Leader Update - March 17, 2019

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I have said in several places that the conversations about decisions at General Conference will continue. We finished the 3 planned Info Sessions on GC Tuesday morning. We (Lori, Isaac, and I) gave  everyone  an opportunity to ask questions at these sessions. We used a “paper” method whereby folks would write their question(s), the questions would be collected with Isaac and Lori sorting through them to see if any could be grouped together, and then I did my best, with their help, to answer those questions.  The questions and responses (which we’re referring to as FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions) will be available to everyone (both electronically and on paper) later this month. My answer to some of the FAQs, especially related to demographic breakdown both in the USA and outside of the country, were simply and honestly “I don’t know, I’ll try to find out.” Numerous FAQs about the policy, practice, and structure of the UM Church were asked and there will be some opportunities to learn more about that in coming months.

Questions were asked about the Bible and interpretation of Scripture. The book “Living Faithfully” continues to be a good resource to read and then begin some conversation. In addition, we are considering one or two sessions on interpreting the Bible – the process of how different groups of good intentioned people come to different conclusions.  Dates have not yet been determined.

If you have questions, after having read the FAQs or if it wasn’t clear and you need more information, please ask. When the FAQs are published, there will be a place to ask any unasked questions at the end of the document. Then, after a season, those will be answered and published for everyone to read. If writing a question on paper is your preference, see Angie or Amanda at the Connections Atrium Kiosk on Sunday mornings, or stop by the church office during the week, or simply drop a note in the mail. On Sunday mornings, my mind is fairly focused on worship services, so please help me by not giving me your questions either verbally or on paper. Give them to Angie or Amanda at the Connections Atrium Kiosk or use the electronic form. Thank you in advance for your help.

As more information becomes available, it will be passed along, especially following the Judicial Council meeting on April 24 & 25. My encouragement is to hold steady a bit. I’m not sure today how long a bit is, but I am convinced that we need to. We, as Calvary, need to pray about what being in the center of God’s will looks like for us.  We are not of one mind in the matter, not even close. Uniformity may not be achievable or even desirable in this matter; however, unity in the middle of struggle might be our way forward.

Praying for each of you, for our Church family at Calvary, and for the whole UMC.

Blessings and peace!