Resources from the UMC Commission on the Way Forward
Ministry Matters Decision 2019: One with Christ, One With Eachother, One in Ministry to all the World Issue
This special edition of Circuit Rider carefully considers the issues, from varied perspectives, facing The United Methodist Church as it prepares for the Special Session of General Conference in 2019.
From the Cabinet and the delegates to General Conference 2019
We write in a time when our denomination and nation feel helplessly divided. In political, social, and religious arenas we’ve seen mounting problems, and when we’ve sought leadership we’ve only found division. In times such as these we need leaders to come together, engage in authentic, grace-filled, challenging dialogue and present a path forward.
It is against this backdrop that we, the Mountain Sky Cabinet and General Conference Delegation, write to express our support for the One Church Model, as presented by the Commission on a Way Forward. We believe that the One Church Model is a reasonable compromise that aligns with our Wesleyan heritage, allowing us to live in unity without requiring uniformity, and allows for the least disruptions of vital ministries throughout the Mountain Sky Conference.
We, the people of the Mountain Sky Conference, know the value of unity even in the midst of disagreement; we’ve lived into this model for many years. Go to any UMC from Trinidad, CO to Columbia Falls, MT, from Wheatland, WY, to St. George, UT and you’re likely to find people living in community despite disagreement about any number of divisive issues. Despite these disagreements, United Methodists have welcomed, supported, and loved each other as they have lived out a shared mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our theological diversity has created increased empathy, conversation, and growth. It has helped us to live in community with each other thus making us better prepared to live in harmony with all of creation.
To be clear, the One Church Model is not perfect. The One Church Model does not completely live into the values of full inclusion for our LGBTQ sisters and brothers; instead, discriminatory practices are allowed to persist within the United Methodist Church. Although we support the One Church Model, we also reaffirm our continued commitment to further the cause of equity and justice for all of those who have been disenfranchised in our Church.
While we acknowledge these imperfections in the plan, we also recognize that the One Church Model provides a significant gift to our conference and the entire denomination: the ability to live in unity without requiring uniformity. The One Church Model invites us to be united across our difference – a difference found in almost every congregation. Unity is difficult but unity teaches us empathy; it challenges us to reconsider the preconceived notions we have about others and ourselves, to grow a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, and to practice loving our neighbor always.
In the interest of unity, we, the Mountain Sky Conference Cabinet and Delegation, offer our prayerful support for the One Church Model as it has been presented by the Commission on the Way Forward. Recognizing its significant challenges, we accept the invitation to live into better community and to increase our love and empathy for each other, and to grow together in the likeness of Christ. Further, as leaders of this conference, we commit ourselves to working diligently to support and serve the conference as it continues to strive to live into God’s vision of Beloved Community.
Grace and peace in the name of Jesus Christ,
Doug Palmer, Don McCammon, Kunle Taiwo, Harvey Tukutau, Peg Plimpton, Margaret Hotze, lay delegates and first alternates;
Tyler Amundson, Kent Ingram, Jeremy Scott, Brad Laurvick, Megan Armstrong, Cathie Kelsey, clergy delegates and first alternates;
Bishop Karen Oliveto, Jeff Rainwater, Youngsook Kang, Margaret Gillikin, Paul Kottke, Marv Vose, Jan Witman, Tezenlo Thong, Deborah Christine, Amy Gearhart, MSC Cabinet
The work of the Mountain View UMC Inclusivity Committee
Beginning September 2017 at Mountain View UMC, our Church Council approved a new Inclusivity Committee. The committee’s purpose was to address controversy locally and in the larger UMC surrounding gender identity and the role and status of LBGTQ individuals in the church through the framework of the Wesley Quadrilateral — Reason, Experience, Tradition, and Scripture.
Over the course of a year, we covered the pillars of tradition and experience in small groups sessions. Then, we had a biologist, a sociologist and a psychologist from the University of Colorado on a panel addressing the latest developments and knowledge in their respective fields on sexuality and gender. That was the pillar on reason. Finally, the Inclusivity Committee addressed the final and important pillar of Scripture with three Methodist pastors discussing what Scripture says about sexuality through the lenses of a “traditionalist” view, a “compatibilist” view, and a “progressive” view.
Resources on this page are presented to aid in the discernment process for others who are addressing these important questions.
Listen to the discussion of "What does Scripture say about sexuality?" on Youtube
Pastor Emily Hagan’s Presentation Representing the “Compatibilist” view
Scroll through Pastor Emily’s accompanying slideshow representing the Compatibilist view