UMC Mediation in the News

UMC Mediation in the News

January 05, 2020 | Lisa Degrenia

Passage: Psalms 46:1-11

    In the last few days, most major news outlets ran stories on a potential split in the United Methodist Church. Hearing this news brought up many feelings and questions for me.

    What did it bring up for you?

     After worship, we’ll be emailing a link to an article with the most accurate information. The article includes links to the actual mediation document and a frequently asked questions article. We’ll also have copies in the church office. I encourage you to read it.

    United Methodist Traditionalists, Centrists, Progressives & Bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

    We will be reading this article together tomorrow - Monday, January 6 – at the Leadership Council Meeting. The meeting begins at 6:00 pm in Haley Hall. You are welcome to attend.  

    The mediation document is a proposal, not a decision. Those who can make a decision for our denomination will gather in May in Minneapolis. This group is called The General Conference and is made up of United Methodist laity and clergy from around the world.

    Here’s some background information to give you some context. It’s quoted from the Frequently Asked Questions Document

    For the past 47 years, The United Methodist Church has struggled unsuccessfully to achieve consensus and compliance with regard to matters of human sexuality. The Special Session of General Conference in 2019 caused significant harm. This work is a significant attempt to not replicate the mood or climate created in St. Louis in 2019. It acknowledges that even in the midst of faithful attempts to stay together, we no longer can remain as one denomination. The divisions are simply too vast. This work is important because it provides a pathway of reconciliation and grace through separation and offers us an opportunity to bless and send one another into a new reality rather than continue to fight and rend our way into irrelevance and destruction.

    This latest attempt at a path forward is new for all of us. There are still many questions. As I know more I will continue to share. Be on the lookout for upcoming times of prayer, listening, and discussion.

    Hear this my dear ones:

    God is faithful and true and at work. God is Sovereign. Jesus is Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit still speaks and transforms. No human decision changes this.

    We are all made in the image of God. All have sacred worth.

    We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. All are in desperate need of forgiveness and salvation.

    Our mission has not changed- Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World

    Our vision has not changed- God is love. We are called to share that love and the hope we’ve found in Jesus Christ with all people. 

    No matter what is decided, people will leave and people will come.

    No matter what is decided, it will not be a magic bullet to kill the church nor a magic bullet to revive the church.

    God will redeem the pain and harm we’ve caused one another. Let it end now. 

    Our denomination is a 12 million-member global church representing very different cultures and values. Likewise, our congregation is diverse in many ways, including strong convictions on these issues and other issues. It’s been this way for a long time.

    Look around this room. What do you see? Who do you see?

    We are not issues; we are people, faithful real people drawn together by our need and love of Christ.

    What are we to do? Love one another and serve one another. Love and serve Sarasota. In doing so, we love and serve God.

    They will know we are Christians by our love, our love made real in our words and actions, in the way we honor one another and work together in the midst of our differences. The world needs to see this. 

    I love you and respect you no matter your position on this issue or any other issue. I will continue to serve you with every ounce of grace, strength, and skill the Holy Spirit empowers in me and through me. Do the same.   

    Series Information

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