Uniting Resources

articles and reflections about our path to unity

Looking for videos?

Watch videos from the Uniting Methodists conferences, stories from pastors and leaders in our denomination, and presentations on the importance of unity for the continuing ministry of The United Methodist Church.

Articles & Reflections

Preparing our Hearts and Minds for General Conference 2019

By Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church. This was originally published as a letter to the Dakotas and Minnesota Conferences. Friends in Christ in the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, I greet you in the grace, peace and unity of our Lord...

United Methodist Colleges and the One Church Plan

by Rev. Allen Stanton, Executive Director of the Turner Center at Martin Methodist College in Tennessee Not-so-deep into the debates leading up to the 2019 General Conference is a back and forth around what to do with our institutions, as the value of our...

Try a Little Tenderness

by Ashley Crowder Stanley, a Clergy Delegate from Western North Carolina Annual Conference Tears were close all day on Sunday for me. I had preached on the inclusive love of Jesus for those who will follow and serve him. As I prepare to go as a delegate to...

Only God Can Save Us Now

by Dr. Stephen Long, Professor of Ethics at Southern Methodist University Recently, a conservative Methodist leader used my own words written in 2003 against the article I wrote about my son in 2019. I was not informed that this was going to happen and I find the...

What a New UM Survey Really Tells Us

by David Livingston You may want to look at this survey that UM Communications commissioned. Right off the bat two shortcomings should be noted. First, with only a little more than 500 respondents it's hard to know how accurate it is. A statistician I am...

Looking for Nicodemus

I am responding to Dr. Maxie Dunnam’s “Open Letter” from the Confessing Movement newsletter. I greatly respected Maxie from a distance before I quickly grew to love him through being introduced by my mentor Dr. Bill Hinson. Maxie’s letter reminded me of their close...

A Plea for Courage, Faith & Love at General Conference

by Rev. James Howell, Senior Pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church As I’m packing to go to St. Louis for General Conference, my mood oscillates. Part of me feels like Caleb and Joshua, acknowledging there are giants in the land but also surprising, sumptuous...

Freedom and Connectionalism – The Wesleyan Way!

by Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey (Retired), Lake Junaluska, NC One of the primary issues at stake in the upcoming United Methodist General Conference is our nature as a “connectional” church. Careful exploration of the nature and practice of connectionalism in our...

One Church Plan – Impacts on Clergy

by David Livingston, Pastor of St. Paul’s UMC in Lenexa, KS Getting the Facts Straight As the Special Session of General Conference draws close, it is especially important for all delegates and interested United Methodists to gain as clear as possible a sense of the...

Looking Ahead with Urgency

Uniting Methodists Suggestions for the Special Session of General Conference in St. Louis – February 23-26, 2019 Now is the time to move forward with purpose, determination, and hope.  The One Church Plan comes to The UMC through the faithful work of the...

One Church Plan Receives Additional Support

Joining with the many others speaking about their hope for the future of The United Methodist Church as the special called session of General Conference draws near, a group of John Wesley Fellows has issued the statement below. Speaking for the group Drs. Rebekah...

Ordination and Connectionalism in the One Church Plan

by Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey (Retired) In what is arguably one of the most significant rulings ever made by the United Methodist Judicial Council, virtually all of the One Church Plan proposed to the upcoming special session of the General Conference was ruled to...

Why Scripture Compels Me to Favor the One Church Plan

by Rev. Dr. James C. Howell As we come to this lovely season when we dig into the Scriptures, which Martin Luther called “the swaddling clothes in which Christ is laid,” I want to share why my commitments and devotion to the Bible compel me to be a Uniting Methodist...

Making Space for Love, Joy, Peace…

Dear Friends, Psalm 132 captures David’s desire to build “a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One.” (Psalm 132:4-5) One of the challenges in our media-saturated, 24-hour-cable-connected, Facebook-Twitter-addicted culture is to create space for God...

One Church Plan ‘could unite diverse denomination’

The Rev. Tom Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, was a member of the Commission on a Way Forward and submitted the One Church Plan legislation to General Conference. Berlin spoke with UM News as part of "Seeing a Way Forward," a...

Carter: “One Church Plan creates a home for everyone”

Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr., episcopal leader of the Florida Conference and president of the Council of Bishops, also served as a moderator for the Commission on a Way Forward. He shares some concerns he’s heard and talks about the effect the three plans might have...

Uniting Methodists Thank African Bishops

The Coordinating Team for Uniting Methodists expressed appreciation for the leadership of the African Bishops of The United Methodist Church after reading their statement released after a September 3 – 7 meeting in Sierra Leone.  Commenting on the bishops’ statement,...

