A WAY FORWARD...

In case you may be unaware, the United Methodist Church (the world-wide one, not just Memorial UMC) is currently trying to address an issue that has increasingly become a factor in the way we engage the world around us in ministry.  This issue stems from a statement found in the United Methodist Book of Discipline under a section of the "Social Principles", called "The Nurturing Community".  The statement addresses the issue of "Human Sexuality".  Amid a lot of other information about where the United Methodist Church stands on various issues, the statement in question currently reads: 

"The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching."

2016 GENERAL CONFERENCE
Regardless of where you may stand personally on this issue, the church has found itself in a crisis between people who feel that this statement does accurately reflect how the Christian Church should approach Human Sexuality AND those who have found themselves "bending (and in some cases, breaking) the rules" in an effort to be able to adequately minister to the people in their ministry context.  It became so much of a polarizing issue at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference (a 4-year meeting of clergy and laity that helps shape the polity of the United Methodist Church), that a special, unprecedented, "mid-quadrennium" General Conference was called by the Council of Bishops that will meet in February 2019 to discuss just this one issue (HERE is the Statement from the Council of Bishops) .

COMMISSION ON A WAY FORWARD
In preparation for this "mid-quadrennium" General Conference, a 32-member task force known as "The Commission on a Way Forward" was also established to study this issue and create a report that would help guide the discussions and decisions at the General Conference. This Commission has now concluded their findings and has published their report which will be evaluated at the 2019 General Conference. 

2018 WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
At the Western North Carolina 2018 ANNUAL Conference we had the opportunity to hear from Bishop Ken Carter who is one of the moderators on the "Commission on a Way Forward" and he gave us a special report from the Commission so that we might have some insight into the Commission's process and possible direction.  HERE is a video of Bishop Carter's remarks

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS?
Last Wednesday Night we had the opportunity to watch this video of Bishop Carter, which sparked some great discussion and raised some questions that we hope to address here:

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Some people wanted to make sure that their voice was heard and that the delegates who would be voting and discussing this issue at General Conference know where they stand.  HERE IS A PAGE TO LEAVE ANONYMOUS COMMENTS for the General Conference delegates from our Annual Conference.
"LISTEN SESSIONS", designed to provide our General Conference Delegates more feedback, are currently being developed.  As soon as we have the list of these, we will publish it so that you can attend and find out more!

STAY UP TO DATE
HERE ARE THE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE COMMISSION.
HERE IS THE COMMISSION'S FACEBOOK PAGE.
HERE IS THE COMMISSION'S TWITTER FEED.
HERE IS THE COMMISSION'S INSTAGRAM PAGE.
EMAIL CONTACT: wayforward@umcom.org