Dear John Wesley Church Family,
In the last couple of weeks, our denomination has been part of the headlines in the national and local news. Most of the headlines have not been reported correctly. The headlines have suggested our denomination has decided to split or part ways of the issue of human sexuality. This is not true for many reasons. First of all, no one speaks for the people of the United Methodist Church other than the General Conference. The General Conference does not meet until May 2020. Second, the most recent headlines came from a gathering of sixteen leaders in the United Methodist Church from different theological and sociological perspectives. This group created a piece of legislation to be voted on by delegates at General Conference in May 2020. Their recommendation is to maintain the United Methodist Church, but make it possible for churches and clergy who no longer want to be a part of the denomination to leave without punitive measures being taken. This is one of many pieces of legislation being brought before the delegates at General Conference in May 2020. Again, the General Conference is the voice of the UMC people, not a group bringing a piece of legislation.
Your pastors want you to know our denomination and church will possibly have some important decisions before us after the General Conference in May 2020. We are in a time of diverse opinions around human sexuality. We will address the decisions made at the 2020 General Conference together as a local church, especially if new legislation is passed for the denomination.
We will keep you updated on any additional information as we become aware of it. The Core Leadership Team is in conversation with our Pastoral Team about the current state of affairs in our denomination. I would invite you to read this post by Bishop Gary Mueller, he stresses the importance of the local church being united and strong. https://arumc.org/2020/01/its-still-about-your-church/
Please pray for God's hand to direct us as a denomination. Thank you for all you do to support the mission and ministry of John Wesley UMC.
Your friends and pastors,
Dr. Marty Dunbar, Sr. Pastor
Rev. Todd Cooper, Exec. Pastor
Rev. Cheryl Smith, Reach Pastor