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THE JOYFUL NOISE
WHEATLAND UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
AUGUST 2018
Open hears. Open minds. Open doors.
The people of The United Methodist Church
Greetings Church!

When I first became a Christian, I was coming out of the ways of the world into a new way of living and being. I think this is true for any Christian, to a greater or lesser degree. And over the years of living in community with Christians, my faith changed, grew and matured. We find reference to this in 1 Cor. Chapter 13, “When I was a child I spoke like a child, but when I became an adult, I put childish ways behind me.” Early I my faith I thought I would magically become a changed person by believing, free of my life baggage and bad habits. In time I realized that there was no magic wand and that living life as a Christian is a long road of ongoing transformation and change. The way I experienced faith back then is not the way I experience it now. My theological views have developed and changed as a result of education and living in Christian community. Over the years I’ve struggled with lots of issues and wrestled to find a way to keep my faith alive in Jesus Christ. I share this personal history as a reminder that each of us is working through his/her beliefs in an ongoing process of faithful living. As a church we also work through issues and shared beliefs in order to find new ways to keep our shared faith vibrant and alive. This has been the path of the Church down through history. In fact, conflict is what produced this great organization that John Wesley and his team worked to build. Even for them, it wasn’t perfect, but it was true to their faith. It has undergone numerous changes and adaptations. Every four years the Book of Discipline is revised to adapt to changing times and challenges to keep it relevant. One of the more prominent issues affecting the church in previous periods was slavery. American Protestant churches debated whether or not slavery should be abolished or maintained. Each side could find biblical support for its position. We now have American Baptist and Southern Baptist denominations partly because of this split over slavery. Today we are engaged in another major issue of concern and a debate over right doctrine and integrity of the Scripture concerning human sexuality. There is scriptural support for each argument. The positions on this issue are explained in the “Way Forward” document in this newsletter. Yes, I know that many of you would rather not open up this can of worms for fear of conflict. Unfortunately, we simply cannot put it aside much longer. As stated in the document, next February the delegates will meet in St. Louis and vote for one of the models presented (either the One Church Model or the Traditional Model, the third model, the Connectional plan, is not being seriously considered). This decision will have a big impact on our denomination as well as our individual churches. As you pray about this and talk to others, please consider my initial comments about faith life and change. Faith in both personal and church life has always been in a dynamic flux of change, constantly evolving. When I attend the annual conference every year it is a highlight of my faith life. I love going! I enter into this body of people who are from different places with differing views to work together for a common cause. I sense in them a deep love for the Lord. It is a love that flows over everyone and breaks down barriers. I see this love in the faces, the words, and behavior of Methodists working together as the body of Christ. I see it in the long legislative process that continues for hours and hours of patient organizational work. We don’t agree on everything, but we do all agree on one thing - that we love the Lord and we put our love for God first. Our love for Jesus is what unites us. I could complain about my adopted denomination (I have grafted myself into the Methodist church) and point out all kinds of faults and weaknesses, but I don’t. Because from the very beginning, the church has been flawed and imperfect - a work in progress. Instead, I try to do what I can to make it better. That is my duty and it is also your duty. Like our predecessors, we continue on together seeking to be true to our collective faith. We do it because we love God and we love one another. We will have meetings later this year to discuss the “Way Forward” plan. I ask that you pray for our church and denomination regarding this issue and that God’s will be done.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Robin

IN OUR THOUGHTS AND IN OUR PRAYERS:
WHEATLAND
The family of Diane N.; Bill & Marge G.; Johnny’s cousin’s son, Eric; Derek S.’s cousin, Joseph; Ron & Kathryn C.; Chris L.; the Larry F. family; Irene J.; Bonnie Y.; Maxine S.; Leslie D.; Bronwyn B.; Jerry O.; Leonard C. formerly of Chugwater; Tom K., Mike H., Deb H. & Harold D. of Chugwater, Pray for immigrants/refugees families at the border and the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky.

CHUGWATER
Diane H.'s dad, Howard R.; Jeff A.; Leonard C.; Harold D.; Tim D. family; Carol N.; Tom K.; the Larry & Barb F. family; Josh F.; Kim McB.; Carol E.; Lanetta C.; Deb H. family; Bill & Grace S.; our veterans; Pray for immigrants/ refugees families at the border and the Chugwater community and school.

AUGUST ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

August 18th:Monthly breakfasts at 8:00 a.m.
*Men meet at Tasty Treats
*Women meet at Western Skies

August 26th:Combined church service at Slater Hall @ 10:00 a.m.