On Uniting Methodists: Is Scripture Authoritative?

by Scott Gilliland I had the pleasure of being on the host team for the Uniting Methodists “Room for All” Conference held at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas in July. We were incredibly thankful to have such an inspiring and important event on our campus....

One Church Plan Comparison Chart

The One Church Plan provides a generous unity that gives conferences, churches and pastors unique flexibility to reach their missional context without disbanding the connectional nature of The United Methodist Church. In the One Church Plan, no annual conferences,...

“Taking the Bible Seriously”

Tyron Inbody, the long-time professor of theology at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, was fond of saying to his students: “Let me grant you for a moment that the Bible is word-for-word the perfect and precise words and thoughts of God.” His comments were...

Homosexuality & The Church

One of the key questions central to the discussions around the future of The United Methodist Church pertains to the authority of Scripture. In this essay, renowned New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson grapples with that issue. How can the church both maintain...

Commission’s Legislative Proposals

The report of the Commission on a Way Forward and the related legislative proposals are now posted publicly on the Judicial Council website. Uniting Methodists strongly support the One Church Plan which the majority of both the Commission and the Council of Bishops...

Annual Conferences Discuss One Church Plan

by Jim Harnish The United Methodist News Service headline was correct: “Annual conferences mixed on bishops' plan.” If you were watching the debate on resolutions and counting votes in favor of or opposed to the One Church Plan in the annual conferences, you’d be...

A Way Forward

by Bishop Robert Schnase (originally posted on the Rio Texas Conference blog, en español aquí and used by permission) Dear Friends, Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Two weeks ago, the Council of Bishops received the final report from the...

Uniting Methodists Respond to the Judicial Council Decision

The Judicial Council has ruled that ¶ 507 of The Book of Discipline 2016 presumptively allows any United Methodist group or person to submit a legislative petition for consideration at the called special session of General Conference scheduled for February 2019, but...

“I Believe I Am Being Led By The Holy Spirit”

This resource is an abbreviated version of a longer booklet written by Rev. Dr. Adolf Hansen. As Dr. Hansen describes in the booklet's addendum, this version demonstrates "one way United Methodist laity and clergy might carry out their responsibilities if the proposed...

How Will We Be Known?

by Rev. Dr. William O. (Bud) Reeves I’m going to go out on a limb here. The Commission on the Way Forward, the group established by the Council of Bishops at General Conference in 2016, is presenting a final report to the Council, who will then present a proposal to a...

Happy Birthday… and how many more?

by John E. Harnish April 23, 1968… Dallas, Texas. That was the day the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church came together to become the United Methodist Church. The day was marked with high hopes and bold dreams about how these two denominations...

The Offspring of a Prayer Vigil

by Rob Fuquay https://vimeo.com/252189949 In the early 1700s, a group of Moravians were fleeing from threats. They went to Germany where they heard of a wealthy Moravian named Count Zinzendorf, and they asked if he would donate land to them where they could live in...

A “Fixed and Free” Romans 14 Church (Perspectives 4)

by Scott Gilliland This past week, the local church I serve, Lovers Lane UMC, hosted a gathering of area clergy and lay leaders interested in learning more about a movement called "Uniting Methodists." Leading the presentation and ensuing discussion were Rev. Rachel...

The Inevitability of Kinship (Perspectives 3)

by Justin Kelly Coleman One of my favorite hymns is "O God in Heaven." I love the rich language and Trinitarian theology the hymn expresses so plainly. I'm particularly drawn to a phrase in the third stanza that I don't recall being in any other hymn: "sealed in our...

Willing to Relocate? (Perspectives 2)

by Melissa Maher "Are you willing to relocate?" This question came as a surprise during the ordination process. As a candidate for elder in The UMC, I was expecting the usual theological questions. But am I willing to move? My response was, “Sure. If the bishop and...

Resolved to Love… United to Serve (Perspectives 1)

by James A. Harnish A bronze plaque on the wall of one of the oldest buildings on the campus of Asbury University proclaims the words of my alma mater’s most famous graduate, E. Stanley Jones: “Here we enter a fellowship. Sometimes we will agree to differ; always we...

Uniting Methodists Conference Videos

These videos are the primary lectures and conversation starters from the Uniting Methodists Conference at Impact Church from November 2017. Conference Opening & Greeting Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson https://vimeo.com/247821607/bff704559d Opening Worship Jasmine...

What’s at Stake when Schism is an Option?

by Lovett H. Weems, Jr. United Methodists are facing major decisions about our legacy and future in the coming months and years. Myriad actions taken over many past years have set up a classic win/lose situation, particularly regarding human sexuality, quite common in...

