From Pastor Jim – January 17, 2019

Special General Conference  (UMC) – February 2019.

We are United Methodists and part of a global connection that is in mission to all the world. The whole UMC has as its stated mission:  “To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world!”

In February “The General Conference” will be addressing a number of matters including the definition of what constitutes a marriage. Currently our position is that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. Much of the discussion has actually centered around the difference of opinion regarding the authority of the Scriptures. On the one hand are those who believe the Scriptures have been given to us through the activity of the Holy Spirit and thus they are the foundation of all our doctrines and practices. On the other hand are those who view the Scriptures as being of human origin and therefore open to change from historic understandings.

There are three options: 1) Keep things as they are.  2) Create 2 or 3 new Jurisdictions. (This is the most complicated version and will likely not get much traction).  3) Stay under one umbrella but let each congregation and each pastor decide what position to take.  This will of course make for a very challenging appointment process. And for those who believe this path would undermine the authority of Scripture, it becomes least tenable option.

The likelihood is that this vote will make the National/World News. The result of this conference is uncertain, however many believe that a strong possibility exists that the UMC will experience a schism. Whatever happens, Your Leadership Council is committed to continue our vision at Sanctuary to “Live Christ”, and pursue our mission to “Give Hope”.  We totally affirm the United Methodist Church’s mission to  “To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world!”

The Leadership Council is the highest administrative body of our church and has been carefully monitoring the progress of this issue. This very “pastoral team” is responsible for oversight of the entire church and serves as under-shepherds to Jesus Christ who is The Good Shepherd. We will make sure our congregation knows the result of the deliberations in February.  Furthermore we want to listen to your concerns.  Eventually we will issue a response to the rulings of the Special General Conference of February 2019.

Please make this a matter of prayer!

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