May 5-15, 2020, leaders from the United Methodist Church will gather for General Conference. General Conference is The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body and gathers every four years
On January 3rd, a group of leaders from the United Methodist Church released a joint proposal about the future of our denomination. These participating leaders represent a wide variety of theological and geographical perspectives. If you haven't had a chance to read the "Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation", you can do so here.
Following the announcement, Pastor Jonathan offered the following perspective for Herndon UMC:
This is a proposal, not a defined action. There are more steps to come that would allow something like this to be implemented, to include action by the General Conference. Any conversation that happens prior to General Conference is just that -- a conversation. Action will follow based on the will of those gathered as representatives in Minneapolis this May.
Herndon UMC has a wide range of perspectives in our population. Some of us will read this proposal and have a sense of hope, others might read it and have a tinge of worry, and even others might have both or neither of those feelings. No matter what your perspective is, know that I love you, God loves you and it is great to be doing church together. Over the coming months, we will have a lot to discern together. I believe in both of those words. Discernment, to me, means seeking God's will. How can we be the kind of church God desires for our community? And together, to me, means no one is left out. It is important that the diversity of perspectives in our community be represented well in the conversations we will need to have in the coming months. When we discern together, I believe we have the opportunity to hear the voice of God with clarity and perhaps in new and unexpected ways.
I encourage you to pray for the United Methodist Church, for Herndon UMC, and for the opportunities, God is giving us to live into our core values that God's love is real, God's love is active, and God's love is for everyone. I can't wait to see how God might be leading our church and community in the weeks and months to come.
If you would like to learn more about General Conference UM News is a good resource. Specifically, on the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation, UM News offers both a Frequently Asked Questions page and has links to a live-streamed panel discussion.
Pastor Jonathan held a Community Gathering on Sunday, February 9 to share information about proposed changes in the United Methodist Church. You can listen to the presentation online on SoundCloud.
Check back here for more updates as General Conference approaches.