In the wake of the Special Session of General Conference in February, many conversations have started to take place regarding the future of the United Methodist Church. In February, delegates from around the world voted to embrace “The Traditional Plan” which tightens the ban on gay clergy and same-sex unions. These changes to the United Methodist Book of Discipline go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Judicial Council, which is a diverse nine-member group of clergy and laity, met to review all of the legislation that was addressed at the Special Session in St. Louis in February. They upheld the majority of the decisions made including an exit path for churches that choose to leave the denomination.
Conversations are taking place all over the country and the world regarding the future of United Methodism. Here are a few gatherings that will help shape our future:
May 20-23: “UMC Next” will gather in Kansas City to pray and discern a way forward for congregations who seek a more inclusive path than the decision made by the Special Session of General Conference. Invited representatives from annual conferences will gather at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection to worship, pray, and discern options. Rev. Dr. Cathy Johns, one of our senior pastors, will be attending as one of West Ohio Conference’s representatives.
June 2 – 6: West Ohio Annual Conference will be held at Lakeside. Delegates will be elected to attend the General Conference in May 2020 in Minneapolis.
June 11: The HPC Way Forward Task Force, composed of nine laity and our senior pastors, will begin to meet. They will explore options and seek direction as we move forward. Dr. Al Painter, the chair of the Servant Leadership Board, will chair.
Summer/Fall: Listening Sessions will be held at Hyde Park Community to help discern our way forward as a faith community. Multiple options will be discussed to continue as a strong, vibrant church that changes lives for Christ locally and globally.
A Church Conference will be held to vote on the recommendation of the HPC Way Forward Task Force. All members will have voice and vote.
Your prayers for bishops, church leaders, laity, clergy, and your church staff are deeply appreciated during this season of listening and waiting for God to direct our path. As always, we are here to listen to your questions and concerns.
Pastor Cathy & Pastor Doug