February is coming! By February - I do not mean winter (although the suggestion is intentionally implied), I do not mean Valentine’s Day (I’m wary of chocolate temptation), and I do not mean Lent (that starts March 6 on Ash Wednesday). What do I mean? Special General Conference (February 23-26 in St. Louis MO). Rev. Baron of First UMC was kind to give me summaries of the 3 Plans that the Commission On a Way Forward presented to our last Annual Conference (Amanda Smith-Lucier, our Lay Member to Conference, gave a verbal recap during worship and also at Church Council). The Three Plans are: the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan, and the Traditionalist Plan. The One Church Plan is the only plan recommended by majority of Council of Bishops and supported by majority of the Commission on the Way Forward. Information on the three plans is available in the Fellowship Hall (Basement of the Church) or please reach out to me for conversation (via phone, email, or in person).
The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968 - a year fraught with tension and division. In the midst of disunity in so many places, the Methodist Episcopal Church found a way to not only hold together but to also join with the Evangelical United Brethren. Issues of racism and equality for women threatened the merger and the continuation of the denominations. Through commitment to the unity found in the Holy Spirit and the gentle guidance and reliance upon God, we successfully merged and have continued to grow in connection and grace for 51 years. Please - Please - PLEASE, continue to hold in prayer all who will be meeting in St. Louis as well as all who will be affected by the decisions made there (the Whole Church).