Uniting Conference Lecture Notes

Dr. David N. Field is a United Methodist living in Switzerland where he serves as the Academic Coordinator for the Methodist e-Academy. He is author of the Bid Our Jarring Conflicts Cease: A Wesleyan Theology and Praxis of Church Unity (Foundery Books, 2017) and Our...

Uniting Methodists Hold Uniting Conference in Atlanta

Nearly 300 United Methodists gathered in person and were joined by over 50 online sites around the world as the Uniting Methodists movement met November 13-14 at Impact UMC in Atlanta. The Rev. Olu Brown, lead pastor at Impact, led the planning team and convened the...

Unity Begins in Baptism

by Sarah Heaner Lancaster The unity of the church begins in baptism. When we are made one with Christ, we are also in Christ made one with each other. This is the fundamental unity given to us by God. It is our job to respond to this gift by making our unity in Christ...

Methodism Is An Experiment In Grace

by David McAllister-Wilson What is essential to us as United Methodists? What is our DNA? It is not the Book of Discipline; and, it is not that we are “open” or “connectional.” John Wesley is oft quoted as saying it was possible that the Methodists might only “exist...

Why I Am Committed to the Unity of the UMC (Part 2)

by David N. Field Unity, Centrism, and the Incarnation After some delay I now come to my second of what was intended as a four-part series. (The series will probably be longer.) People committed to a renewed form of institutional unity for the UMC in the context of...

Why I Am Committed to the Unity of the UMC (Part 1)

by David N. Field The Significance of Visible Unity As the work of the UMC’s Commission on the Way Forward moves to an increasingly crucial stage and I reflect on my own involvement in the Commission the inescapable question that I need to face is: Why am I committed...

Where Covenant, Justice and Unity Meet

by Ken Carter This fall I have used a simple drawing of three circles to portray something of where we are as a church in the present moment. The three circles are covenant, justice and unity. Covenantal people greatly value the promises we have made to God and to...

7 Reasons The United Methodist Church Will Remain United

Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter shares “7 Reasons” why he believes that The United Methodist Church will remain united. https://player.vimeo.com/video/214736987 Note: This video was originally shared on the Florida Conference website.

Central Avenue is Where We Belong

by Jim Harnish The church on Central Avenue While speaking for the Georgia Pastors’ School a few weeks ago, I met a retired pastor and her husband who are natives of Fitzgerald, Georgia. They confirmed the story I had heard from Bishop Lawson Bryan. Fitzgerald was...

Review of “Bid Our Jarring Conflicts Cease”

by Michael Nausner David Field’s book, Bid Our Jarring Conflicts Cease, borrows its title from a hymn by Charles Wesley that marks the direction of the entire text: the Wesleyan passion for the unity of the church amidst strife based on holiness. Starting from a...

Unity is Difficult, Not Impossible (Part 4)

by Dan Johnson I've been to four of the past six General Conferences. All were ferociously contentious over the issue of sexuality. Our "every-four-years-pain-inflicting session," has been going on since 1972. That's when the ill-conceived wording was first added to...

Unity is Difficult, Not Impossible (Part 3)

by Dan Johnson This is my third post on why keeping our United Methodist Church united is so difficult - but hopefully not impossible. Today I look at the position of those who believe the matter of human sexuality, while vitally important, is not on the same...

Unity is Difficult, Not Impossible (Part 2)

by Dan Johnson This is my second post (of four) on why keeping our United Methodist Church united is so difficult - but hopefully not impossible. Today I look at the position of those who hold to a traditional reading of the Bible. 2. The Traditionalist View: Personal...

Unity is Difficult, Not Impossible (Part 1)

by Dan Johnson This will be the first of four posts attempting to understand the three seemingly totally incompatible positions that are represented in the UMC, and a fourth, sharing my hopes for finding a way to stay United. I'm sure some of you will be eager to...

A Hopeful Place to Stand

by Allen T. Stanton When I talk to people about why I am involved in the Uniting Methodists movement, they often say that they too want a solution that will end the divisions in The United Methodist Church. They want a solution that is clear and compelling, and that...

Uniting Methodists is a movement rather than an organization. As a movement we are striving for greater inclusion and genuine representation in pursuit of shared goals. The statements found on this website represent our current consensus about important questions before the church. We invite suggestions, critique, and engaging conversations from persons across the UMC. The Uniting Methodists Leadership Team views this work as iterative and certain to be added to and enhanced over time.

* Uniting Methodists is a not-for-profit movement made up of members of The United Methodist Church and is not associated in any way with Room for All, Inc., an LGBTQ advocacy organization in the Reformed Church in America.

Contact Us

13 + 5 =