|THE JOYFUL NOISE
The special general conference is now history and the delegates decided a number of policies that will make some happy and others hurt and angry. If you happened to watch the live-stream event and are new to general conference, like myself, you might have found yourself turning your head wondering what was going on! Specialized language and a highly ordered process make it hard to come in on the middle of something. I had to call two colleagues to get the “skinny” about what actually happened. If you already know, you can skip this part. In voting Monday the Traditional Plan won approval. The One-Church plan did not.
Those who were promoting the Traditional Plan were elated but their joy may be short lived. On Tuesday morning the Judicial Council reviewed the Traditional plan and ruled that at least part of it is unconstitutional! You might wonder, “How could that be?” Let me explain. The Methodist polity and organizational structure operate like the U.S. Government. The delegates who voted were the legislators, like congress they create and modify bills that are brought to the floor for discussion and a vote.
When the delegates passed the plan, it was then subject to a court challenge. That’s what appears to be happening here. Even though the plan was passed, it is being challenged in the Judicial courts. As a result, the Traditional plan cannot be implemented or take effect until it is reviewed for constitutional issues. (See Kelvin’s brief post here.)
In addition to the Traditional Plan passing, two other measures were passed, both were focused on a process for churches wanting to exit the denomination. They too are being challenged for constitutionality. It is safe to say that progressives are downhearted and discouraged about what happened as is noted in Bishop Oliveto’s letter on the next page. It appears we have a Divided Methodist Church. Some of that divison we have seen right here in our churches.
So, I’m wondering, How do you respond to this new information? Do you shake your head and think, “They are really dysfunctional!” Or do you try to ignore the issue? It’s true that in our church, nothing has changed and it’s not likely that we will experience any substantial changes here.
For me it has been like walking a tightrope blindfolded! My skills are tested with every step! I don’t have all the answers, but I have the Bible and I rely on it in times like these to gain perspective. First Corinthians 13 has been one of the keys to my faith life. It speaks of Agape love, the love of God expressed through Jesus Christ. This love is unconditional. Yes, that’s right, unconditional. This doesn’t mean that everything is acceptable; it means that we can always return to Christ for correction and renewal, personally. It’s about a personal relationship and the love that our heavenly father gives us in spite of ourselves. This is a sacred relationship that we are bound up in together.
It also means that we do not judge another person’s status in the church by selectively quoting scripture. If that were the case Paul himself would have been kicked out! Why? Because he admits he has fallen short and has sinned. If you don’t believe me look at Romans 7:15-20. So you can see where I am headed, back to Gospel love, which has sustained and given life to us as Christians. We must always end up on the side of Agape Love. Bishop Karen Oliveto’s letter to Mountain Sky churches is on the next page.
Remember the Geese!
For Christ is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. (Ephesians 2: 14-16)
To the People Called United Methodist of the Mountain Sky Conference:
We are called to love as Jesus loved — love God and love neighbor. Abiding by these two commandments, we as United Methodists become a beacon of hope to those who are walking in a broken world. It was not the best week for the evangelical witness of United Methodism. The wide divide of our church regarding the role of LGBTQ persons in the life of the church was played out on a global stage.
Unfortunately, what we know to be true of our local churches — that we sit in the same pews with people whom we disagree with, and yet have found our unity in Christ through mutual love and commitment to mission — was missing in the debates of St. Louis. We instead experienced the reinforcement of human walls within the Body of Christ rather than leaning into the power of Christ, which has the power to break down our walls through the unifying power of love. Instead of reconciliation, we experienced estrangement from one another as we failed to keep our eyes on Jesus and our hearts focused on the mission and ministry to which He calls.
We cry a psalm of lament at our corporate sin, but we know that while “weeping may last through the night, joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). As your episcopal leader, lay leaders, superintendents and delegates, we call the clergy and laity of our conference to hold fast to the commitment we have as the Body of Christ.
We have learned that we see the image of God in every human face. We have been blessed by the enthusiasm of our youth and the wisdom of our elders. Our discipleship is enriched by the theological gifts of conservatives, centrists and progressives. We have found our common life blessed by different cultures. And we have been ably led by the many people — heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender — whom God has called and set aside for a particular ministry.
The joy and oneness we feel by participating in the Body of Christ overcomes any walls that have been created. We will continue to support our ministries, pastors, and lay leaders across the theological and geographic differences that exist in our region. We are truly better together than apart.
We will continue to let our love of God and neighbor guide us. This will ground us as we seek to strengthen our local churches for vital ministries and equip and empower lay and clergy leaders, so that our churches can continue to be mission outposts, offering the life-saving, life-changing love of Christ in tangible ways.
Bishop Karen P. Oliveto
IN OUR PRAYERS - WHEATLAND
In our prayers at Wheatland: Vickie B.; Donna W.; Marc B.; Bob R.; Don Y.; Johnny's
cousin's son, Eric; the Red Bird Mission in Kenturcky. Please let us know if you would
like a name added or removed from our prayer list.
IN OUR PRAYERS - CHUGWATER:
~2019 DISTRICT GATHERING~:
Sharing the Passion of Jesus Christ – Lenten Class Series ~
FAITH * HOPE * LOVE IN ACTION
The Wheatland United Methodist Women (UMW) met on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in the Fellowship Hall.
Although Project Patricia didn’t meet because Rowann S. and Kathy W. were unavailable on Tuesday,
The UMW group also discussed the fund raising activity plans for a potato bar supper on St. Patrick’s
The voting result of the Special 2019 General Conference was in favor of the Traditional Plan as
Calendar of Activities
Mar. 3rd - 12:15 p.m. Administrative Council meeting after church
Mar. 5th - 9:30-11:30 a.m. Project Patricia at 9:30 - 11:30:
Mar. 10th - DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME HAS ARRIVED!
Mar. 10th - 1:00 p.m. Lenten Study Series starts
Feb. 14th - NOON UMW bring-your-own lunch and meeting
Mar. 16th - 8:00 a.m. Women’s Breakfast at Western Sky's
Mar. 16th - 8:00 a.m. Men’s breakfast at Tasty Treats
Mar. 17th - 5:00-7:00 p.m. St. Patrick's Day Potato Bar Supper (Bring a friend)
Mar. 17th - 1:00 p.m. Lenten Study Series Class #2
Mar. 19th - 9:30 a.m. Kitchen clean-up followed by lunch out
Mar. 23rd - 11:45 a.m. UMW 150th Birthday celebration lunch at First UMC, Allison Hall, Cheyenne, WY
Mar. 24th - 1:00 p.m. Lenten Study Series Class #3
Mar. 30th - District Conference in Casper
If you have something to add to the calendar, please email the office with the information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fellowship – 12:00 p.m.
Fellowship – 10:00 a.m.
Phone: (307) 322-3899
BUT SEEK FIRST GOD'S KINGDOM,
AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND
ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE
GIVEN TO YOU AW WELL
Giving History for 2018
United Methodist Women
United Methodist Women
Program "Heritage & Legacy"
St. Patrick’s Day Potato Bar Supper
Sunday, March 17, 2019
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Fellowship Hall (in the basement) at
the Wheatland United Methodist Church
909 9th Street
Everyone is invited to join us for an evening of family fun. We will be
serving baked potatoes and lots of toppings, lemonade, fruit punch,
and coffee, tea or water. Dessert will be a selection of bar cookies.
~ My Buddy Holly Band ~
Come to the north door for the stairs, or for the elevator, to the south door.
Parking is available on Pine Street, in front of the church, or in the parking lot
across from the church. Free-will donations gratefully accepted.
Proceeds go to UMW’s mission work.
For more information, call Kathy W. at 322-1623