Church-wide Town Hall Meetings

We hosted members and regular guests to attend two events, offered in a question and answer format, to listen and learn around the direction for our local church as it moves into the future with the United Methodist Church. These documents help us to continue in a prayerful conversation that is touched with grace and truth.

  • Bishop Bryan offers a personal update on where we are as a denomination with the Commission
    on a Way Forward and the proposed called General Conference session.

  • Responding to an outpouring from local church leaders, the Bishops have started the process of an early General Conference - the only body who can amend the laws of the UMC - for early 2019. The purpose would be to receive the report of the Special Commission and have the delegates vote on its implementation, or consideration of alternatives.
    The date, which seems far off, takes into account the need 1) to give the Special Commission 12+ months to meet and pray about A Way Forward, and 2) to allow for the needed time to receive and publish materials for the delegates and larger church.
    This can be received as good news!

  • Making rulings in 11 cases from annual conference, three of cases dealt with matter of sexuality. The Judicial Council is the highest judicial body in the UMC (made up of 5 laypersons and 4 clergy-persons who are elected as volunteers to serve 8 years). 

    Each of the rulings upheld the current language of the Book of Discipline. 

    Their Spring 2017 Docket includes a ruling on the election of

    Bishop Oliveto in the Western Jurisdiction.

  • Some have asked about where they might send correspondence with leaders within the UMC. This list of mailing addresses is provided to assist our people in sharing their hearts with those over leadership in our denomination.

  • A pastoral letter to our congregation written the week after the election of Karen Oliveto to the office of Bishop in the UMC. It outlines the events taking place within the Connection, considers that the bible does and does not say on the matter of sexual orientation and practice, and offers an early take on what God is calling us to do in the present moment.

  • Written as a part of the discernment process for delegates of the Southeastern Jurisdiction before voting in July 2016 for Elders to serve as Bishops of the Church. The question on page 10 is particularly relevant to our conversation on sexuality

    and non-compliance within the UM Connection.

  • An email outlining how giving in the local church and annual conference is

    divided up and distributed.

  • A self-described progressive on the issue, the Rev. Tom Berlin serves a large church in Virginia. His description here can help us understand how people are divided on the issue. Conservatives see the Bible as the authority while others are reading the same Bible differently. It is helpful to hear the approach of both sides, in order
    to engage each other in conversation.

  • Titled, Family Systems and the UMC, and published on August 23, 2016, this piece considers possible benefits of the Judicial Council's decision to push a ruling until Spring 2017 and how some will perceive this as another instance of
    'kicking the can down the road.'

  • The trust clause is actually a 'conservative' item with our denomination and a few others, namely the Episcopal Church. It has been upheld in every state and at the US Supreme Court. It protects the local congregation and larger denomination from 'hostile takeovers' that would see church property used outside of the historical designation as a Methodist place of worship of God. The property of Bonaire UMC belongs to the annual conference.