FROM WHEATLAND:
1. head south on I-25
2. exit at Slater Rd.
3. turn left (east)
4. travel approx. 3.5 miles
5. Slater Hall is directly after crossing RR tracks

September 22nd:Aspire Women's Event at Harvest Time Christian
Fellowship in Cheyenne @ 6:00 p.m.

Pastor’s scheduled Seventh Week-off Dates
July 30-August 5th
Sept. 10-16th
October 29-Nov. 4th
December 26-30th.

JOINT CHURCH WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Wheatland and Chugwater will worship together once more at Slater Hall on the fourth Sunday August (26th). Join us for this combined gathering of the faithful at 10:00 a.m.

GUEST SPEAKER ON SUICIDE PREVENTION
We will be having a special message from Rhianna Brand, the Director of Operations for Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation, an educational organization dedicated to the advocacy of suicide prevention around the state of Wyoming. The foundation provides resource information and assistance to those who are in crisis, or who know someone in crisis. In addition, they provide support and resources to survivors of suicide loss. Join us on August 26th for our joint service at Slater Hall at 10 a.m.

WUMC 125th ANNIVERSARY 2019
In 2019 Wheatland United Methodist Church will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of its organization. We invite anyone in the congregation to help us plan for this momentous occasion. If you have pictures from past years (and can tell us who is in the pictures), we'd love to have copies.

PASTOR RILEY'S APPOINTMENT
I have been appointed to remain at Wheatland & Chugwater churches for another year. The SPR Committee approved the renewal, as did Wyoming Superintendent Jeff Rainwater. I am glad to continue my work here and am glad to have another year working with you in these two special churches.

Pastor’s Office Hours
Pastor Robin is now holding office hours at both churches on Friday’s. Take note that on weeks off, no office hours will be held. Hours are as follows:

Wheatland UMC – Friday 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Chugwater UMC – Friday 3:00-5:00 p.m.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
The United Methodist women (UMW) of Wheatland UMC gathered for a picnic in the park on July 12, at noon. It had been a hot July so far, but the Good Lord blessed us with a perfect day for a picnic. The temperatures were in the mid-70s, with a slight breeze. Six of us, Darlene B., Ann C., Kathy W., Karyl W., Kathy L., and Carolyn F., met at noon and enjoyed a delightful lunch and visit with each other. We wished Myrna K. “happy birthday” even though she was traveling with family. We mourned the loss of Diane Nein recently. We made plans for the celebration of her life and chatted about the upcoming WUMC breakfasts on July 21 and August 18 at Western Skies Family Diner. All the bags of fabric donated by the ladies of Wyoming District Plus One have been taken home and washed, so we will be ready to assemble cutting kits when Project Patricia meets on September 4, 2018. We will need lots of help to make up the kits, so please attend if you can do so. Our UMW group will not meet in August, but will reconvene on September 13, 2018, at noon. We plan to have a carry-in lunch for our Fall kick-off, so each lady is asked to bring a dish to share.

All ladies of the church are invited to attend any of these events. We need all the help we can get to carry out the activities UMW does at WUMC and in our community. If you need a ride to any of these activities, please call Kathy W. at 322-1623.


THE WAY
FORWARD
The United Methodist Plan for Moving Forward

[Drafted by Pastor Riley]

A 32-member Commission has been working on a Way Forward and they came up with a formula for three plans: The Traditionalist Plan, the One Church Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan. They have used Matthew 18 as a model for how to work with each other. The Commission on a Way Forward includes two leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (conservative) as well as three openly gay members. The commission includes eight bishops, 11 laity, 11 elders and two deacons from nine countries.

The bishops will use the commission’s work to develop legislation that will go before the 864 lay and clergy delegates of a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. About 58 percent of these delegates are from the United States and 30 percent from Africa. The remaining delegates are from the Philippines, Europe and Eurasia as well as 10 from “concordat” churches with which The United Methodist Church has formal relationships.

1) The Traditionalist Plan
The Traditionalist Plan affirms the current Book of Discipline language and places a high value on accountability. The church policy book says the practice of homosexuality “is incompatible with Christian teaching” and lists officiating at a same-gender union or being a “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy member as chargeable offenses under church law.

2) The One Church Plan

The One Church Plan allows for “contextualization*” of language about human sexuality in support of the mission; and allows for central conferences, especially those in Africa, to retain their disciplinary authority to adapt the Book of Discipline and continue to include traditional language and values while fulfilling the vision of a global and multicultural church. This plan also encourages a generous unity by giving United Methodists the ability to address different missional contexts in ways that reflect their theological convictions.

