Below is a recent post from Pastor David’s realm group, “Leadership Matters…”. To join this group, get connected at fumcwp.org/realm.
March 4, 2020
“I have been encountering a lot of confusion about the upcoming vote at General Conference. There is a good reason for this. It’s confusing! Here are a couple of things (I believe) are relevant to the upcoming gathering of United Methodist representatives from around the world.
- General Conference will meet in Minneapolis, MN from May 3 to May 15th.
- General Conference occurs every 4 years (unless a special session is called as in 2019).
- At General Conference, elected representatives vote on the business of the denomination.
- · This May, one of the items being presented for vote is called Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.
- The Protocol has been supported by many different groups in the United Methodist Church.
- The Protocol lays out a template for conferences and churches that wish to separate from the UMC to follow.
- You can read the Protocol through this link https://cdnsc.umc.org/-/media/umc-media/2020/01/03/15/48/Protocol-of-Reconciliation-and-Grace-through-Separation.
- There is no guarantee that the Protocol will pass. Or that it won’t be amended.
- There are multiple proposals that will be presented at General Conference.
- We won’t know what will happen with the Protocol until May.
- There will follow a period of months and years for implementation.
Based upon this, it is too early to be talking about any local church vote. We don’t know if there will be a vote. We don’t know what that vote will be about. We don’t know what the options will be for us to vote towards. We will have to address this post General Conference.
In the meantime, I want to focus on how we at FUMC Winter Park can have the one spirit Paul talks about in Philippians 2. What are some ways we as a church can respond to General Conference that build a united heart rather than create winners and losers?
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:1-4
Peace be with you!”
~Rev. David Miller, Senior Pastor