May the Peace of God be with you!
This is a lengthy post with several critical bits of information about Annual Conference and the work of CAL PAC MFSA over the next several days. Please grant us a few minutes to read it in its entirety.
Tonight nearly 50 MFSA members gathered in the Plaza Cafe at Annual Conference to break bread, pray, and enter into thoughtful conversation about the process of electing delegates to Jurisdictional and General Conference. For several weeks we have been issuing open invitations to our members through our email and Facebook to be a part of conversations preparing us for the critical work of Annual Conference. A consensus was reached within CalPac-MFSA to help center the place from which we would start our work supporting legislation and who we would like to serve at General and Annual Conference.
This is our theological and faith centered starting point:
The season has come to build a new Methodist church which freely welcomes all people, including LGBTQIA+ persons on every level of church leadership.
We do not support any plan to “stay and resist” from within a broken and misguided United Methodist denomination. Efforts to try and win-back the United Methodist Church or outlast traditionalist opposition within the denomination pose untenable harm to LGBTQIA+ persons who cannot be expected to wait any longer for things to change.
We feel called to network with all like-minded Methodists, not only in the West, but around the world, to create a new church by God’s help.
New Annual Conference staff should be dedicated to the creation of a new church. Our most gifted, faithful and visionary leadership should be employed in the work of birthing a new global Methodist Church.
Respectfully submitted by James Dollins, 6/11/19
A TIME TO ACT:
LEGISLATION: We Must Pass The Resolution 16-09 Substitution: Disavowal of the Traditional Plan, on the Consent Calendar
Cal-Pac MFSA supports the passage of this legislation ON THE CONSENT CALENDAR. I have attached a copy of it, as well as a copy of talking points drafted to help explain this bill and two more to others. We are calling on MFSA members to take leadership in this critical moment in the life of the church and advocate for this bill as it is written, with no amendments, friendly or otherwise. It has been carefully crafted and constructed by members of the General Conference delegation and the JCMET task force and is meant to replace the two individual resolutions previously submitted. Please use your voice to advocate with grace and compassion for this important resolution that moves us towards the creation of a committee to study disaffiliation, and the beginning of a new Methodism. It is to the greatest advantage of this work that this item pass through on the consent calendar. Reach out to friends and neighbors, talk to them.
After some discussion with the Conference Secretary, we were able to confirm that ANY amendment, friendly or unfriendly, will move the item off of the consent calendar.
ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS:
In addition to the attached talking points that help break down what the resolution actually does, I invite you to look back at our consensus statement above. This is our time to lead. We are no longer holding on to something that is broken, but urging our sisters and brothers to look forward to a new Methodism. I believe that it is this sentiment that should lead in our advocacy and support for this important legislation and other legislation that will lead us forward into a faithful and prophetic church.
Critical part of this legislation:
+ Disavowal of the Traditional Plan
+Apologies for Harm Caused
+Protections for LGBTQI Clergy candidates and clergy.
+Creation of a task force made up of the elected delegates to General Conference, past and present, who will do the work of understanding what it means to take on disaffiliation.
The meat of it is here:
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, while on the journey of learning and growing, we will listen for God’s voice to courageously create a bold, new fully inclusive form of Methodism for the 21st Century and beyond – for the current denominational structure of The United Methodist Church is no longer sustainable or workable in our understanding of Christ’s command to love God and love our neighbor(Mark 12:30-31).
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the California-Pacific Annual Conference will empower the elected delegations of the 2016 and 2020 General / Jurisdictional Conferences to proactively coordinate and lead our Annual Conference’s envisioning of a new, inclusive form of Methodism. The team will draft concrete proposals that among other values support all persons having the opportunity to enter into marriage and to fully serve as laity and clergy regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, marital status or differing abilities. In addition, this team will assess the consequences of those proposals – organizationally, economically, and spiritually, which includes how the California Pacific Annual Conference may disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church, coordinating its efforts in concert with other Annual Conferences, coalitions and working groups throughout the church. Regular progress reports will be presented and provided to the Annual Conference and beyond .”
I will be on the steps outside of chapel tomorrow with copies of talking points and resolution for you to study as we enter into legislative session.
Additional Legislation to Consider:
Two MFSA Members will submit resolutions to share.
Mark Ulrickson will be offering one called: Resolution to create Change Facilitator
Jane McKeithen is working on a resolution clarifying the role of local trustees in the disaffiliation process. As final copies of these are available we will share in our next update.
DELEGATES TO GENERAL AND JURISDICTIONAL CONFERENCES:
For the first time in many years, MFSA will make a recommendation of a slate of delegates to the upcoming Conference. There are many individuals nominated and running who we deeply admire and respect. We pushed to try and create a slate of candidates that lifts up smart, committed leaders who are willing to lead into a prophetic future for our church and who embody a diversity that is crucial to the leadership of the future church. There were many we wish could have been present in this list, but were not, for various reasons, eligible to serve. We humbly submit the following leaders for your consideration. We encourage you to vote for the delegates in the order listed.
WhatsApp and texting. Please click the link.
Thank you for participating in the thoughtful and prayerful work that has pushed us to a place of critical action. Your work over the next few days can shape the future of a movement to come. Please be in prayer for ALL of us in the days to come.
Peace and Blessings,