RECAP OF COFFEE WITH THE PASTOR – Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Pastor Dave begins with an update on the UMC. He wants us to understand that our denomination is organized around a model of a worldwide church called a Conference which is held every four years. Delegates from all over the world gather to discuss rules, policies, and issues of the day. The last Conference that we held was in 2016. At that time the church almost fell apart because of two issues which are same sex marriage and the the ordination of practicing homosexuals. The book of discipline is what is opened at the general conferences reviewed is open to be changed. Some parts will never be changed but many aspects are open to vote. What they determined to do at the last convention was to establish a committee that would look into these two issues so that our church to as we have and make a determination at a later time.
The committee held a special conference and produced initially two different proposals. The one church model essentially stated that as a denomination we are prepared to live with the difference of opinions on these two issues. That was the popular model, and it was expected that model would be approved. The other proposal presented was to break the church up into regional parts.
Once the session was held on the two models neither model was considered for even a vote. The traditional plan has been in place for about 50 years and was accepted. The traditional model would remove Pastors and Bishops who were practicing homosexual and would possibly affect homosexual members. Going into 2020 there had been an idea put forth that would allow a church to decide rather they wanted to stay within the denomination or leave. There is no model that would allow this to happen so the process would be complicated. Then Covid 19 came into our lives, so no decision has been made as of yet and the conference was cancelled.
Now we are waiting for the 2020 General Conference to be held in August 2022, however now we have another Covid variant which could postpone our conference again. Many people are hoping that we will wait until 2024 until Covid has moved past us. In the midst of all this there has been a protocol for separation that had been developed but has not yet put in please which would allow the church to vote for segments of the church to leave with no strings attached, property or anything else. This protocol is named the Global United Methodist Church. This hasn’t happened yet.
What happened recently was because of the concern about the covid variant, representatives from countries who do not have access to vaccines would be able to receive them through a fund raising method. There is a push back against this which would result in the postponement of the General Conference until 2024. This is unacceptable to those who wish to leave the church and would cause a lot of problems for everyone concerned.
Pastor Dave will keep us informed as developments happen. As this is just a brief recap of a very complicated issue, you are encouraged to listen to the broadcast in its entirety on FACEBOOK, Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church page.
Pastor Dave wishes you God’s blessings.
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Submitted by Lorna Magliaro, Adm. Assistant