Author: Rev. Dr. Mark Holland, Executive Director, Mainstream UMC
Here at Mainstream UMC we see a number of reasons for optimism as we head into Christmas this year. A big thank you to all of you who have supported us and make this work possible. Here are our top 6 reasons to be hopeful for our church:
Reason for Optimism #1: Jesus the Messiah is born anew into our world.
This is more important than anything else going on in our church right now and is reason enough for optimism about…well everything! You can read more about this in the Gospel of Luke 2:1-20.
Reason for Optimism #2: Negotiations are on-going
As you may remember, Mainstream UMC was invited back in July to sit at the table with the Centrists and Progressives to negotiate with the Traditionalists. These conversations have been on-going, and we continue to seek an amicable path forward that we can all support. This effort is supported by several Central Conference and US Bishops. Bishop Yambasu of Sierra Leon has been chairing this effort and it continues to show promise. Here is a recent article from UM News: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/church-future-under-negotiation-before-gc2020
Reason for Optimism #3: Central Conferences are taking leadership in legislative solutions, including the just-released Christmas Covenant.
The Central Conference Bishops have unanimously endorsed the Connectional Table concept that creates a US Regional Conference. In addition, Central Conference delegates are writing similar legislation to re-shape the governance structure of the church to hold us in mission together. Delegates from Africa, Philippines, and Europe have just released their Christmas Covenant which seeks to hold the church together against calls for dissolution. This legislation supports the Connectional Table plan to create a US Regional Conference and goes an important step further by granting full legislative power to Central Conferences and US Jurisdictions. Read more about this here: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/delegates-offer-proposal-for-church-unity
Reason for Optimism #4: We have made progress on a moratorium against trials.
More than 8,500 people have signed our joint statement calling for a moratorium on complaints, charges, and trials of LGBTQ clergy and those performing same-gender weddings until after GC 2020. The Bishops of the Western Jurisdiction have unanimously announced they will not process these complaints. Also, Bishop Schol of Greater New Jersey has pledged the same. We would still like to see more Bishops take this public, prophetic step to stop the harm leading up to GC 2020, especially since the harmful Traditional Plan takes effect January 1. If you have not already signed our letter calling for a moratorium, you can do so here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UMC_Moratorium2
Reason for Optimism #5: The resistance to the harmful Traditional Plan is sweeping the church.
Mainstream UMC has teamed up with UMCNext, Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists, Methodist Federation for Social Action, The Western Methodist Justice Movement, UM Scholars for an Inclusive Church, All Belong, Affirmation, and LYNC (Love Your Neighbor Coalition). The harmful Traditional Plan is not supported by 76% of the US church and we are rising up to say no. You can join the resistance here: www.ResistHarm.com
Reason for Optimism #6: We continue to hold the Anti-Gay Coalition accountable for their harm.
Mainstream UMC is filling a key void that has historically allowed these groups to run roughshod over our church and the GC legislative process for the past 25 years. No one wanted to believe that there is a systematic plan by WCA, Good News, Confessing Movement, and IRD to target LGBTQ persons to forcibly remove those who disagree with them from the church. No one wanted to believe they have been manipulating votes in the Central Conferences for their marginal agenda. These groups no longer operate in an information vacuum and will not again. Read about their “forced departure” plan here: http://hackingchristianity.net/2019/02/the-betrayal-of-good-news-how-a-2004-blueprint-created-the-gc2019-endgame.html
Please consider a Christmas donation to Mainstream UMC. The work and advocacy we are doing is not possible without your support. You can donate online here: www.MainstreamUMC.com/donate.
You can also donate by mail: Grace UMC in Olathe, Kansas is the host for Mainstream UMC. The Center of Grace serves as the fiscal agent and provides financial accountability. Please make checks payable to:
Grace United Methodist Church
Memo: Mainstream UMC
Olathe, Kansas 66061
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
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