I'm Confused

I am confused. Why are we here?

In recent months, I have tried to include something related to the division within United Methodism in my newsletter article. And…each month, I think I have made it more confusing. You may say, “so, Pastor, why do you keep doing it?” I do it because even though you may think that none of this affects LeValley or Berlin Center Churches, it will in the not too distant future. We will have to make a decision as to the affiliation of our churches.

My colleague, Tom Anderson, wrote an article about the launch of the Global Methodist Church. I have copied a portion of it and am including it in my letter to you because I think it puts the values of the Global Methodist Church and what would be the new United Methodist Church in perspective and perhaps makes it all a little easier to understand.

“Why are we here? The United Methodist Church is fractured beyond repair. It faces an internal debate that is destroying the mission of the church. The crux of this debate is on the authority and interpretation of scripture. Issues of human sexuality are like an oil light on the dashboard of your car. The light itself is not the problem–only a symptom of something seriously wrong in the engine.

The Global Methodist Church is seeking a return to the Biblical values of the Wesleyan movement. The goal is to restore the spiritual vitality of Methodism which has been lost. It’s wrong to let others define our movement negatively–as one that is against those who struggle with sexuality. Now is the time to boldly declare that we are a Holy Spirit-inspired movement to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.

The situation we are in is confusing. If you want to keep the Biblical, Wesleyan values of Methodism you need to leave the United Methodist Church. If you want to abandon many of those distinctives then you need to stay in the United Methodist Church. Though it seems a weird dichotomy, we need to clearly state this choice to churches and clergy who are considering the Global Methodist Church.”

As I have pondered the issue for the last several months, more accurately for the last several years, I have been confused. And, if I, as a pastor and someone who has been involved in the issue more closely, am confused, I can understand why all of you don’t get it.

I compare our issues to a plant that has grown and grown and gotten so big, it is being strangled by its roots and needs to be split, or it will die. As the United Methodist Church has grown across the United States and congregations have become more diverse, I think many of them have begun to align themselves with the culture, rather than encouraging the culture to align with Christ and the truth of the Scriptures. Many Wesleyan denominations have been birthed since John and Charles started Methodism in the early 1700s.

 Annual Conference is June 1st through the fourth at Grand Traverse Resort in Acme. Nichea VerVeer Guy is a delegate to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church and is part of Annual Conference Leadership. She has agreed to come and speak with you about the future of the United Methodist Church later in June, when her commitment to Annual Conference is completed. I have also arranged for a representative of the Global Methodist Church to join with her to share the perspective of what the future looks like for each denomination and to take questions from church members as to how, why, and when this will occur. I hope when a date and time is set, that each of you will put it on your calendar and plan to attend.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28(NIV)

May it be so for each of us as we walk in faith in Jesus Christ as a member of the body of Christ.

 

Pastor Nancy

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