MARCH 2019
Open hears. Open minds. Open doors.
The people of The United Methodist Church
From hardship and turmoil to a hopeful future

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!

Pastor Riley

Bishop Karen Oliveto ~ Response to General Conference Vote

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
Gayla Jo Slauson, Co-Lay Leader
Margaret Hotze, Co-Lay Leader and delegate to General Conference
Don McCammon, Co-Lay Leader and delegate to General Conference
Rev. Jeff Rainwater, Dean of the Cabinet, Wyoming District Superintendent
Rev. Jan Witman, Montana West District Superintendent
Rev. Margaret Gillikin, Trinity District Superintendent
Rev. Paul Kottke, Mile High Metro District Superintendent
Rev. Tezenlo Thong, Peaks/Pikes Peak District Superintendent
Rev. Marv Vose, Utah/Western Colorado District Superintendent
Rev. Deborah Christine, Montana East District Superintendent
Rev. Amy Gearhart, Senior Executive for Transition and Conference Culture
Rev. Youngsook Kang, Director of Connectional Ministries/Superintendent for Leadership Development
Rev. Tyler Amundson, clergy delegate, Yellowstone Legacy Conference
Rev. Kent Ingram, clergy delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Rev. Megan Armstrong, clergy delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Rev. Bradley Laurvick, clergy delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Doug Palmer, laity delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Kunle Taiwo, laity delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Harvey Tukutau, laity delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Rev. Jeremy Scott, clergy delegate, Yellowstone Legacy Conference
Peg Plimpton, laity delegate, Yellowstone Legacy Conference
Rev. Jessica Rooks, clergy delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Rev. Cathie Kelsey, clergy delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Confernce
Rev. Skip Strickland, clergy delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Rev. Elizabeth McVicker, clergy delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference
Laurie Day, laity delegate, Rocky Mountain Legacy Conference

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.

Patrick Y.; Crystal A.; Steve S.; Harold D.; Steve N. & family; family of Larry & Barb F.; Bill & Grace S.;
Elmer B.; Milt and Maryanne G.; Jason P.; Johnny’s cousin’s son Eric; our church; our community and
our veterans.

The Mountain Sky Conference will be gathering regionally on March 30, 2019 for united learning, faith
formation and connection. We will welcome keynote speaker, Diana Butler Bass, who has a doctorate from
Duke University. Diana is an award-winning author, internationally known public speaker and thought
leader on issues of spirituality, religion, culture and politics. We are excited to invite the laity
and clergy across our region to participate in this opportunity. Please go the our link to register.

Sharing the Passion of Jesus Christ – Lenten Class Series ~
Join us for a great Lenten Series class that leads us through the final stages of Jesus’ ministry
guiding us to Easter Sunday. Over a period of five weeks we will study the final stage in Jesus’
ministry and life. In our first class we will follow Jesus to Jerusalem when he cleanses the temple.
The second session studies the dramatic arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane. Our third class brings into
focus the interrogation of Jesus by the Sanhedrin. Fourth, we will read about his trial before Pilate
and meeting with Herod. And finally, in our fifth class we will walk the road to Golgotha with Jesus.
For those in Wheatland, bring your lunch for our 1:00 to 2:00 class. For those in Chugwater, come at
4:00 p.m. to the church. Dates: March 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, & April 14th. The Wheatland class will
be led by Pastor Robin and the Chugwater class, by Barb Fletcher.

United Methodist Women

The Wheatland United Methodist Women (UMW) met on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in the Fellowship Hall.
After lunch, the business meeting began. The UMW members heard committee reports, and current
status of on-going activities. The group discussed the 125th anniversary party, which is to be held
on April 28, 2019, after church. It was decided that we will hold a raffle for the Barb S. picture
of the church that was donated by Tina C. We will make our own tickets for the raffle for advance
sales, and make sure they say that the proceeds will be used for UMW mission work.

Although Project Patricia didn’t meet because Rowann S. and Kathy W. were unavailable on Tuesday,
Feb. 5, Kathy L. and Rowann packaged up the cut pieces after church on Feb. 3, and Kathy took
the box to the post office on Monday. This was box no. 72. Some kits are available, if you can help with the cutting process. They are in the plastic container on the table just inside the Fellowship
Hall doorway from the hallway with the elevator. The Project Patricia group will assemble on March
5 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall to set up more kits, tear some sheets, ship the next box, and catch up with other tasks.

The UMW group also discussed the fund raising activity plans for a potato bar supper on St. Patrick’s
Day, Sunday, March 17, 2019. We will submit the news release to the local radio station and the
Chamber of Commerce, as well as develop posters and distribute them as we did last time. Everyone
is invited to attend the supper and to bring guests. The group also scheduled the annual kitchen
clean-up for March 19, 2019. We need everyone who can help, especially those who can climb ladders
to the top shelves, and good scrubbers. Please bring your favorite cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, etc. This is the time we wipe down all shelving and inside cabinets, assess our supplies, and
generally clean up. After the area is clean, we will go out together for lunch. Kathy W. announced that the UMW’s 150th birthday celebration for our region will be held at First
United Methodist Church in Cheyenne on March 23, 2019. Everyone is invited to attend. See
details on the next page. The next UMW lunch and meeting will be held on March 14, 2019, at noon.
Bring your own lunch. 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.

General Conference Information

The voting result of the Special 2019 General Conference was in favor of the Traditional Plan as
amended. The resulting vote was 438 to 384. The One Church Plan was voted down on Monday and
an attempt to revive it on Tuesday was voted down by a vote of 449 to 374. Next, the Traditional
Plan as amended must go before the Judicial Committee. This will be done April 23-26, 2019 in
Evanston, Illinois. They will determine the constitutionality, meaning, application, and effect
of the Traditional Plan as amended. Prior to the conference, the Judicial Committee had ruled
the Traditional Plan (without the amendment) was mostly unconstitutional. We will have to wait
and see where we go from here.
God bless,
Kelvin L.

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 - 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: wheatlandwyomingumc@gmail.com

Wheatland United Methodist Church

Worship - 11:00 a.m.
Fellowship – 12:00 p.m.
Facebook: WheatlandUMC

Chugwater United Methodist Church

Worship – 9:00 a.m.
Fellowship – 10:00 a.m.
Facebook: ChugwaterUMC

Wheatland Church Office

No office hours are currently scheduled
Phone: (307) 322-3899
Email:wheatlandwyomingumc@ gmail.com


Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.

Giving History for 2018
If you would like a copy of your total 2018
Giving History, please contact Rodene. Thank You.

Happy 150th Birthday
United Methodist Women

United Methodist Women
of First United Methodist Church
Cheyernne, WY
Invite All Members of Wyoming + 1 District
to join us in celebratioin of the UMW 150th Birthday
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Celebration luncheon 11: 45 a.m.
Allison Hall

Program "Heritage & Legacy"
Please respond your presence by March 10 to:
Barbara Harris at 304.631.0559 or harrisbarbara202@gmail.com
Luncheon cost $5.00 payable at the door.

United Methodist Women
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