Another church shared the following questions that would be a good context for reading the information on this page:
As we seek a path to the future God is calling us toward, we want to ask some key questions:
- What does God want for Temple?
- How will the decision we make reflect our faith in Jesus Christ and enhance our witness to Christ in Terre Haute?
- What is the mission of our congregation?
- How will the path we choose help or hinder our mission?
- Who will be hurt by our decision? Who will be encouraged?
- How will we ensure that all persons in our congregation are loved and cared for in the aftermath of such a decision?
- What are our hopes for the future of our congregation?
Links Added February 2023
North Central Jurisdiction “Queer Delegates Resolution” – (future of the UMC) our jurisdiction indicates the direction of the UMC with this resolution asking bishops and conferences to not pursue challenges to practicing homosexual ordinations or weddings.
Reconciling Ministries report on 2022 Jurisdictional Conferences around the US – [future of the UMC] – with a growing sphere of influence, Reconciling Ministries is celebrating most of what happened in Fall, 2022 Jurisdictional Conferences.
Commentary from the Left – [future of the UMC] Lonnie Brooks is a veteran of many General Conferences. He is a reasoned voice on the Left. In this commentary, he makes some predictions about the UMC’s political future.
The Cost of a Pastor in the GMC – [GMC info] The former treasurer of the Dakotas Conference shares some info about the GMC’s structure for pastoral support.
Tweaks Offered in the GMC – [comparing the denominations] – Bob Phillips’ writing is at times difficult to follow, but his points of difference may be important for some.
Comparing the UMC and GMC – [comparing the denominations] – There are lots of comparisons available (most of them in chart format). This one seems very simple (only 3 pages in paragraph format). It’s divided into three categories: things the two share in common; things that are slightly different; things that are dramatically different. I have no idea the original source, they only refer to the preparers as “we”.
Update on GMC – [GMC info] – Updated information about the GMC’s structure and establishment process. The source is Good News Magazine, but the author is the chief executive and administrative officer for the GMC during the transitional period of establishing the denomination.
Links Added After Sept. 1
Article about large New Orleans church – [discernment process] – I include this article not because the church is considering disaffiliation, but because of the quotations from the laity of the church. This is a decision the laity must make, so it’s refreshing to see laity seriously considering the theological implications.
Disaffiliation and the Coming Drop-Deadline – [timeline and analysis discussion] – Chris Ritter is a measured voice. In this article he explains very well the feeling of urgency being expressed by those in the disaffiliation camp. He also includes some good history and explains a wider scope of how we got to large numbers wanting to disaffiliate. I encourage you to read to the end, so you can get his 3 pieces of “advice to any congregation”.
Indianapolis UM Church publicly declares they’ll violate the Book of Discipline – [disorder] – While we aren’t sure what the fallout may be, St. Luke’s decided and announced they will allow same-gender weddings in their buildings and will allow their staff to conduct such ceremonies while acknowledging this is a violation of the Book of Discipline.
End of Recently Added Links
To set the stage for these links, I’ll use the words of a tweet from Bishop Scott Jones: “I admire those who are casting vision for both the #UMC and #GMC. And I want to suggest to you that I want to think the best of each group and say that this is what the next Methodism needs to look like. We need to be living deeply into what it means to be this kind of Christian.”
These links assume some understanding of where we are, and a bit of our history. If you do not have that base understanding, scroll down to the General Information Links table below and read up on some of the foundational info.
Two Methodisms: A Comparison Chart – [future of both churches] – This simple chart sets out to provide an accurate comparison of the Global Methodist Church and the post-separation United Methodist Church (also linked in General Info Links below)
Resolution Five – [future of Indiana UMC] – This resolution was passed at the Indiana Annual Conference 2022, and provides a glimpse at the future position of the UMC in Indiana.
Building Beloved Community – [future of Indiana UMC] – A resolution passed by the UMC North Central Jurisdiction, which includes Indiana, providing more context for the future of the UMC
#BeUMC – [reasons to stay UMC] – This is a site dedicated to providing information for local congregations to encourage commitment to the United Methodist Church
“A New Testament Vision for the Future of Global Methodism – An Interview with Matt O’Reilly” – [applying classical Wesley to the future] – via The John Wesley Institute
“The Global Methodist Church in the Public Square: Restraint and Modesty” – [future of UMC] – Walter Fenton via GMC.
“Gladly Choosing to Be United Methodist” – [reasons to stay UMC] – Adam Hamilton is featured in recorded webinar from an association of retired UM clergy formed in support of Bishop Oliveto.
Good News Magazine Six-Part Video Series on YouTube [conservative viewpoint] – (These are very helpful in seeing the scope beyond human sexuality issues from the conservative viewpoint.)
Part One: “The United Methodist Church is Divided and Dividing.”
Part Two: “Our Differences Regarding the Bible.”
Part Three “Our Differences Regarding Jesus.”
Part Four “Our Differences Regarding Sexuality.”
Part Five “Why It Is Time for Traditionalists to Leave.”
Part Six “Why Should We Go?”
Ten Reasons Why I’ll Join the Global Methodist Church – [reasons to consider GMC] – Rev. Jay Therrell shares the ten reasons he will join the Global Methodist Church
“Replenishing Hope: What Is the UMC Becoming?” – [progressive viewpoint] – by Reconciling Ministries via YouTube. Three panelists share their hope for the future of the UMC.
“Working Harder to Be Better” – [future of GMC] – Carolyn Moore
UM Fallout: A Compendium – [lots of resources here from multiple perspectives] – Chris Ritter provides dozens of updated links on the discussions among UMC and GMC people [Chris is a UMC pastor who has been DEEP in the attempts to keep the UMC from splitting. He is balanced in his approach, and provides links from multiple perspectives. This “compendium” grows regularly.]
The Beauty of Being United Methodist – [reasons to stay UMC] – Magrey deVega shares his heart for why he is proud to be a United Methodist, and why he’ll continue to be
15 Reasons for Affirming Same-Sex Relations and 15 Responses – [an answer to progressive viewpoints] – This resource is long (16 pages), but worth it! A pastoral paper written by Dr. Preston Sprinkle looks at reasons to consider changing our teaching on human sexuality and responses to those reasons
Arsenokoitai – [a deep dive into a contested Greek term] – This resource is terribly academic, so it may not be for everyone. Dr. Robert Gagnon takes a deep dive into the Greek word “arsenokoitai” and whether it could refer to the practice called ‘pederasty’ or not.
Why Are United Methodists At War? – [disorder] – This article gives a pretty good rundown of the current chaos in the UMC. The source is a group of religion journalists who look behind headlines at what they call “ghosts” behind many news stories.
Bishop Sprague Charges Dismissed – [disorder] – Bishop Joseph Sprague denied the physical resurrection of Christ among other shocking denials in a speech and in a book (Bishop Sprague on Resurrection). Charges were filed … and dismissed. No proceedings ever happened.
Anna Blaedel Charges Dismissed – [disorder] – Although the complaint here was definitely about sexual practice, summarily dismissing charges is a practice that has created “selective chaos” in the UMC.
Indiana Clergy Sign Newspaper Letter Decrying General Conference Decision – [disorder] – The 2019 General Conference was billed as the General Conference to settle the issue of homosexual practice in the UMC. Apparently, it didn’t.
Western Jurisdiction Elects Openly Gay Bishop – [disorder] – After the 2019 General Conference, the Western Jurisdiction elected an openly gay bishop in defiance of Church Law.
Methodist Bishop Says Jesus Was a Bigot – [disorder] – The divide is much wider than just sexual practice.
General Information Links
Below is a list of general information links to set the context of these considerations.
|GMC/UMC Compared||PDF Chart||Comparison||Right||comparing the likely future positions|
|Global Methodist Church||website||General||Information||Official website of GMC – including Book of Doctrines and Discipline|
|United Methodist Church||website||General||Information||Official website of UMC – tons of links & info|
|UMC Book of Discipline||online book||General||Information||United Methodist Book of Discipline|
|Reconciling Ministries Network||website||Likely UMC Future||Left||Reconciling Ministries is the preeminent group leading the effort toward LGBTQ+ ordination & weddings|
|Wesleyan Covenant Association||website||Likely GMC Future||Right||WCA was the driving force behind the launch of the GMC. They’re not focused on helping facilitate the departure of churches who feel they no longer belong in the UMC.|
|The Protocol||website||History||Information||The Protocol was a proposed amicable split. Once widely agreed upon, and considered the definite future of the church. After the last postponement of General Conference, it is all but dead.|