MUMC Administrative Council updates about two informational meetings:
As we reported in March, the postponed 2020 General Conference meeting of the United Methodist Church was further delayed until 2024. Since then, there have been additional developments within our denomination which have caused many United Methodist churches to explore the disaffiliation process that was passed at the 2019 General Conference. In our state alone, it has been reported that 159 churches have asked for an Exploration Meeting with conference leaders to learn about the steps and actions required for that process.
This spring our pastor met with our Sunday School classes and held a church-wide Sunday School class to discuss the current issues about General Conference and within our denomination. In June, our Administrative Council created a sub-committee to explore the options for our church family. The Council heard from that group at our meeting on September 1 and they voted to request an Exploration Meeting with our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton, and our Conference Treasurer, David Stotts.
This Exploration Meeting will be held on Sunday, October 2, at 4:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. It will be open to the entire church. It is an informational meeting only, and no vote will be held. Our conference leaders will share the steps and requirements for any church from our conference to either close or disaffiliate. They will answer questions on that specific subject, but this meeting is not about denominational issues or General Conference concerns. It is being held so we can gain an understanding of the specific requirements for churches.
In response to the 2022 annual conference petition that was approved by the membership (page 145, Call for Vital Relational Conversations Among the Leadership and Churches of the Mississippi Annual Conference), the Mississippi Conference Delegation is hosting an online seminar entitled, “Important Connection Conversations in the Mississippi Annual Conference.” The Zoom webinar will be on Sunday, September 25, at 5:00 p.m. There is no required registration to attend. You will simply join in by using this Zoom information: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89735059444 or one tap mobile: US: +13092053325,,89735059444# or +13126266799,,89735059444# Webinar ID: 897 3505 9444.
The online webinar will be hosted by Rev. Fred Britton, head of the delegation. Rev. Lisa Garvin will share the hopes of those who would like to change The Discipline to be a fully inclusive UMC denomination. Rev. Stephen Sparks will share the hopes of those that would like The UMC to remain a traditional denomination. Rev. Dr. Embra Jackson will share the hopes of those who advocate for unity and not separation. David Stotts will lead an overview of the disaffiliation process. Rev. Trey Harper will present on the related effects of clergy who choose to leave The United Methodist Church. The webinar will be recorded and can be found on the Delegation Hub (https://www.mississippi-umc.org/delegationhub) by Tuesday, September 27, for those who were unable to attend or would like to view the presentation again.
Call on our pastors or any of us with your concerns, questions, and ideas. Let’s continue praying for our pastors, leaders, and church in this season and continue to focus on our shared ministries and fellowship together.
The one thing our church family does better than any church is LOVE. We show love to one another; we show love to the Kingdom of God. There are a lot of views, opinions, beliefs, and thoughts as it relates to these current denominational issues. We wish that you please remember to lead and respond with love in any discussion that you have related to these matters. Thank you.
Wil Crawford, Administrative Council chairperson
Olivia Martin and John Smith, Lay Leaders