Some of you may have heard that there are major divisions within The United Methodist Church. These divisions stem from different approaches to homosexuality. Some United Methodists favor gay marriage; others oppose it. Some favor the ordination of “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals”, others oppose it. In response to these strong tensions that threaten to divide our denomination, the Council of Bishops appointed the Commission on a Way Forward. The Commission was asked to develop a “way forward” for The United Methodist Church that might enable us to continue together in spite of our differences. The Commission sent three plans to the Council of Bishops, and the Bishops forwarded them to a special session of the General Conference which will meet Feb. 23—26, 2019 (General
Conference is the highest legislative body in the UMC and can change anything in our denomination that is not protected by our Constitution). The three plans are the “One Church” plan, the “Traditional” plan, and the “Connectional Conference” plan.
On Thu., Jan. 17 at 7:00pm and Sun, Jan. 20 at 2:00pm, Aldersgate will hold informational sessions on the content of these plans, how we got to this point as a church, and the meaning of the General Conference session in
Feb. The two sessions will be identical.
The purpose of these sessions is not to debate the underlying issues, but rather to understand the three plans and their implications for our church. There will be a time for questions at each session.
The sessions will be led by the Rev. Dr. Tom Salsgiver. Rev. Salsgiver recently retired as Director of Connectional Ministries for our Annual Conference, and has served as a District Superintendent and as Pastor of several churches in our Conference. He is a member of the Commission on a Way Forward and brings unique insight to this topic. All members and friends of Aldersgate are encouraged to attend.