Thoughts from the Pastor
Over the last several years, the Christian church has been involved in a series of discussions, disagreements, and actions surrounding human sexuality. This topic of
our generation has captivated every major denomination of the Church and has led to policy changes and division.
In 2009, the ELCA adopted its current policy on human sexuality which resulted in 23 churches from the Southern Ohio Synod governance leaving the denomination altogether. As some of you may have heard, the United Methodist Church is currently in the midst of its own discussions and proposals surrounding this issue and are in the final stages of dealing with this seemingly divisive issue. At General Conference in 2016, the Commission on a Way Forward was tasked with coming up with a recommendation to present to a special called General Conference in February of 2019. This work has now come to a close and the Council of Bishops have submitted
their recommendation of a One Church Model to be published and voted on
in February 2019. This report will be available at the latest on July 8, 2018,
but preliminary information is coming out from various Bishops detailing
what their proposal may include.
The pending decision stands to have resounding effects both on the United
Methodist Church as a whole, but also could have an impact on our local
church bodies as well. For that reason, we are going to engage in some open forum discussions over the next several months so that everyone has an opportunity to understand, discuss, and ask questions so that we can all make the best decisions as to how our local churches and partnership moves forward. Our first meeting will be on June 10th at 6:30 PM at Grace UMC in the fellowship hall. This is open to all members and regular attendees from all three congregations and we will be focusing solely on the work of the Commission and the special called general conference. I invite you all to come and be a part of this discussion as we open ourselves to allow God to guide our churches through this moment of stress in one of our denominations.
Grace and Peace,