A Way Forward

 

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

As the United Methodist Church is dividing over the issue of inclusion and sexuality, the future of individual congregations will be decided by voting members of local churches. The faithful will discern God’s will and direction through prayer, devotions, listening and learning, all the while avoiding conflict  resulting from attempts to change the minds of those with deeply seated beliefs and values. Faithful Christians can respectfully disagree while living in peace.

At the June meeting of our Leadership Ministries Team, a Ministry Action Plan (MAP) was presented by Kellianne Williams on behalf of several church leaders titled “A Way Forward.” It was thoughtfully discussed and approved, outlining the necessary preparations that the Rush United Methodist Church can make, such that members will be able to make an informed decision regarding our future when that time comes. The approved MAP titled “A Way Forward” can be downloaded here. If you would like to assist in the effort to prepare our congregation, speak with Kellianne.

I support the MAP and recommend the following ways for every member to become better informed:

  1. Read Way of the Wesley’s, by John Tyson. This is a history of the Methodist movement, written for laypersons. I found it informative and affirming.

  2. Read Our Social Principles at: https://www.umc.org/en/who-we-are/what-we-believe/our-social-positions

  3. Read Our Christian Beliefs, including the Articles of Religion and our Confession of Faith, at: https://www.umc.org/en/who-we-are/what-we-believe/our-christian-roots

  4. Subscribe to the United Methodist News Service, a weekly on line newsletter about the latest denominational news, at: https://www.umnews.org/en/subscription-pages/umnews-daily-digest-subscribe

  5. Learn about the new theologically conservative denomination, The Global Methodist Church, at: https://globalmethodist.org/

  6. Learn about the progressive Reconciling Ministries Network at: https://rmnetwork.org/

  7. Listen to the podcast series “Where Do We Go from Here, UMC?” hosted by the Rev. Molly Vetter. She interviews denominational leaders about the challenges ahead. She takes on issues from pensions and property to decolonizing the denomination, and everything in between.

  8. Attend “A Way Forward” educational townhall dish-to-pass dinners, starting Sunday, September 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm. We will discuss our baptismal and membership vows, our Wesleyan heritage, the current status of the denomination, the Global Methodist Church, the Reconciling Network, and congregational options. Future dates and times will be set at our first meeting.

 

Make room for the Holy Spirit to speak to you by listening, learning, and exploring who we are and where we are being led to go. The future of the Rush United Methodist Church is full of potential for disciple making, growth, and effective ministry. I look forward to the journey together.

With pastoral love,

 

 

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard