Updated: Jan 22, 2020
by Chet Harris, Regional Director of the East Ohio WCA
The First Step: Acceptance
Acceptance of something new is a challenge for all of us. The separation of the United Methodist Church is not so much about an organization changing as the call for each of us, laity and clergy to change. Appointment season has arrived in the UMC and historically it is a time for many ministers to accept a change in their ministry location. The change is far more than geographical. The minister will fine tune leadership style, worship, friendship circles, and a host of other personal approaches to ministry, if they desire success. Acceptance is one of the keys to a faith-filled future for all United Methodist.
There are constants: Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Accept that change is coming to the United Methodist Church. This change will impact the immediate life and future of every clergy and laity. Ignoring the fact of separation is living in denial. Debating whether the church should separate is not an option and frankly is a waste of time.
Accept the responsibility as active clergy and laity to gather all the facts regarding the change. Share your information with the entire church. Call for a congregational meeting to explain how we came to this place in our denominational life. Do not heap laments on the members of the church. Many of our members and clergy are without knowledge of the seriousness of the General Conference decisions in May. Small group discussions are an excellent way to help people process the future separation.
And the minister is responsible to inform the members of the church they are serving regarding the nature of the change and the choice they will be called to make in the near future.
Accept the ‘Protocol’ created by representatives from the diversity of the United Methodist Church. It requires the approval and acceptance of the General Conference. It is inconceivable the delegates will fail to recognize a plan that allows all groups to continue ministry with integrity to their worldview.
Accept and embrace that God has already counseled us regarding how to react during these days of change.
Philippians 4:6–9 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
All for the Kingdom,
Regional Director of the East Ohio WCA
Invitation: If you would like a representative of the WCA to speak with you or your church contact us by email, Recontre2@aol.com or call 330.936.8531
Please know that any text in blue are links to the information source or greater detail. Also, we ask that you share, comment and like any and all posts to continue to help spread the word. We find that most UMC members know little to nothing about the current and future of the UMC. Please decide now to be heard before it is too late! EOWCA values your comments and support. Thank you!