Way Forward Sketches Ideas to Present to Bishops

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Reading the comments tells me that no way forward is possible. Obviously, the commentators are sincere people with no sake in institutional Methodism but hold deep convictions. As a commentator has written: "SEPARATION has already started. No principled progressive will allow what he or she considers as homophobic bigotry anywhere in the connection. Likewise no traditionally minded Wesleyan Christian with integrity could live with diametrically opposed theological constructs all for the sake of the institution.

Steven Vornov 295 days ago

Excuse me. I saw no "sketch", read no detail in your blog...

"As with its previous meetings, the group’s fifth gathering on Sept. 18-20 was open only to members, the three bishop moderators and invited guests." So, from all over the world, these elites went, at great expense, mostly to UMC lay givers, to get to know each other, respect each other, eat with each other and compare "feelings", but did not want any outside inter-action and certainly no press reports about what was discussed? How arrogant, how insulting, how expensive! Why go to Germany, or Chicago or anywhere if not to interact with the Methodists there, to ask, to listen
For all the expenses, they surely ignored the main point: The SEPARATION has already started. Some churches are already filing to leave. I am an average Methodist. I have mostly stopped going and stopped giving - in other words, I have already separated. Looking at our sanctuary on Sundays, I am not alone. We see the way forward to be charade of attempts to find something that will never be there. Their mission is to find a way to re-write the Book of Discipline, and the values we have accepted since childhood, but keep us old geezers giving. Too late. We're onto it!
Last year, UMC lost 100,000 members (even more, like me, just stopped going). If the average collection from us was $2,000 per year, that is a loss of $200,000,000 gross. When the Episcopal church caved to the cancer of liberalism, their annual member loss nearly tripled. They have closed hundreds of churches. Apply the same % to the UMC after all the fruits of all these secret meetings are made public, that will be serious money! Bye-bye big bucks for retirements, for cushy offices and retreats, for aid to Africa. Many UMC conferences will be DOA PDQ.
I suggest they stop spending big bucks trying to get to know and respect and love each other, and face the reality: The issues are non-negotiable! The split has started, deal with it! Let's have the "Traditional Methodist Church" for us and "The Methodist Church-of-What's-Happening-Now" for them. No shared clergy, conferences, money,etc. Remember: There are other churches to go to or simply no church for those of us who are happy to pray alone. Life without covered-dish dinners would be tough, but we will survive. Life without this constant vitriol will be much more enjoyable and certainly less expensive for everyone and we can all focus on worship in the way most appropriate for us. Please!

Reese Turner 297 days ago

Way Forward

UMC can quote scripture & discipline all day long but it a girls it's duty to actually toss out clergy who refuse to obey the published discipline that they took their ordination oaths to. Satan is eating Methodism for lunch. Mass UMC membership exit about to happen (??)

Blake White 297 days ago

Really

“We are the one Body of Christ with many members, and God uses this diversity to offer grace and healing to the world.”
The United Methodist Church is not the 'one Body of Christ". We are only one branch of it that came into being in the 1700's when John Wesley sought to provide a "practical religion for a plain people" that was rooted in the historic Christianity that had been held by the Church--the true 'one Body of Christ"--since its inception. Wesley borrowed what he perceived as best from multiple faith traditions, stirred in an understanding of "going on to perfection" in this life and produced an understanding that, while holding some things in common with other faith traditions, was at the same time uniquely Methodist. This morass of theological diversity the church is currently mired down in is not an accurate understanding of Methodism as conceived by the Wesley brothers.

Betsy 299 days ago

Hatred

A way forward that permits any portion of the UMC to continue to legalize hatred towards the LGBT community will push me permanently from the church.

Ben 299 days ago