April 2024 Newsletter – Pastor’s Page

Jared   -  

Hello Church!

As spring blooms and we welcome warmer temperatures, we bask in the glow of Easter and celebrate the warmth of God’s love through the resurrection of Jesus. The Easter season spans 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. It’s a season of renewal, of new life, and of divine discovery. Long ago during this season, the disciples began to fully grasp the meaning of the resurrection. Their experience, knowledge, and wisdom were guided by the Spirit, and the church was born!

Beginning April 23, our elected lay and clergy delegates from our worldwide denomination will gather in Charlotte for our General Conference. This conference is the 2020 conference, finally taking place after a long delay because of COVID. Over 800 delegates will meet in Charlotte, NC to use their experience, knowledge, and wisdom – guided by the spirit – to help our churches live into our calling for the season ahead! It is an exciting time, but one that our delegates approach with great humility and care.

Each day of the conference is filled with worship, prayer, committee meetings, legislative plenary sessions, informational presentations by bishops and conference agencies, and meals. The primary goals for General Conference are to pass a four-year budget for our general ministry agencies and adopt policies, procedures, and legislation that guide our denomination into the future.

However, this General Conference is slightly different. Since the 2019 conference, about 25% of our UMC local churches have disaffiliated from the denomination because of issues with policy around human sexuality. Many of those disaffiliated churches were from the Southeast U.S. and conservative.

This change provides an opportunity for our denomination to move forward on important issues that have caused conflict for decades. Delegates are calling these issues the three R’s – Regionalization, Restrictive Language Removal, and Revised Social principles.

Regionalization legislation hopes to reshape the structure of our worldwide denomination. Adopting a more equal regional model will distribute power more equitably across the UMC, and it will allow regions to adapt the Discipline for the purpose of culture and mission.

Removing Restrictive Language will remove exclusionary language against LGBTQ+ people. This change would not permit ordination or same-sex marriage, but it would remove a roadblock that has been in place since 1972. The next step would toward full inclusion of the LGBTQ+ Christian community would require additional legislation at later General Conferences.

Revising our Social Principles would update our social witness language from topics such as polygamy, agriculture, and other theologically relevant global issues. Over 4,000 United Methodists have contributed to proposed revisions for this General Conference.

You can learn more at https://www.umnews.org/en/news/us-delegates-name-general-conference-goals or https://www.resourceumc.org/en/churchwide/general-conference-2020. Have questions? Reach out to Pastor Jared of our Mountain Sky Conference Co-Lay Leader Nancy Flint. Please keep our Mountain Sky Delegates and the General Conference in your prayers in the coming weeks.


Pastor Jared