Time to Choose

The time has come for LeValley and Berlin Center to act as to the future of the two churches. Many are asking what are we going to do? There are those who say we don’t have to do anything, we can just continue as we are, but there are also those who say change is necessary.

That is why I have asked the two congregations to be in prayer for the next month and to participate in a straw poll on Sunday, May 21st. Depending on the results of the poll, a decision should be made to schedule Church Conferences with the District SUperintendent and conduct official votes of church members(only members will be eligible to vote) or, to do nothing more, and remain part of the United Methodist denomination. These would be church conferences, not a charge conference. Berlin Center and LeValley would vote separately.

What has brought us to where we are? Tension has been brewing in the United Methodist Church(UMC) for several years, largely going unnoticed by local congregation members uninvolved in the politics of the denomination.

With the postponement of the 2020 General Conference due to the COVID pandemic, the resolution of some of the tension was delayed and brought the issue to a head. The United Methodist Book of Discipline’s stance on human sexuality, that The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching, was being abused by Bishops and other church leaders, so more orthodox churches became fed up and started a movement to depart the UMC.

Awareness grew around the world as a schism in this world-wide connection known as the United Methodist Church developed exponentially. Because of the media, the word spreading from one church to another, and from one individual to another, people in our churches started talking and wanting information.

Last Fall, we invited a speaker representing the orthodox beliefs and a representative of the United Methodist Church to provide information and to answer questions. A clergy person from the Wesleyan Covenant Association came at the request of some church members to talk about disaffiliation.

I have included in this newsletter two articles, one with questions and answers from the United Methodist Church and one from me with some “food for thought.”

I hope each of you will be able to attend church on May 21st to participate in the straw poll. Even though you would have to be a member to vote at a church conference, you do not have to be a member to take part in the poll.

Please know that I am committed to encouraging LeValley and Berlin Center to be the churches you have always been. Our arguments and concerns shouldn’t be with one another but with our larger denomination. My hope is whatever happens over the next few months, we can focus our purpose on “Putting Jesus First”.

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.

Hebrews 13:1(NIV)

Love in Christ,

Pastor Nancy