The One Church Plan removes the restrictive language of the Book of Discipline and adds assurances to pastors and Conferences who, due to their theological convictions, cannot perform same-sex weddings or ordain self-avowed practicing homosexuals.

The bishops favor something along the lines of this option, which offers more local decision-making. An annual conference may then legislate according to its values. Contextual* differentiation means allowing more space so that each conference can succeed in varied mission fields and so that we no longer litigate a single uniform church law treating married homosexuals differently than married heterosexuals.

3) The Connectional Conference Plan

The Connectional Conference Plan creates multiple branches that have clearly defined values such as accountability, contextualization and justice. This model would maintain shared doctrine and services and one Council of Bishops. The plan would replace the five U.S. jurisdictions with create three connectional conferences that are “values-based” rather than geographic in nature. Each connectional conference would create its own Book of Discipline that includes items “commonly agreed upon by United Methodists,” with the authority to adapt other items not included in a General Book of Discipline. This plan is not considered to be a serious option because the commission has not had the time to spend developing it.

2018 Joint Annual Conference Report by Lay Leader, Kelvin L.
Thursday morning they had an orientation session for first timers. Even though I had attended the orientation last year, I thought it would be beneficial to attend again. They had changed a couple of things, so it was good idea.

Thursday after lunch the Annual Conference was called to order. First was Opening Worship, followed by the Theme Presentation with keynote speaker Erin Hawkins. Erin is the general secretary on the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR). The GCORR team’s direction is understanding, interpreting, and fulfilling the church’s mandates to engage United Methodists in the work of reconciliation beyond race, culture, ethnic, tribal and national biases and institutional discrimination and division.

Next was the Mission Shaped Future (MSF) introduction and process. MSF came about from years of discussion about joining the Rocky Mountain Conference and the Yellowstone Conference. In 2004 the Western Jurisdictional Conference, formed a team to study the boundaries of its annual conferences. This gave birth to the Mountain Sky Area to begin the process placing all of Wyoming into a single district. From 2014-16, two teams laid the ground work for what would ultimately become the Plan of Union. They secured permission for the creation of a new conference and created some priorities for the new conference. The priorities are:

*Strengthen lay and clergy partnership
*Strengthen districts and circuits
*Reduce institutional burden
*Free people and teams for transformation action

For the last two years these teams, using these priorities, have drafted the plans, which were presented and voted on during the conference plenary sessions. (A plenary is a meeting or session attended by all participants at a conference or assembly)

After the Wyoming District dinner there was a memorial service, honoring the clergy who have been lost this past year, and honoring their families.

Friday morning we gathered to head out on our immersion projects. I had signed up for “Sound the Alarm – Installing Smoke Detectors”. We had an instruction session before being sent out, in groups of 3, to homes in the neighborhood near the conference. This neighborhood has a very high concentration of disabled and low income families. Door hangers had been previously placed at all of the homes in the area. My group was assigned certain blocks within the area and were to go to each home unless they had no trespassing signs or unrestrained pets. We were given several detectors, documentation, a step ladder and a cordless screw driver. One person completed the paperwork, one handed detectors, and one was on the ladder doing the installation. We also had new batteries for those that had detectors, but the batteries were no good. My group installed about 5 or 6 new detectors and 4 sets of batteries. Our biggest issue to address was the language barrier, as none of us spoke the home owner’s language. Fortunately the residents had children or grandchildren who could translate. One of the homes was owned by a lady who had many of her grandchildren there while their parents were working. In another home where we installed, the homeowner had lived there since childhood. She has had surgery for hearing loss and it actually got worse; so she could barely hear the detector go off. When we returned to the conference, we informed the people with American Red Cross and gave them her address. They told us they would contact her and install a device to shake the bed if the detector went off.

Friday afternoon there were separate clergy and lay sessions. The Laity from the Rocky Mountain Conference and the Yellowstone Conference were separated for their individual elections and business. Later in the afternoon the two conferences’ laity joined together. We had a workshop with presenter Donna M.L. Pritchard, an ordained elder from the Oregon-Idaho Conference. She is the clergy delegate to the General Conference and a member of the Western Jurisdiction Episcopacy Committee. Her workshop was “Holy Conversations for a Way Forward” helping the laity to explore new ways of engaging in difficult conversations, especially in light of the United Methodist Church’s current conflict around human sexuality and inclusiveness.

