To download a copy of
Bishop Ken Carter's letter
A Message from Pastor Dianne
Dear CUMC Family,
If you have been following the national news in recent days, you have probably seen a story or two about the United Methodist Church. Not all the stories are accurate or fully explain what has been occurring in our denomination so we wanted to make sure you have as much information as possible.
Since the fall of 2019, a group of representatives from around the globe has been working with a professional mediator, with extensive credentials, to consider a plan to help delegates navigate the United Methodist Church General Conference which will be held in Minneapolis this May. The group of sixteen, along with others who gathered during the first meetings, represent the diverse racial, cultural, gender, orientation, and theological spectrum of the global United Methodist Church. Bishops and laity were at the table including our own resident Bishop Ken Carter from Florida. The negotiations led to a Proposal that offers the body of the General Conference a way to move forward this May. Bishop Carter outlines the eight-page Proposal in a letter to the Florida Conference.
The Proposal is not binding and must be turned into legislation that would then be voted on by the 800+ global delegates. What makes this work unique to the other plans, is this Proposal has been agreed to by leaders of all the different groups and plans represented throughout the current United Methodist spectrum. This Proposal also has the agreement of each representative to work together toward the writing of legislation and promotion of future legislation to the body of delegates at General Conference. Delegates will still need to vote on the legislation created in order for any of this work to become realized.
This Proposal does not represent a split. The Proposal holds the United Methodist Church intact, allowing for regional conferences (US, Africa, Philippines, and Europe) to each have their own Book of Discipline as governance. A regional US United Methodist Church could then allow removal of the exclusive language against our LGBTQ siblings and call for a focus on all understandings of inclusion, including tackling the issues of racism and bigotry that have tainted our history as Methodists predating the Civil War. The Proposal also allows for those with a more literal reading of scripture, who call themselves traditionalists, to leave the United Methodist Church and create their own denomination, with the grace to keep their assets. There is much more to the Proposal so please read as much as possible for the most accurate information on the work of this team.
We will continue to live out our Wesleyan heritage, call toward evangelism, and witness to those we have yet to meet. We will live out our core values centered in Christ’s love and expressed through acceptance, hospitality, community, discipleship, and service. As part of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, we look forward to strengthening the legacy of United Methodism in our region. We encourage you to ask questions as we move closer to General Conference. We will be offering a six week Bible Study starting on Monday, January 27 at 11:00 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. in the Library.
This unique time calls us to embrace the tenants of John Wesley that in all things may charity and grace prevail as we seek to live into our call to greater mission, service, and evangelism. May we listen deeply and bless one another in our differences, recognizing that our diversity makes us a greater witness of God’s love. Let us make a deeper commitment to be the church of tomorrow and broaden our understanding of how to reach people with Christ’s grace and love to awaken disciples to reveal the Kingdom of God.
Grace and Peace,