Special General Conference Session 2019 Recap

I want to start by saying that these are very difficult times for the United Methodist denomination but also for the many families and individuals who have a personal connection to this concern.

The General Conference special session called to address human sexuality in regard to marriage and ordination has come to a close. I think that many of us have been surprised by the outcome. The Traditional Plan was supported by a 449-374 vote (55% to 45%). This plan maintains the current direction for The United Methodist Church which does not allow same sex unions nor ordination of LGBTQ persons. Added to the current plan is a process to be followed if clergy, churches and/or annual conferences do not align their practices accordingly. Parts of the plan were ruled unconstitutional so they are still under consideration by the judicial committee. For now, nothing changes as nothing will take effect until January of 2020.

I am reminded of wisdom from the Book of Ecclesiastes as it is a message of hope.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other...And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9, 12)

This scripture reminds us that this is not the time to leave persons who are hurting, grieving and in pain-- nor is it a time for us to divide.   We are called to walk in the depths together. We are called to unite, to listen and love one another. No matter our differences, we are stronger together. God is in our midst desiring to weave us together and to unite us. Going forward, let’s continue to seek God faithfully through prayer for direction. I feel it is important for us to share time gathering together.  

 

Following the second worship service this coming Sunday, March 3rd at 11:45am, I invite you to join me and Adriane to briefly share with you about The Traditional Plan. We will answer questions and then close in prayer for the grief and the healing we need to experience as individuals, as a church and as a denomination.

Sunday, March 10, the District Superintendent, Rev. Chris Nunley will be at Carmel UMC at 6 pm in the sanctuary to address the churches in our district. This will be a gathering for prayer, listening, asking questions, and communion. All lay persons and clergy are invited.

I will address the Special General Conference briefly in my message this Sunday and hope that you will be present for the worship service but also for the time together following the service when we will have more in-depth time.

I want to also extend my appreciation for the strong leadership shown by the Bishops who sat in seats of leadership for our denomination. I cannot imagine the stress in moments they navigated. They ran the sessions with a steady hand and heartfelt concern surrounded by prayers of the body.

In closing, what is not changing is the vision statement of Carmel UMC as we are “connecting with God and others, growing our faith and love through biblical learning and serving our community and world as followers of Jesus Christ”. We have, and will continue to welcome persons no matter their gender, race, culture, politics, socio-economic status and sexual orientation with love and open arms. Every single individual is of sacred worth.

 Remaining prayerful, Pastor Patti

Bishop Trimble will be addressing the Indiana Conference through a statewide live telecast on Sunday, March 3rd. The nature of our Bishop's address is to inform us about any outcomes of the General Conference (February 23-26) and to share a word of initial thought on what those outcomes will mean for us going forward as the church of Jesus Christ in our mission fields in Indiana. 
 
The live telecast will be made available to you in several different ways. It will be available on Facebook at the Indiana Conference Facebook page. For those that do not have Facebook, the live stream will also be available on the Indiana Conference website. 

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