The Way Forward

Posted on October 21, 2018 at 8:57 pm by heatherscherer No Comment

Last week I attended the presentation from the Uniting Methodists regarding the proposal from the Commission on the Way Forward.  For those of you that do not know what this is, I will explain.  At the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, voting on issues of how the UM church is in ministry with and to the LGBTQ+ community became so cantankerous and dividing that the conversation and voting was stopped to try to find a less divisive way to address concerns and divisions.  A group of 32 people (from all over the world) was appointed to meet for the last two years and they were charged with the task of hearing each others stories and positions, creating new relationships with a diverse group of people and from that exchange suggest a way for the UM church to move forward in ministry together around this divisive issue.

(Now I’m tempted to ask the question why there are those who find this issue so inflammatory that they would draw a line of no compromise in the metaphorical sand but do not care about injustice or poverty which were HUGE issues Jesus wanted us to address but that will have to wait for another day.)

So this Commission knows that there is NO way to please everyone but their task was to find the compromise that most people could live with moving forward.  They presented to the Council of Bishops what they are calling the One Church Plan.  This plan acknowledged that it’s purpose was to keep people from lots of different mission fields and communities tied together under the United Methodist church.  In this plan, the Book of Discipline would be changed to say that the covenantal relationship of marriage would be between two adults rather then the traditional language of “a man and a woman.”

Basically this plan allows the individual church to decide if they want to allow same-sex marriages in their church facility.  It would end the bringing up of charges to ministers that wanted to officiate marriages between same-sex couples and it would not make any minister officiate in any marriage that they did not want to.  Each conference would continue to control the ordination of the ministers in their conference. This plan allows each church to determine it’s needs based on it’s mission field.

There are those who will find any compromise too much.  There are those who will refuse to allow any other congregation to serve in a way in which they do not approve.  There are those who will try to divide the church if they do not get there way.  I pray that these headstrong unyielding voices do not control all of our futures. I pray for the future of a church that claims to have open hearts and open doors.Facebooktwitterby feather

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