Links, Links, Links

concerning the possible DE-Linking
of the United Methodist Church

This page will be under construction for some time, but I promised I’d put these links up.

The United Methodist Church is struggling to see how it can stay together, or how it can separate. The wedge questions are particularly over how and whether LGBTQ people are to be full participants in all aspects of the church’s life and work — including especially in ordained ministry, and the celebration of marriage same-sex couples.

The voice that’s loudest as I write today is the Wesleyan Covenant Association, whose legislative assembly in Tulsa yesterday endorsed a plan of division of the denomination called “The Indianapolis Plan,” and received their own Book of Doctrines and Discipline as a work in process toward governing the WCA’s split of the church.

Our own congregation, Trinity UMC of Ritzville, is not of one mind about whether the UMC should stay together, and if it separates, what part Trinity should align with. Trinity members aligned with the WCA have chosen to host today’s WCA simulcast promoting its vision for the United Methodist Church’s future. Trinity also has members who faithfully differ from this vision.

The course that the denomination will take, and the course that the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference will take, are not yet clear. And Trinity’s course is not yet clear. General Conference in Minneapolis, in May 2020, and the Pacific Northwest’s response to it, might clarify the course of things.

We do want to encourage, however, that all points of view are considered with respect and care, as the faithful testimony of fellow Christians, who even in difference, are part of the one body in Christ. So we offer these links, as we offered most of them to the folks who gathered today at Trinity for the simulcast.

If you have links to other United Methodist groups we should include, please leave a recommendation in the comments.
(Your comments won’t show up, but we’ll try to edit your recommendations into this page.)


UM News:
The United Methodist News Service. Reporting on all aspects of the UMC’s life and work. Probably the quickest way to find out what’s happening.

Greater Northwest Area of the UMC:
Compiled by media staff from the Annual Conferences of the Greater Northwest — Alaska, Pacific Northwest (us!), and Oregon-Idaho. This is a quite comprehensive site, with links to most of the links on this page, current news, and more, with a special emphasis on the Northwest.

Statements by bishops of the UMC

Safe Harbor Declaration – November 6, 2019
The five bishops of the Western Jurisdiction’s churches give their testimonials, and offer their pledge not to bring punitive actions against LGBTQ clergy or pastors who solemnize same-sex marriages.
Video testimonials:
Article about the Safe Harbor Declaration, with links to the text and sign-on page:

Deeper Conversations — November 7, 2019:
Eight active and retired UM bishops propose conversations toward separation into partially independent bodies, with link to a sign-on page.

Caucus Groups within the UMC

Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA):
The Wesleyan Covenant Association – the most prominent of the traditionalist bodies proposing ways to separate the United Methodist Church.

Mainstream UMC:
An advocacy group working for separating the UMC into autonomous regional Methodist Churches within the UMC. At present, this is the situation for all UM conferences outside the United States, but the U.S. church is not.

A group opposing the changes made by the 2019 Special Session of General Conference, and discriminatory language in the Discipline.

UM Forward:
Proponents of the Simple Plan, which would simply remove the restrictive language on sexuality from the Discipline.

All Belong UMC:
Legislative proposals to General Conference 2020, by a group of General Conference Delegates from the Western Jurisdiction.

Bloggers to follow

Hacking Christianity:
Jeremy Smith, an Oklahoma native now serving as pastor of First UMC, Seattle, takes on a lot of aspects of church life, not just United Methodist internal politics — but his perspective is always worth reading. (Today’s entry, “The WCA: How We Got Here” chronicles the history of the modern conservative movements of the UMC from a progressive viewpoint): )

People Need Jesus:
Chris Ritter, a board member of the WCA, takes on church issues.


Are there more links we should include? Let us know, and – maybe – we’ll post them.

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