The following is a letter from our conference Bishop, Gregory V. Palmer, regarding the plan for the proposed separation of the United Methodist Church. We are asked to read and understand this information, directly from the group of individuals that created the plan. Please know that at High Street ALL are welcome, and that will always be the case. We will continue to love and serve as Jesus did!
By now, many of you have heard or read the headlines regarding the future of The United Methodist Church and a proposed separation plan. Headlines are often deceiving which may increase the number of visitors to their social media channel but often confuse the reader. Depending on the news outlet you frequent, their interpretation of the proposal may affect your immediate response. For that reason, I urge you to refer to the following information.
The first link will be found on the West Ohio Conference website. This information comes directly from the group who created the plan. I was a member of that team. After reading the document, please take time to read the links within the story, too. United Methodist News has provided this interpretation: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/diverse-leaders-group-offers-separation-plan
As I stated earlier, I was a part of the group that developed and supports this plan. Our process was robust, prayerful, respectful and hopeful. The hope is to offer something to the delegates that will assist in managing well the change that is already afoot.
Some of you may be wondering how this may impact you. I offer this: keep loving and serving Jesus. Keep loving and serving your neighbor. Keep loving and serving your church and community. There is no immediate impact. This proposal is currently in a narrative format and legislation is being developed. Only the 2020 General Conference can take decisive action. The General Conference will take place on May 5 – 15 in Minneapolis. If this approach is adopted, it will provide a clear, level field for conferences and local churches to make decisions if they feel they need to make one. It is crucial to understand that no entity is required to vote to stay or go unless they want to do so.
There will be opportunities for you to learn more in the days and weeks to come. United Methodist News intends to write a series of articles. A livestream event will take place on Monday, January 13th to provide further clarity and explanations of the plan. Once we receive more details about the livestream event, we will make them available on the conference website and social media channels.
In hope and prayer that we will all be indefatigable in pursuit of the mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
Your servant through Jesus,
+Gregory V. Palmer
High Street United Methodist Church is located in Springfield, OH.