus – the Lord of the Church.
In the meantime, we will stay focused on the mission that God has placed before us at Parker UMC and continue to endeavor to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Rev. Barb Sholis
Senior Pastor, Parker UMC
PUMC Winter Seminar; Being a Non-Anxious Leader in Anxious Times
This seminar will be led by Rev. Bill Selby, Center for Pastoral Effectiveness of the Rockies. What raises your anxiety level? Do you know how to handle that anxiety? How do you step back and figure out your next steps? How do you set boundaries in an anxious system while remaining fully invested? Whether you are an employer, an employee, a parent, a spouse, a congregation member or a leader in the community, this seminar will help you become more healthy in every setting!
January 31st, 6:00-8:45 p.m. and February 1st, 8:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Cost is $10 with a soup supper and continental breakfast provided. Childcare is also provided. RSVP to Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org