1st, a step back. Ahead of the Western Jurisdiction conference the week of March 10th, this weblog ran a survey of non-Westerners. We had 328 responses, of which 279 have been from outdoors the West (and weren’t jerks filling it out telling us we necessary to “comply” with the UMC or “burn in hell” which I believe is not in the Western Jurisdiction at all!).
Even though the content material was shared internally and anonymously to the leadership, as far as reporting, here’s the very best I can do (responses do not equal 1 yet another due to the fact not just about every respondent filled in just about every query).
The following are summary photos of 3 of the survey queries:
In brief, there is a tremendous quantity of enthusiasm and assistance for the Western Jurisdiction to step forward in leadership, to step out of the secure haven it has created, and to collect other churches in risky ministry regions in a new way. So numerous areas require assistance, but require to be rooted exactly where they are. How can each occur?
So how did the Western Jurisdiction respond?
Official Response to GC2019
Here’s the official statement. I appreciate the preamble so a lot it demands to be quoted in complete:
A Statement by the Western Jurisdiction Leadership Group
Trusting in the Author of Life
who understands the blessings of diversity we fail to comprehend,
Inspired by the nonconforming Christ
who teaches us to defy oppression in all its types, and,
Guided by the Holy Spirit
who continually leads us by grace into abundant life,
We, laity and clergy, of the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church,
as 1 physique, deeply saddened and considerably harmed
by the rending actions of the 2019 Basic Conference,
Reaffirm our commitment to a radically hospitable church in two converging strategies.
The official response follows in two components:
- 1st, a statement by the Western Jurisidiction Leadership Group (complete disclosure: I was element of this voting group that unaninimously affirmed it) that we will not comply with the Conventional Strategy adjustments to the Discipline. Additional, the Western Jurisdiction is actively studying how to start out a new factor, either inside or outdoors of United Methodism.
- Second, a statement by the Mission Cabinet, which is mainly the Bishops and head conference leadership of the Western Jurisdiction. They give additional facts than the 1st section, affirming that they will assistance (not prosecute) pastors who are LGBTQ or that officiate exact same-gender weddings, and that they also are exploring all the possibilities going forward.
Click right here for additional. And you can view the initial video response right here.
What’s Subsequent? Attain Out!
Is the Western Jurisdiction responding to the survey of demands? It is also early to know. Definitely there will be provisions and assistance for people who are seeking to leave their regions and move to the Western Jurisdiction. But that is not all that is necessary: as Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “injustice anyplace threatens justice everywhere.” How do we assistance people who serve in rural Oklahoma or Florida or even downtown Houston?
Even though there are significant barriers to official relationships or adjustments of affiliation in the Discipline, the overwhelming response from the West is: We hear you. We require you. We want to assistance you. We do not know how at this time, but collectively we will confront the tough queries and come across answers collectively.
My hope for subsequent measures is twofold:
- If you are a church in the Western Jurisdiction, type a partnership with a Reconciling or affirming church in the South or Bible Belt. Share sources. Send books to them, acquire points from them. Make the give even if you do not know them. Do not be passive, be an active promoter of peace and justice!
- If you are a ministry outdoors the Western Jurisdiction, speak to your Regional Organizer in Reconciling Ministries or your annual conference progressives to see who can be of the very best aid at this time. Sign the open letters in your conference. Create letters to the editor of your regional news, and place up significant banners on your church. Be a living embodiment of the hashtag #NotAllMethodistsHateGays.
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