Note from Bishop Harvey
Today, marked a day in history for the
people called Methodists as Methodists representing a wide theological
spectrum with very diverse thoughts and opinions came together to provide
leadership for a future church.
This unprecedented work was undertaken by sixteen United Methodists and is
Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation."
I trust you will read all
of the documents carefully with an open heart and imagine even greater
possibilities. Allow me to highlight just a few important points in the
- The United
Methodist Church remains The United Methodist Church, although there
were some who were calling for the full dissolution of the
- Churches that
desire to remain United Methodists will not need to do anything
different or make any further decisions.
- There are
provisions in the agreement that allow churches to separate from The
United Methodist Church.
- Please note
especially the use of the word “separate” vs “leaving”
as “separate' communicates a mutual agreement.
- Legislation based
on the protocol must be crafted and placed before the General
Conference delegates. No part of this agreement can be enacted
without first gaining the approval of General Conference.
The mediation work was difficult and called for a give and take as is
often required in good mediation.
Sacrifices were made by all persons involved yet the faithful followers of
Jesus maintained their desire is to stop the harm and help delegates do
their best work in Minneapolis.
The work is not perfect but again I trust that the Spirit will intervene
and fill the gaps.
Many have given much of themselves in this process and much work is still
ahead as legislation is created and delegates discern.
I know our tendency is often to react and criticize the work and look for
all that is wrong.
I pray that today will be different and that you will give thanks for
those who have given so much of themselves to this work thus far and pray
for those working on legislation and for the delegates who will
prayerfully and faithfully respond to the movement of God.
More was accomplished than I ever thought possible and for that, I give
thanks to the stirring of the Holy Spirit.
I am confident that God is doing a new thing in the United Methodist
Church and its people.
Grace and Peace,
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
document Bishop Harvey refers to can be viewed by clicking here.
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