After the clergy and laity sessions, there was a “Tent Revival” in an amphitheater about a block from the conference center. There was a theatrical presentation consisting of three movements. The first was “The Revival of John Wesley,” where Bishop Karen came out and presented as John Wesley. The second was “The Revival of Methodist Tent Meetings,” where Bishop Karen presented as Anna Howard Shaw (one of first ordained female Methodist ministers). The third movement was “The Revival of 21st Century Methodism,” in which Bishop Karen presented as herself. Sunday morning, as the Mountain Sky Conference, we had a worship service. Bishop Karen conducted the service and presented the sermon. Ordination ceremonies were conducted for new clergy becoming Elders and Deacons. The Tongan Choir presented us with their fantastic vocal talents.

In closing, it was a more demanding conference with the merge of the two conferences. As it was last year, this year was an energetic conference and overall was an enjoyable experience.

Next year’s conference will be June 13 – 16 in Billings, Montana.

One of the items we received when we registered was information about a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Bishop Karen. It is scheduled for Jan. 28th – Feb. 6th 2019. If you would like a copy of this information please let me know.

ASPIRE
Women's Event
September 22, 2018 at 6pm at Harvest Time Christian Fellowship in Cheyenne.
1 night - 3 hours - Just for Women An evening full of laughter, learning, stories, & music
ASPIREWOMENSEVENTS.com

General admission: $25/person
Group of 10 or more: $20/person

Chugwater UMC has a group of over 10 going, anyone wanting to join the group discount let Tricia know by September 15.
Tricia S. 307 422-3360; email: sagner@wildblue.net

About Aspire:

Aspire was born out of the desire and need for women to enjoy a night out, with fellowship and spiritual growth.

We stand on the promises of God that He is enough, and that aspiring after His purpose will affect the lives we lead as well as the people we interact with.

The first event began in September of 2014 in Arizona and continues to be a one-night three-hour evening of music, comedy, and teaching that speaks to the hearts of women; to inspire, encourage, and remind them of God’s love and purpose for their lives.

Aspire is a brand of Extreme Faith Productions (EFP). EFP has been promoting concerts and events throughout the West since 2002. We exist to serve God’s people by providing quality events to the Christian community.

Statement of Faith

Extreme Faith Productions believes in one living and true God, eternal and of infinite power, wisdom, goodness and righteousness. He is a loving and faithful God who is Creator and preserver of all things. (Genesis 1:1; Jeremiah 10:10; 1 Timothy 1:17)

In the unity of this Godhead, there are three persons of one substance with identical qualities and attributes: The Father (God), the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. (John 1:1-2, 4:24, 5:18, 10:30)

We believe in the divine nature of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. Christ was both fully man and fully God. He walked our earth, suffered at the hands of men, was crucified, died, and was buried as a sacrifice for the sins of all men and women. The purpose was to restore our relationship to God which is hindered by sin. (Luke 1:27, 31:35, John 3:16; Romans 5:10; Ephesians 5:72)

Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven in full victory over satan and sin. He now intercedes for the body of believers to God the Father. (Matthew 28:5-9; Luke 4:7)

Green Vally, AZ
June 2, 2018

Dear Pastor Robin.

I am a former member of Wheatland United Methodist Church. We are now residing in AZ and I receive the church newsletter, and I love reading about my friends and all the church acticities going on. I loved the church very much.

When we moved here, since we are both Methodists, we looked for an acceptable Methodist church. We tried two of them in the area, and they just were not a fit, so we joined the local Valley Presyterian Church. We find many similarities between the two denominations.

Of course, you don't remember, but my husband Jim and I met you when we were in Wheatland for the eclipse. We were at the mall and you walked by with your dogs and we visited a bit.

I was very active in the Wheatland church when I attended. My husband, Stan Reddicks, passed away and some time later, I married a classmate, a widower, who had graduated high school with me in 1953. We moved to AZ shortly after that.

I was very moved by your araticle on suicide. So sad about the young man that had recently taken his own life. Your article seemed a "coincidene" as just rcently my cousin's daughter in Torrington had taken her own life. She was 52. She was a member of the Methodist Church there and I had met her the first time when a bunch of us ladies had gone there for a luncheon. A beautiful lady......

Shortly after we joined the church down here, the senior pastor, Larry DeLong took his own life. He had a history of chronic deprssion. The church is a very large church and you can well imagine what utter chaos that put us all into. We are still suffering greatly and trying to find our way.

I wish you well, Robin, and I hope you find joy in Wheatland. There is much to be found if one looks!

May God bless you and the work that you do.

Marian (Reddicks) Coberly
212 W. Pasco Recortado
Green Vally, AZ 58614

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